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Simon Birch

Theatrical poster
Directed by Mark Steven Johnson
Produced by Roger Birnbaum, Laurence Mark
Written by Mark Steven Johnson (screenplay), John Irving (novel)
Starring Ian Michael Smith, Joseph Mazzello, Ashley Judd, Oliver Platt, Jim Carrey
Music by Marc Shaiman
Cinematography Aaron E. Schneider
Editing by David Finfer
Distributed by Hollywood Pictures
Release date(s) 11 September, 1998 (USA)
25 June, 1999 (UK)
Running time 113 minutes
Language English
Budget $20,000,000 (estimated)

Simon Birch is a 1998 comedy-drama film loosely based on Matthew Palamara a staten island native.A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. It was directed and written for the screen by Mark Steven Johnson. The film stars Ian Michael Smith, Joseph Mazzello, Ashley Judd, Oliver Platt and Jim Carrey. It omitted much of the latter half of the novel and altered the ending. The movie does not share the book's title at Irving's request; he did not believe that this novel could successfully be made into a film. The name "Simon Birch" was suggested by him to replace that of Owen Meany. The main plot centers around 12-year old Joe Wenteworth and his best friend Simon Birch.

Contents

Cast

  • Ian Michael Smith as Simon Birch: This was Ian Michael Smith's first and to-date-only role in film. He was chosen due to his small height caused by Morquio syndrome. His role in this film was suggested by a hospital worker in Chicago. After his parents read through the novel (A Prayer for Owen Meany) they agreed to let him work on the film.
  • Joseph Mazzello as Joe Wenteworth
  • Ashley Judd as Rebecca Wenteworth: Originally, Sandra Bullock was considered to take the role.
  • Oliver Platt as Ben Goodrich
  • David Strathairn as Reverend Russell
  • Jim Carrey as Joe Wenteworth (Adult): Jim Carrey plays Joe as an adult at the beginning and end of the film.

Production

Behind the scenes

The bus crash scene was filmed near Ontario's French River. The film's quarry scenes were shot at Elora, Ontario. The church featured in many parts of the film is in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Its black borders were painted white for the film. At the end of the film when it switches to the future, the borders are black.[1]

Home media release

The film was released on VHS on November 2, 1999 and on DVD in 2002 (Region 1). The region 1 DVD contains a theatrical trailer.

Soundtrack

Simon Birch features many songs from the 50s and 60s era. Babyface had written "You Were There" for the film. It was used in the ending credits and a music video was produced.[2] There were also four score cues by Marc Shaiman. Not all score cues are available on the soundtrack, however.

The film's OST was released with the following songs (available on CD and cassette):

  1. "You Were There" - Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
  2. "Bread and Butter" - The Newbeats
  3. "A Walkin' Miracle" - The Essex*
  4. "Mickey's Monkey" - Smokey Robinson / The Miracles
  5. "Can I Get a Witness" - Marvin Gaye
  6. "Fever" - Peggy Lee
  7. "Up on the Roof" - The Drifters
  8. "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag (Part 1)" - James Brown
  9. "The Nitty Gritty" - Shirley Ellis*
  10. "Nowhere to Run" - Martha and the Vandellas
  11. "It's All Right" - The Impressions
  12. "(Your Love Keeps Me) Higher And Higher" - Jackie Wilson*
  13. "Simon's Theme" - Marc Shaiman
  14. "Friends Forever" - Marc Shaiman
  15. "Simon's Birth" - Marc Shaiman
  16. "Life Goes On" - Marc Shaiman

*This song was not featured in the film.

Other songs featured in the film but not on the soundtrack are listed below:

References

  1. ^ "Filming Locations for Simon Birch (1998)". The Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0124879/releaseinfo. Retrieved 2007-01-25.  
  2. ^ "mvdbase.com - Babyface - "You were there"". mvdbase.com. http://www.mvdbase.com/video.php?id=2143. Retrieved 2007-01-23.  

External links

Resources


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Simon Birch is a 1998 coming of age film about a twelve year old boy with stunted growth who looks up to God and is confident that he has a plan for him.

Directed by Mark Steven Johnson. Written by Mark Steven Johnson, based on the novel A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.
Destiny has big plans for little Simon Birch.

Contents

Adult Joe Wenteworth (Narrator)

  • [Visiting Simon's grave.] I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice, not because of his voice or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death but because he is the reason I believe in God. What faith I have, I owe it to Simon Birch, a boy I grew up with in Gravestown, Maine.
  • [At the birth scene of Simon Birch.] Simon Birch was the smallest delivery ever recorded in the history of Gravestown Memorial Hospital.
  • Simon's father owned the Birch Granite Company. Mr. Birch was a big believer in the rock and just about everything in their house was made from granite, including Mr. Birch.
  • When someone you love dies, you don't lose them all at once. You lose them in pieces over time, like how the mail stops coming. What I remember most to this day was my mother's scent and how I hated it when it began to disappear. First from her closets and drawers, then from her dresses that she had sewed herself and finally, from her bedsheets and pillowcases.
  • Time is a monster that cannot be reasoned with. It responds like a snail to our impatience...then it races like a gazelle when you can't catch your breath.
  • Winter left its icy chill behind and soon it was spring, then summer again. Grandmother passed away that June following a stroke. And because Hilde was always so content to just follow her lead...she had a stroke of her own and died in July. We buried them side by side. It's the way they would've wanted it. Ben Goodrich legally adopted me just two days before my thirteenth birthday. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for bringing him into my life. With Simon's help, I'd finally found my real father.

Dialogue

Joe Wenteworth: Come on. We're late.
Simon Birch: No, you're late. I'm just riding with you.

Simon Birch: Not so fast. Slow down. I'm a miracle, you know.
Joe Wenteworth: Yeah, yeah.

[Joe and Simon travel past two old men sitting down.]
Old Man #1: [laughing] Here they come - the Wenteworth bastard and his granite mouse.
Old Man #2: Hey, Birch, nice sidecar. What'd you use, a matchbox?
Simon Birch: [gives them the finger] Have a nice day.
Old Man #1: Goddam kids got no respect these days.

Simon Birch: I was just thinking.
Joe Wenteworth: Yeah?
Simon Birch: Last year we played in the Squirt League, right?
Joe Wenteworth: Uh-huh.
Simon Birch: And this year we're in the Peewees.
Joe Wenteworth: So?
Simon Birch: Do they want us to play baseball or urinate? [silence] Anyway, I was just thinking.

Simon Birch: Your mother has the best breasts of all the mothers.
Joe Wenteworth: [trying to ignore] Yeah.
Simon Birch: And she smells the best too.
Joe Wenteworh: I know.
Simon Birch: She's so sexy that sometimes I forget she's someone's mother.
Joe Wenteworth: Okay. Okay.
Simon Birch: I was just being honest.
Joe Wenteworth: Well, what if I said the same thing about your mother?
Simon Birch: I'd have you committed.

Rebecca Wenteworth: Do your thing, Simon! Show 'em how it's done!

[Swimming at the quarry.]
Joe Wenteworth: Oh! Oh, man. That's cold.
Simon Birch: It's freezing!
Joe Wenteworth: My balls just turned into marbles.
Simon Birch: My balls just turned into bb's!

[Joe and Simon are sitting on deck at the quarry.]
Simon Birch: Marjorie's getting breasts.
Joe Wenteworth: Yeah.
Simon Birch: And soon they'll be boobs.
Joe Wenteworth: I know.
Simon Birch: Maybe she'll let us touch 'em some time if we paid her.
Joe Wenteworth: Why don't you ask her? [calling out to Marjorie] Oh, uh, Marjorie.
Simon Birch: [embarrassed] Stop it! Stop it!
Joe Wenteworth: Uh, Simon has a question for you.
Marjorie: What is it, Simon?
Simon Birch: Nothing. Goodbye.
Joe Wenteworth: He wants to know, uh maybe if he paid you, could he touch your br-- [Simon stops Joe by grabbing his mouth to avoid further embarrassment]

[Making their way home from the quarry.]
Simon Birch: Your problem is that you have no faith.
Joe Wenteworth: I got faith. I just need proof to back it up.

[Joe and Simon arrive at their grandmother's home for dinner.]
Grandmother Wenteworth: That child is positively unnatural.
Hilde: Most peculiar.
Grandmother Wenteworth: And his voice, like--
Hilde: A mouse.
Grandmother Wenteworth: More than one. Like mice.
Hilde: Strangled mice.
Grandmother Wenteworth: [laughing] Strangled mice. Very good, Hilde.

[Upon hearing the doorbell, Joe and Simon rush to the window.]
Grandmother Wenteworth: Simon Birch, get away from there. You'll scare him off.

[At the church, Simon expresses himself in front of everyone.]
Simon Birch: I said, "What does coffee and doughnuts have to do with God?"
Rev. Russell: They're merely refreshments so people can socialize and, uh, and discuss the upcoming activities.
Simon Birch: Who ever said the church needs a continental breakfast?
Rev. Russell: -Simon!
Simon Birch: I doubt that God is interested in our church activities.
Rev. Russell: -Simon!
Simon Birch: -If God has made the church bake sale a priority, then I'd say we're all in a lot of trouble.

Rev. Russell: Simon, what do you think you're doing sitting in a corner?
Simon Birch: Thinking about God.
Rev. Russell: In a corner?
Simon Birch: Faith is not in a floor plan.

Simon Birch: [crying] I'm sorry! I'm sorry!

[At Rebecca's tombstone.]
Simon Birch: Into paradise...may the angels...lead you.

[Swimming at the quarry.]
Joe Wenteworth: Oh! Oh, man. That's cold.
Simon Birch: It's freezing!
Joe Wenteworth: My balls just turned into prunes.
Simon Birch: My balls just turned into raisins.

Joe Wenteworth: What is it?
Simon Birch: [Upon seeing a dog] Ah! It's a horse.

Joe Wentworth: C'mon Si, all the girls think your cute.
Simon Birch: They think I'm cute like a baby turtle. Girls don't kiss baby turtles.

Miss Leavey: Help. Please. I'm gonna strangle him. I swear to God I'm gonna strangle that little granite mouse if it's the last thing I do.

Simon Birch: Does God have a plan for us?
Rev. Russell: I like to think He does.
Simon Birch: -Me too. I think God made me the way I am for a reason.
Rev. Russell: Well, I'm glad that, um, that your faith, uh, helps you deal with your, um...you know, your, your condition.
Simon Birch: That's not what I mean. I think I'm God's instrument - that He's gonna use me to carry out His plan.

[At the nativity play]
Marjorie: Simon, are you okay? Simon, what is it?
Simon Birch: Boobs! [Reaches out to grab Marjorie]

[At the nativity play]
Random Kid:YOU GO SIMON!
Joe Wentworth: HOLY SHIT!

[At nativity play]
Marjorie: Get off me! [saying to Joe Wentworth]
Joe Wentworth: Im trying to help!
Marjorie:[kicks Joe in the Privates]

[At the nativity play]
Bully: IM GONNAH KICK YOUR ASS, YOU LITTLE PERVE!
Joe Wentworth:[in pain after being hit in the privates from Marjorie] Hey pick on someone your own size! [Pointing at bully]
Bully: OKAY! [And punches Joe Wentworth!!]

Rev. Russell: Oh, Simon. What happened to tonight?
Simon Birch: I don't know. Sex makes people crazy.

Simon Birch: I want to know that there's a reason for things. I used to be certain, but now I'm not so sure. I want you to tell me that God has a plan for me, a plan for all of us. Please.
[Finding it difficult to respond with a good answer]
Rev. Russell: Simon...I can't.

Joe Wenteworth: Okay, you grabbed her boobs, and you pulled her into the manger. Big deal. It could've happened to anybody. Well, maybe not anybody.

Mr. Birch: Simon's sick.
Joe Wenteworth: I know.
Mr. Birch: So was I when I heard what he did last night. The whole town's talkin' about it. What a little screw-up.
Joe Wenteworth: Hey, your son is not a screw-up. He's a hero.
Mr. Birch: What the hell are you talkin' about?
Joe Wenteworth: I said he's a hero. And you don't deserve him. I want you to know that.

[Simon sorts things out on the bus that plunged into a lake]
Simon Birch: Stop it! [Everyone looks around] I'm not going to let anything happen to any of you. Understand?

[At Simon's bed in the hospital]
Joe Wenteworth: Jesus, Simon, you look like shit.

Cast

External links

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