Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Films related to Autism

Even if you don't know very much about autism I'm sure you will have seen or heard of a few of these.
Please let me know the ones i have missed.

1962 - To kill a Mockingbird
1963 - A child is waiting
1969 - Change of Habit,
           Run Wild Run Free
1972 - A day in the death of Joe Egg,
           Brother Carl
1974 - Silence
1977 - A Circle of Children,
1978 - Lovey: A Circle of Children Part 2,
1979 - Being There,
            Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love,
1980 - Touched by Love,
1981 - The Pit
1986 - The Boy Who Could Fly,
            Childs Cry
1988 - Rain Man
1989 - The Wizard
1990 - Backstreet Dreams
           When you remember me
1991 - Little Man Tate
1993 - Family Pictures,
           What's Eating Gilbert Grape?
           House of Cards
           When the Bough Breaks
           Thirty Two short films about Glenn Gould1994 - Silent Fall
           Forrest Gump
           David's Mother
           The Innocent
1994 - Relative Fear
           Touch of Truth
1995 - Under the Piano
           Silence of Adultery
1996 - The Boys Next door
1997 - Journey of the Heart
1998 - I Am Sam
           Mercury Rising
           Down in the Delta
           Spoonface Steinberg
           Little Voice
           When the Bough Breaks II
           Perfect Prey
           Nightworld: Lost Souls
1999 - Molly
           The Other Sister
2000 - Dancer in the dark
2004 - Miracle Run
           Killer Diller
2005 - Mozart and the whale
           Magnificant 7
2006 - Snow Cake
2007 - Her Name is Sabine
           Yellow Brick Road
2008 - The Black Balloon
            Autism: The Musical
            Tropic Thunder (A nationwide boycott of this film is being called because of the movie’s open ridicule of people with learning disabilities.)
            : Just Add Water
             Treasure Diversity
             If you could say it in words
2009 - Adam
           Mary and Max
           City Rats
           Nobody Nowhere Donna Williams In development
            The horse boy
2010My name is Khan
            Dear John
            Temple Grandin
            A Mothers courage
           Ocean Heaven
           Wretches & Jabberers
           Dad's in Heaven with Nixon
            Quantum Apocalypse
2011   Loving Lampposts
2012   White Frog
           Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


Anonymous said...

I thought Silent Fall was fascinating and well done. I didn't like Mercury RIsing that much.

I don't think I have a movie that has such a personal attachment for me like Rain Man does for you.

Anne Brooke said...

I do love Rain Man - a fabulous film.


Chris H said...

"Fried Green Tomatoes"... I first saw it just after Stew's Mum died of Leukemia... I still cry when I see it... and I also laugh my head off! It is a totally 'me' movie. It's got it all.

Attila the Mom said...

Rainman annoys the crap outta me. I think it's because it gives the NT folk the idea that everyone who has autism are savants as well. I can't tell you the number of times I've been asked "well, what does he DO?" as if Little Guy can perform magical party tricks.

One movie that moves me was a made-for-TV-true story movie about some young disabled people who had been institutionalized in nursing homes for old folks and brought a lawsuit against the state so that people with dis weren't manditorily committed there for care.

I actually met one of the "real-life" characters in a class I was in. Very inspirational.

It's called "When You Remember Me".


Flowerpot said...

Ive got Rain Man on tape andhave watched it so many times too. I also love Fried Green Tomatoes and too many others to mention.

Kahless said...

I have only seen two of the films; the rainman and Forrest Gump. I loved both.

Rosie said...

i heard spoonface steinberg as a radio play and it had me howling. Funny, I remember the emotion because I now have tears in my eyes, but I cant remember the plot clearly!

A Bishops Wife said...

I have seen "Rainman", "Forest Gump" and "I Am Sam".

I absolutely, to ths day, love "Forest Gump".

Mima said...

I really loved Snow Cake! One of the episodes of House centres around a boy with autism too.

Judith U. said...

Thanks for this comprehensive list! Love Forest, Forest Gump... and Autism: The Musical. Need to see many of the others...

