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The Boy Who Could Fly

The Boy Who Could Fly is a well-intentioned film that deals with mental illness, suicide and other weighty subjects and their effects on children in a general and understanding way.

The Boy Who Could Fly is a well-intentioned film that deals with mental illness, suicide and other weighty subjects and their effects on children in a general and understanding way.

Story involves the special relationship between a sweet, patient teenage girl named Milly (Lucy Deakins) and the autistic neighbor Eric (Jay Underwood), who sits for hours on his roof directly across from her bedroom window with his arms outstretched as if ready to take off and fly.

Milly has just moved in with her recently widowed mother (Bonnie Bedelia) and precocious little brother (Fred Savage) following the suicide of their father. Milly is super-sensitive and understands how lonely and misunderstood the troubled boy must be. She gets him to open up and talk; he takes her flying.

Under Nick Castle’s careful direction, scenes never become maudlin, which is remarkable considering the potential of the subject matter. Deakins and Underwood handle their difficult roles with amazing grace.

Near the end of the film comes the breather as the two finally become airborne – soaring over the city at night in beautifully crafted scenes by special effects wizard Richard Edlund and Boss Film Corp.

Supporting cast of pros all turn in terrific performances.

The Boy Who Could Fly

  • Production: 20th Century-Fox. Director Nick Castle; Producer Gary Adelson; Screenplay Nick Castle; Camera Steven Poster, Adam Holender; Editor Patrick Kennedy; Music Bruce Broughton; Art Director Jim Bissell
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1986. Running time: 114 MIN.
  • With: Lucy Deakins Jay Underwood Bonnie Bedelia Fred Savage Colleen Dewhurst Louise Fletcher
  • Music By: