Simon Birch

September 11th, 1998


more trailers Simon Birch

A young boy with stunted growth is convinced that God has a great purpose for him.

Release Year: 1998

Rating: 6.7/10 (12,891 voted)

Critic's Score: 39/100

Director: Mark Steven Johnson

Stars: Ian Michael Smith, Joseph Mazzello, Ashley Judd

Simon Birch tells the story of Joe and Simon's heart-warming journey of friendship. Simon Birch was born with a condition that makes him much smaller than all the other kids in town. Now, due to his condition, Simon thinks God made him this way for a reason and highly believes in God. Together, Joe and Simon go on a journey of trust and friendship to find the answers to many things. Their friendship is put to the test when some unfortunate events happen.

Writers: Mark Steven Johnson, John Irving

Ian Michael Smith - Simon Birch
Joseph Mazzello - Joe Wenteworth
Ashley Judd - Rebecca Wenteworth
Oliver Platt - Ben Goodrich
David Strathairn - Rev. Russell
Dana Ivey - Grandmother Wenteworth
Beatrice Winde - Hilde Grove
Jan Hooks - Miss Leavey
Cecilley Carroll - Marjorie
Sumela Kay - Ann (as Sumela-Rose Keramidopulos)
Sam Morton - Stuart
Jim Carrey - Adult Joe Wenteworth
John Mazzello - Simon Wenteworth
Holly Dennison - Mrs. Birch
Peter MacNeill - Mr. Birch

Taglines: Destiny has big plans for little Simon Birch.

Release Date: 11 September 1998

Filming Locations: Elora, Ontario, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $30,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $3,321,370 (USA) (13 September 1998) (596 Screens)

Gross: $18,252,684 (USA) (27 December 1998)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Sandra Bullock was, at one point, considered for the part of Rebecca Wenteworth.

Continuity: As the bus heads down the hill towards the lake we see Simon with his glasses on - then there is a close-up of him without his glasses, then as the bus hits the water he's wearing them again and they fly off and hit the floor.

Simon: I said, what does coffee and donuts have to do with God?
Rev. Russell: They're merely refreshments so people can socialize and talk about up coming events.
Simon: Who ever said church needs a continental breakfast?

User Review

A fluid, graceful success-- enjoyable and uplifting

Rating: 10/10

Fantastic movie! I had avoided this one in the theaters last Fall because of the theme. Consider this movie in light of the other "suffering child" movie that came out around the same time, "Patch Adams." Bless those "Patch" folks, they really tried, but that movie was dense, depressing, and the characters were tedious if implausible. "Simon Birch," however, succeeded in every sense. It evoked the late 1950's and early 1960's very well. Not just the look of an American small town, but the vibe of the folks, especially the adults, rang very true for me (I was there, same age as the Joe character). The movie itself was wonderful to look at, and easy to lose one's self within.

The other key aspect of the movie was title character, Simon. When I first saw the previews for this, I thought that it could be good, but it could also be awkward and painful to watch. There is a place for painful and awkward movies, I suppose, but most often I choose to avoid them. When I rented the DVD of "Simon Birch," I was willing to watch, but was still expecting it to be somewhat of an ordeal, like taking bitter medicine. I was so surprised! It does convey the considerable pain of the characters' circumstances, yet it is also a story that is fluid with grace and tremendous joy. I was touched, and I was also happy and uplifted. The entire cast was stellar, especially the young boys who played Simon and Joe. Everyone was awesome. What an accomplishment! I gave it a 10.