Utter Basketcase said...

I'm embarrassed to say this, but I've only seen rain man... and it was a brilliant film!!!! I haven't heard of the others... but I would love to see them! :-) xx

buffalodick said...

The film industry has long used some form of adversity for inspirational movies...

Anonymous said...

You could argue that some of the characters from Fame were aspies . . . especially the red-haired dude.

What about "To Kill A Mockingbird"?

Dave Coulter said...

That's some list! I saw Rain Man & Forrest Gump. Both were quite good. Come to think of it, some of my favorite films are on my profile :)

kirayoshi said...


Flemish Movie about autism and bullying. Won three prizes at the Canadian Movie Festival.

kirayoshi said...

Ok, you got BenX in your list already, you can delete my previous (and this) post, sorry for the unconvinience.

laughingwolf said...

i had not realized there are so many films in this genre, thank you!

rain man is the only one i'm familiar with, and think it's still a good one....

Seamus said...

My 3 favorites on this list are Mozart and the Whale, What's Eating Gilbert Grape and Nell.

Westerwitch/Headmistress said...

Patch Adams - amazing film, amazing man.

Anonymous said...

Forrest Gump is lovely... I also took alot out of The Black Balloon - it provided much 'food for thought'.

Trish said...

Great list - I've only seen a few of them, so will have to look for some of the others.

Unknown said...

Not so much a movie, but a book - 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime' by Mark Haddon. An illuminating exploration of an autistic mind.

Hermes said...

Movies can raise awareness of important issues. Glory is a favourite of mine, the first all-black regiment of soldiers that saw combat in the American civil war. Matthew Broderick, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman. Another great one is Little Big Man, with Dustin Hoffman and Chief Dan George. 1970(?) It was possibly the first film to treat Native people as if they were actually humans.

Jenny said...

It's not about autism, but I love Mr. Holland's Opus. Especially the story line of the father learning to appreciate and communicate with his son who is deaf. My husband watched this recently and it brought him to tears (and it always makes me cry)!

We also like Radio (again, not about autism per se, but about a young man who is mentally challenged). And it's based on a true story!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm going to re-watch Gilbert Grape in a whole new way now. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

There was a movie on public television here in the US about the youngest son of King George V (I believe). He was raised out of the public eye because he was "retarded." But upon watching the way he was portrayed, I think that something on the spectrum is far more likely.

It was a good movie - very interesting. Wish I could remember the name!!

Pat said...

I played the mother in 'Day in the death of Joe Egg' (photo on my blog Feb 6th 2008)
The school girl who played my daughter was a sweetie and we had a great relationship.

Akelamalu said...

Rain Man had a profound effect on me too.

Jasminé said...

Hi..I absolutely love Davids Mom. I have it taped and watch it at random, always makes me laugh and always makes me cry.
I love Kirstie Alley's portrayal of a "mom on the edge", a single mom as well..I think she was amazing in the role and I can see myself in her sometimes, its quite comforting in a way...I think I also use my "sense of humour" or sarcasm to hide my pain...works sometimes and not other times!
Love your blog, its very real and interesting too

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I love Forrest Gump. I have it listed in my favorites. I'm learning a lot from you and I will definately check out some of the others that you have listed. Thanks again for another wonderful post.

I was thinking about your knee...Have you tried Arnica Montana for the pain? Just a thought. I love homeopathy. Hope you are having a great week! Hugs!

Merisi said...

I know only a few of these movies but of the ones I have seen each has become a favorite. We have watched "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" several times, one of our family's favorite movies ever. Thank you for putting this interesting list together!

Unknown said...

Yes, I've seen many of these. But my fav's? The Boy Who Could Fly, Little Man Tate, and Nell. With Nell probably being my ALL TIME favorite.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Well, the "Wapner" fit was SO FUNNY on tv, but it isn't anywhere near that in real life...

I agree about the tricks, Attila. Mine haven't learned any really good ones yet.

kc bob said...

