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The Night Listener

131 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Academy Award(R) winner Robin Williams (Best Supporting Actor, GOOD WILL HUNTING, 1997; ONE HOUR PHOTO, INSOMNIA) is unforgettable in a riveting, critically acclaimed psychological thriller based on true events! Gabriel Noone (Williams), a celebrated writer and late-night talk show host, becomes captivated by the harrowing story of a young listener and his adoptive mother (Toni Collette – LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, IN HER SHOES). When troubling questions arise about the boy’s identity, however, Noone finds himself drawn into a widening mystery that hides a deadly secret! Also starring Sandra Oh (SIDEWAYS, TV’s GREY'S ANATOMY) and based on the best-selling novel by Armistead Maupin, THE NIGHT LISTENER delivers unpredictable twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Special Features

  • Deleted scene
  • "The Night Listener Revealed" featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Robin Williams, Toni Collette, Rory Culkin, Joe Morton, Bobby Cannavale
  • Directors: Patrick Stettner
  • Writers: Patrick Stettner, Armistead Maupin, Terry Anderson
  • Producers: Armistead Maupin, Brett Williams, Caroline Kaplan, Daniel Feiner
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: January 9, 2007
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000J3FBDO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,516 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Night Listener" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By do-not-ask-me on October 7, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Based on the theatrical release. THE NIGHT LISTENER is a psychological thriller based on the international bestselling novel by Armistead Maupin. The story revolves around a celebrated writer and popular late-night radio show host, Gabriel Noone (Robin Williams), who develops an intense phone relationship with a young listener named Pete (Rory Culkin) and his adopted mother (Toni Collette) just as his own domestic life is undergoing drastic changes. When troubling questions arise regarding the boy's identity, it causes Gabriel's ordered existence to spin wildly out of control as he sets out on a harrowing journey to find the truth.

This was an interesting movie. Almost like a heart warming film at first, only to become a much darker film. I wish the film went at a faster pace. But I am a fan of Maupin (the writer) from his Tales of the City. (This is not a gay film.) While not Oscar level, I liked it for a rainy afternoon.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Middleton on August 23, 2007
Format: DVD
There have been many criticisms of this unusual film - some warranted, others not so - though it is adeptly written, well thought-through, perfect atmosphere, excellent acting from the entire crew, including Mr. Williams as the broken hearted radio story teller and Toni Collette in the role as a social worker for a sick little boy. This is not a horror story with all the clichéd trimmings, but a true to form thriller including that required eeriness to pull off this kind of strange psychological tale.

As the film unfolds there began a cold tingle at the back of my neck which instinctively told me there was something terribly sinister hovering just under the surface. In fact, the word sinister adequately describes the entire film.

The plot itself is bizarre enough: publisher receives manuscript, a well-written manuscript from a 14 year old boy, and asks Noone (Williams) if he will take a look at it. At first reluctant, he reads the manuscript and becomes obsessed about the young author. Evidently the boy had been a victim of pornographic abuse, paedophilia and now is dying. A relationship ensues between Noone and the boy by way of the telephone. Something is wrong, however, because Noone becomes obsessed about meeting the child but whenever the opportunity arises, it always falls through.

Something else hints through as the story unfolds: oddly the little boy's voice and his carer's are somewhat similar in tone and intonation - the begging question presents itself, Are the "carer" and the dying little boy the same person?

Gabriel Noone's obsession moves into hyper drive, thus he travels across country to prove this little boy's existence.

The film picks up pace from here, of course, though it is surely Toni Collette's sinister, and very creepy performance that for me, stole the show.

Please do not let the negative reviews put you off seeing this film...if you like creepy thrillers, see it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 12, 2008
Format: DVD
After reading the DVD box quote by Roger Ebert: "An Eerie, Hitchcockian Thriller.", I was expecting a cross between PSYCHO, NORTH BY NORTHWEST, and REAR WINDOW. Well, I was pretty far off the mark! THE NIGHT LISTENER (based on a true story) isn't a very physical, or exhillerating movie. Instead, it is a movie that crawls under the skin with creeping dread. The story deals w/ the unpredictability of the mentally damaged. Robin Williams (ONE HOUR PHOTO, INSOMNIA) is his normal / abnormal stellar self as radio storyteller, Gabriel Noone who gets drawn into what he believes to be a close phone relationship w/ a horribly abused 14yo boy named Peter Logand. Of course, things are never quite as they appear to be. This time out, Williams gets to play the goodguy, plagued by Peter's caretaker, Donna (the incredible Toni Collette from The Dead Girl), who could be playing games w/ Noone, and just might be dangerous. Is Donna leading Gabriel along for some dark purpose? Worse, is she leading him deeper into her own insanity? I usually don't mention extras, but I recommend watching "The Night Listener Revealed" on this disc, as it explains a lot. Robin Williams actually gives the most chilling statement when he describes the real "Donna" making her presense known during the films production. Brrr! So, watch the movie and the extras, including a deleted scene that is definitely more "thrilling" than the rest of the movie!...
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By MLRapp on January 30, 2007
Format: DVD
I really wanted to love this film for a few reasons: (1) the very compelling premise (a radio storyteller in the midst of his own relationship troubles starts receiving calls from a young fan who is trying to publish a book about his childhood abuse, only to realize this "Petey" may not be who he claims to be, if he exists at all); (2) Robin Williams played a serious role which is so rare - it was wonderful to watch him play a gay man (in what I thought was an unstereotypical way) who was so emotionally raw; (3) Toni Collette was DYNAMITE in her role as the "boy's adoptive mother" (she should have been nominated for her role); and (4) it started off in such a way that I was constantly trying to figure out what was happening, which kept me on my toes, so to speak.

However, somewhere along the line the movie missed the boat, and my above-mentioned reasons for wanting to love it were outweighed by the lack of fulfillment I had upon finishing the film. If I were a movie expert perhaps I would be better able to explain what exactly was missing from this film, but as a lay person I just felt like it didn't live up to its potential, despite the interesting plot and wonderful acting. The ending (I won't give anything away), while interesting, was completely predictable and didn't really make up for the fact that the viewer was "in the dark" for the first half of the film.

I wouldn't recommend buying this movie (or even renting it), unless you are solely interested in Toni Colette's performance which was great.
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