The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

Synopsis: Sentimental story centers around a deaf-mute, Singer, and Mick, a teenager who lives in the house where he rents a room. Mick and Singer become friends, though they are separated by Singer's lack of communication ability and Mick's struggle with teenage problems. The lives of the people Singer touches are varied, linked only by their friendship with Singer. His friends include a deaf-mute, a drunk, and a doctor. Singer does his best to help those around him solve their problems, but who is there to help him solve his own?
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Robert Ellis Miller
Production: Warner Home Video
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
123 min





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...we got him off again.

Look, we know he doesn't mean

any harm...

...but the judge doesn't know it.

The next time

Antonapoulos gets in trouble...

...I don't think they'll let him off

with just a fine.

So for all our sakes...

...make it clear to him

he's gotta behave.


It ain't Singer's business.

He ain't his family.

I'm his family.

I'm the only family he's got.

- And I say he gets committed.

- But why?

On account of I don't want to be


...for whatever that dummy

takes it into his mind to do.


What if Singer assumed legal custody

of Antonapoulos?

Would that satisfy you?

I guess. Only till it's all legal,

Spiros has got to stay in the hospital.

But it's a mental hospital.

What do you want from me, mister?

I got a wife and four kids

to look out for. He's only a cousin.

I tell you, I would do the same thing

even if he was my own brother.

Yeah, I'm sure you would.




Now, look.

Look, I've been thinking.

This custody business

is liable to drag on for some time.

But there's no reason

you gotta sit here while it does.

Now, it's just an idea, mind you.

But maybe you'd be happier moving

some place closer to the hospital.

And it's not as if you got anything

to keep you tied here, is it?

Of course, I'll hate like hell

to see you go.

I'll miss our chess games.

But I gotta admit, it'd be a lot easier

moving your friend...

...some place

where they don't know him.

Jefferson, for instance,

that's 300 miles nearer.

If you'd be interested, I got a cousin

runs a jewelry store over at Jefferson.

I could write him about you.

I mean, even if he doesn't need

anybody himself...

...he'd be bound to know

of any openings.

Hell, Jefferson's practically a city.

They got three jewelry stores there.



Yeah? What do you want?

If you're selling something,

we don't want any.


Who is it, Mick?

Oh, there's somebody about the room,



Oh, I see.

Well, we do have a room,

but it's $20 a week.

Come on in then, I'll show it to you.

Hey, Papa, guess what.


I give up.

You can't give up

without guessing anything.

Besides, who asked you?

I was talking to Papa.

Well, Mick, let's see,

what could it be?

There's a man up there.

- He's a deaf-mute person.

- A what?

A dummy.

Came about renting the room.

Ugh. I sure hope Mama won't let him.

I'd feel sort of creepy

having a dummy living in my room.

- it ain't your room, not anymore.

- Morally it's still my room.

How do you know this guy's

a whatchamacallit?

He's got a card says so.

It's all about how he can read lips

and please don't shout.

If he can't hear, how's he going to know

if you're shouting? I bet he's a fake.

Huh. What if I could read lips?

Hey, Bubber, now you say something.

I'm gonna cover up my ears...

...and see if I can read your lips.

- Well, I finally rented that room.

To the dummy?

- Did you give him that new word?

- What'd I do?


Is it, Mama, is it?

Yes, but you're not to call him that,


He's paying more than I expected

and won't be no trouble.

- So don't you trouble him.

- Can't I just go look at him?

- No, I told you not to bother him.


Mick, you take Ralph

and Bubber for a walk.

- Oh, Mama, do I have to?

- No arguments.

Oh, all right.

First my room, now my afternoons.

- Shut up about the room.


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Thomas C. Ryan

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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