It doesn't get much better than Rain Man. I loved Hoffman's performance but I really loved Cruise's portrayal of a self-centered egotist who fell in love with the brother he never knew.. a simply glorious transformation.

Phil Plasma said...

Of those listed I've seen Rain Man, Being There and Forrest Gump. All of them were well made movies that I really enjoyed.

Susan said...

I've always loved Forrest Gump. Probably my favorite movie. But I never thought of him as being autistic. It makes sense though. I was always so endeared to him. Perhaps I was supposed to have that as my favorite movie to prepare me...

Maggie May said...

Anonymous (1) was talking about "The Hidden Prince" I think. A drama on TV about the son of George V who lived a life in exile because he seemed to me to be autistic. I think they called him retarded then. He had no stimulation at all & obviously was very frustrated.It was an excellent drama on BBC1.
I enjoyed Forest Gump, too.

Cyndi said...

Casdok, have you seen this video? http://youtube.com/watch?v=inRak4jGgmE&feature=user
You probably have but I just wanted to share it with you in case you haven't! Yes, I'm still a newbie but learning more every day! :) Cyndi

Leigh Russell said...

Hi there,
I write crime fiction and am working on a new series for children which features a group of children, one of whom is a high functioning autistic boy, (Aspergers). It's with my publisher at the moment. When I get any news, I'll let you know about it. Perhaps you could visit my blog so I can find you again. I tend to hop about and don't always remember where I've been (in the real world as well as the virtual one!)

Bart Treuren said...

thanks for this overview... if anybody with half a brain took notice of the real issues involved, they would see that autism is totally different to the social preconceptions that are available...

read "to kill a mockingbird" many times, have seen the film only once... forrest gump is one of my favourites of all time...

keep well...

Unknown said...

Rose Red, a movie based on Stephen King's book. I really enjoyed Miracle Run, gives me hope for my boys.

david mcmahon said...

What a great compilation. Hoffman was brilliant in Rain Man.

Julie L. said...

Rain Man is OK. It's the first film I saw about autism as well. Later, I realized it mislead me in terms of how complex and diverse autism is. I remember hearing a some high school reports inspired by the film as a seventeen year old, but they were all about autistic savants.

Loved Forest Gump. Still do.

Patti said...

I loved "Rain Man" and "Forrest Gump"

I don't think I've seen any of the others

Patti said...

Woops, I also liked "To Kill a Mockingbird" -

whimsical brainpan said...

I have seen quite a few of these (and Cube is one of my favorite movies). I'll have to check the rest out.

Vi said...

I had no idea there were so many films about autism! I've only seen a handful of them, if that.

geosaru said...

Of these, I've only seen Rain Man, Forrest Gump, Snowcake, Mozart & the Whale, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Autism: The Musical. I remember connecting especially with Rain Man when I was about 13. I was doubting my diagnosis at that time, even though in retrospect it's totally obvious (I think my doubting had to do with the way my counselor was making me feel like it was my fault for being bullied because I'm weird).

When I watched the movie, I thought, "that's exactly like me" (well, not exactly - I'm no savant, and I'm a different person from fiction - obviously). But at the time it was a real eye opener, and I remember at the times when the doctors would make assumptions about Raymond (e.g. that he didn't know the difference between his brother and the institution), I remember screaming in my head "No! Don't assume that!" because I know that when I'm given a choice through words, that I often do the same thing he did, and it doesn't mean I can't differentiate between the two things. I was also touched by his brother's transformation, especially since one of my sisters treated me roughly for being "weird", and I felt like there was hope that she'd someday understand if a jerk like Charlie could change.

We have Silent Fall on VHS, but at present I'm not sure how to work the set-up where the VCR is connected. (One thing nice about DVDs and computers is that you can simply insert the DVD, without having to connect a bunch of wires where I can barely see anything anyway.)

Autism: the Musical was good, and I was glad to see autistic children get to interact with each other (something which I only had chance to do in the sp.ed. resource room mostly, until high school, where I know a few people on the spectrum). It was cool to see Neal use the typing to communicate (It was an AlphaSmart that could talk, and an AlphaSmart is what I use to type things when speech becomes impossible, though I am yet to have one speak.)

