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Autism in the Movies
This list contains movies that shows actors/actresses doing a reasonable job of portraying a person with autism. It will help you well if you avail of these in video cassettes to enlighten you further re: autism.

However, the majority do not provide an accurate description of the underlying cause of autism and may, in fact, label a person as autistic who, given the circumstances presented, may not be.

If you are aware of any other movies not included on the list, please email us.

Backstreet Dreams ORDER HERE!
Stars: Brooke Shields, Sherilyn Fenn, Tony Fields, Burt Young, Anthony Franciosa
Released: 1990
Director: Hitzig
Length: 104 minutes
A gangster, with apparent mafia connections, winds up taking care of his autistic son. He displays many autistic behaviors, such as social withdrawal, being mute and rocking. A graduate student commits herself to help the child as well as help the father leave the mafia.

Change of Habit ORDER HERE!
Stars: Elvis Presley, Mary Tyler Moore, Jane Ellit, Barbara McNair
Released: 1969
Director: William Graham
Length: 97 minutes
Elvis plays a physician who runs a medical clinic in a poor neighborhood. Three nuns are sent to assist Elvis in his medical practice. A family brings a girl to the clinic for an evaluation and treatment. The girl is diagnosed as having autism because the girl rocks, does not want to be held, and does not respond to sounds. Elvis treats the girl, and she begins to break out of her autism.

House of Cards ORDER HERE!
Stars: Asha Menina, Kathleen Turner, Tommy Lee Jones, Esther Rolle
Released: 1993
Director: Michael Lessac
Length: 107 minutes
A bright, young girl withdraws soon after her father is killed by falling off a cliff. She thinks that by keeping to herself and climbing tall structures, she will reunite with her father who she believes is near the moon. She exhibits many autistic characteristics, such as insistence on sameness, good coordination, lack of social interaction, and no language. At the end of the movie, the mother builds a circular tower which was similar to a tower the child build from cards. The mother climbs the tower with her daughter, and she is cured from her autistic-like state.

Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino
Released: 1988
Director: Barry Levinson
Length: 140 minutes
A car dealer returns to his boyhood home soon after learning about his father's death. His father left a large sum of money to a benefactor, who he later discovers is his autistic brother, Raymond. Raymond was institutionalized soon after his mother's death because of the fear that he might accidentally hurt his younger brother. Raymond has many autistic features, such as perseverations, insistence on sameness, rocking, self-injury, and savant abilities. The film illustrates how the car dealer gets to know his brother and his idiosyncrasies due to autism on a cross-country car trip.

Silence (also known as Crazy Jack and The Boy)
Stars: Will Geer, Ellen Geer, Ian Geer, Richard Kelton
Released: 1974
Director: John Korty
Length: 99 minutes
An autistic child is lost during a camping trip and is befriended by a hermit. The child leaves the hermit's house and is then faced with the dangers of the woods. He is later rescued.

The Boy Who Could Fly ORDER HERE!
Stars: Jay Underwood, Lucy Deakins, Fred Savage, Colleen Dewhurst, Fred Gwyne, Louise Fletcher
Released: 1986
Director: Nick Castle
Length: 114 minutes
A teenager with autism is sent to live with his uncle after his parents die in an airplane crash. The teenager exhibits many features of autism such as social withdrawal, mute, and stereotypic behaviors. A girl who lives in a house next door befriends the teenager. Initially, she becomes his friend, but later she becomes his tutor. After much one-on-one contact, the teenager becomes more aware of other people and starts to show emotions. Because of his uncle's alcohol problem, the teenager is sent to an institution. At the end of the movie, the teenager flew away to avoid being institutionalized.

Mercury Rising (1998) ORDER HERE!

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