I look forward to seeing as many of the items of this list as conceiveable, and also to the "Loving Lamposts" Documentary coming out. It seems like it'll be good, and is just the kind of documentary I've been hoping for lo these many years.

monsoon dreams said...

there is a wonderful movie in hindi about a dyslexic kid.the name of movie is 'taare zameen par",meaning stars on earth.you must watch it if u get a chance.this is the link to a song from the movie,the kid crying that even his mom doesnt understand him.

Larry Arnold PhD FRSA said...

Joe egg has bugger all to do with autism, what are you thinking about??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Dr.John said...

I never thought of any of the films that I saw on the list in terms of autism but now that I think about it it was there all along. Reading your blog has pushed up my awarness.

Cath said...

I love Dustin Hoffman. And Forrest Gump was a brilliant movie. I love Tom Hanks too. :)

Suzy said...

I must have seen Little Man Tate
20 times...LOVED the movie.

Love to you and C


Billie Wages said...

Thanks for the list, Casdok. More and more for me to absorb here.

Have seen over and over:
To Kill a Mockingbird
Forrest Gump
Rain Man

Now have a list from which to choose more! Great for when I can see and hear good.

Ragdoll Billie on the Road to Remission
...and Life Goes On, One Day...">

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

This was a brilliant compilation. When RainMan came out, that was my first exposure to it.

Melissa said...

I love "To Kill a Mocking Bird" It is my favorite book.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this babe! I think I am ready to watch some of these now. I tried to watch Rainman and it hit too close to home, as did Mercury Rising.

But Black Balloon sounds fantastic!

christie>3 said...

There is a boy at my school who is autistic. I am trying to get to know him better and be kind to him. He seems lonely, but nice. I just don't think people understand him. My mom is going to have me watch Autism the Musical on HBO. I think that will help me understand better. My uncle had hydrocephelus, and he was hard to understand, but he had such a kind heart. People often misjuged him. Just because he couldn't talk very well. I hated that.
Thanks for the list of movies.

Maddy said...

That's quite a list you have there. I think my movie visits fizzled out a few years back so I really ought to get a grip with renting DVD's instead.

Blair said...

The Boy Who Could Fly... gosh! That was one of my most favorite movies growing up. Haha! What is most interesting to me about this post is that I had no idea many of these movies were about autism. At least not before Rainman...maybe it was because I was older and understood more, but now you have me wanting to go back and re-watch many of these films. Thanks for this post!

Phil said...

That's quite a list and they're all excellent films. I don't know if I have a favorite film with meaning. There are so many.

LAA and Family said...

Thanks for the list! Interesting how the number of movies per year increases. I saw Rainman back when it first came out, but have seen it with different eyes in the last 8 years.

Anonymous said...

It's ironic that the children on my bus used to call me "Forrest Gump."

Shelly said...

My autistic nephew is sixteen, he was diagnosed when he was about two. When people couldn't grasp what was wrong with him all I would have to say was "think Rain Man" and it gave them a way to understand. I am thankful for that film. Thanks for this list, I will definitely try to watch them...we all need more tools to understand what's happening with our loved ones.

DJ Kirkby said...

I don't watch a lot of films as they are a bit to loud and overwhelming but I loved Rain man and i owuld like to see Snowcake.

Anonymous said...

Great list!

Anonymous said...

I just saw "War Games" again for the first time in a very, very long time. One of the computer guys is pretty obviously Aspergian. The movie itself is not about autism, but it does have that Asbergian character in it.

I'd forgotten about some of these! Thanks for the list.

anniemcq said...

To Kill A Mockingbird and Autism: The Musical are two of my faves.

Anonymous said...

The Boy who could Fly was so sad...I loved Rain Man. But a film that has a lot of meaning to me was the french film Betty Blue from the 80s. Reminds me of when I was young and carefree.

Unknown said...

I have seen some of the great movies you have listed.

Great list for those who wants to learn more about autism.


Anonymous said...

2004 "The Miracle Run" with Mary-Louise Parker, she has autistic twins, excellent movie.

My own movie was "Mr. Holland's Opus" because my son is deaf and so many scenes with the Mom parallel my own life!

LAA and Family said...

Anonymous from April 8, the movie I believe you are talking about is "The Lost Prince," about George V's son John. He was said to have epilepsy but when I watched it one of my first thoughts was "that would be called autism nowadays." Masterpiece Theatre's site about the movie says he has "learning difficulties akin to autism."

This movie really struck me because I saw it not long after my son was diagnosed and because the actor who played John as a child looked like my son. It's a good movie, but a heartbreaking story. It makes me glad that we are dealing with autism now and not in a previous time.

Anonymous said...

You may want to add to your list:
32 Short Films About Glenn Gould

Unbelievable person, beautiful film. :) Thanks for your list! I'm going to start a collection now...

Snowcake must be my favourite on your list.

quin browne said...

to kill a mockingbird is the book and film i based my moral code on.

to be diagnosed with asperger's as an adult seems ironic, to me...

Suzanne said...

I really enjoyed Nell and Gilbert Grape. How about the animated "The Point" (harry nilsson, ringo starr)... not exactly autism, but the boy was banished for being different.
A personal favorite is A Child Is Waiting (1963)
Jean Hansen(Judy Garland) comes to a school for disabled children to work there as a teacher. She becomes especially interested in young Reuben, an autistic boy whose parents have not visited him for several years. But the school principal, Dr. Clark(Burt Lancaster) does not appreciate her keen interest.
Hard to find, but a brilliant film!

River said...

That's a pretty long list. I've only seen 9 of them.

Bonnie sayers said...

I like the list compilation. Reminds me I have under the piano and never viewed it. I have reviewed some of the others as well like David's Mother, Backstreet Dreams and Silent Fall.

Beastinblack said...

Forrest Gump didnt have Autism, he just had a low IQ. Rainman was over-acted, but then I guess it had to be. I am on the autistic spectrum. Please be aware IQ and autism are totally seperate things. People dont believe me when I tell them about my condition because 'I dont act like Rainman'.

tracey (aka rainbowmummy) said...

You should add a star for the ones you recommened, man there is so many! Did you link snow cake to You tube? Sorry I'll check, lol. Nope, you should!! And Magnificent 7, see link in my side bar.

Geez, I have hardly seen any. Right You grab the pop corn, I'll set up the dvd x

Casdok said...

Have added Magnificat 7 - thank you!

There are a lot arnt there! I havent seen them all so couldnt really recommend any. But would be happy to hear your recommendations when you have watched them all!!

The Metal Messiah said...

I'm writing a capstone paper right now depictions of Autism in cinema. It'll be the last, and longest, paper of my college career. This list has been very helpful. Thank you!

eleanor said...

Metal Messiah,

I'm doing just a small project for school on autism, including public perceptions of autism and autism in popular culture (specifically in books and movies).

If you don't mind sharing what you've found, I'm very interested!

Anonymous said...

Good Day!!! motherofshrek.blogspot.com is one of the best informational websites of its kind. I enjoy reading it every day. I will be back.

Anonymous said...

Hi, thx for the list helped a lot.

Anonymous said...

I also love August Rush, which is not on your list, but I see the qualities loud and clear. Love the list.

FlyAway said...

Please also consider our feature film, FLY AWAY. An indie fiction feature which premiered in the prestigious SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST Film Festival in Austin, TX in March, 2011, and opened to rave reviews from NY TIMES, LA TIMES, HUFFINGTON POST, VARIETY and HOLLYWOOD REPORTER amongst others, in April 2011 in US and Canada.

FLY AWAY is the first narrative feature about raising a child with autism to be written and directed by the parent of one. It tells the story of a single mother of a teenager with severe autism confronting her child's adult future...What will sustain her daughter, as well as herself?

View the 2 min trailer and read about it at: www.flyawaymovie.com


Goerge Artiyono said...

May I know the movie related to autism which is specific in linguistic skill?