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5.0 2
Director: Stephen Frears

Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia


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Stephen Frears' Hero is a contemporary re-working of a Frank Capra-styled fable about a two-bit criminal named Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) who saves several passengers from a plane crash and leaves the scene without being identified, leaving only a lost shoe for identification. One of the passengers happens to be news-reporter Gale (Geena Davis) who is intent on


Stephen Frears' Hero is a contemporary re-working of a Frank Capra-styled fable about a two-bit criminal named Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) who saves several passengers from a plane crash and leaves the scene without being identified, leaving only a lost shoe for identification. One of the passengers happens to be news-reporter Gale (Geena Davis) who is intent on finding her savior, and offers a million dollars to the "hero" of the crashed flight. Bernie has since given his remaining shoe to a homeless man named John (Andy Garcia) who decides to cash in on the offer. A handsome, charming man, John wins the hearts of the entire city. Soon, Bernie realizes that he's been cheated out of a million dollars, and he begins an effort to get his proper recognition--and his money.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Stephen Frears' fusion of Capra fantasy and Sturges satire is often as sharply hilarious as its models, but veers off the track with an inflated finish. Dustin Hoffman stars as a petty thief who pulls 54 people out of a downed plane, but must allow an attractive homeless man (Andy Garcia) to accept the hefty reward, due to his understandable need to "keep a low profile." The film sets up the grimy reality of the character's life, playing it humorously off his nearly paranoid delusions, while establishing his love for his wife and child. It rolls along beautifully in this mode until the plot forces him to make a bid to get the reward money that he thinks would solve his problems. Instead of wrapping this up quickly (like Sturges et al.), the filmmakers drag out the ending with a fulsomely operatic coda awash in sentimentality. Its Capraesque ending is out of tune with this dark, decidedly non-Capra character. Yet the script is rarely less than smart and entertaining, satirically noting heroism's easy association with looks and charm in a media-saturated age. Until his final few scenes, which he stretches out interminably, Hoffman gives a brilliant performance in the kind of "little man" role that has become his specialty. Andy Garcia is appropriately charismatic as the public's hero, and Geena Davis gives a wonderfully nuanced performance as a tough reporter with a soft heart.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Full Frame]

Special Features

Interactive Menus; Theatrical Trailers ; Scene Selections

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dustin Hoffman Bernie Laplante
Geena Davis Gale Gayley
Andy García John Bubber
Joan Cusack Evelyn
Kevin J. O'Connor Chucky
Maury Chaykin Winston
Stephen Tobolowsky Wallace
Christian Clemenson Conklin
Tom Arnold Chick
James Madio Joey
Fisher Stevens Actor
Darryl David Tough Prisoner
D'Angelo Ferreri Child in Hospital
Howard Feuer Actor
Terry Muller Tough Prisoner
Janis Paige Actor
Margery Ross Barbara Bush Look-A-Like
Juliet Taylor Actor
Warren Berlinger Judge Goines
Cady Huffman Flight Attendant Leslie
Susie Cusack Donna O'Day
Richard Riehle Robinson
Daniel Baldwin Fireman Denton
Don Yesso Elliott
Don Pugsley Jury Foreman
Lee Wilkof Prosecutor
Steven Elkins 1st Bailiff
Leslie Jordan Court Official
Raymond Fitzpatrick 2nd Bailiff
Bobbi Collins Mendoza
Ricardo Salinas Mendoza's Friend
Herbert Siguenza Espinosa
Don S. Davis Probation Officer
Darrell Larson Flight Attendant Freddy
Harry Northrup Mr. Fletcher
Jordan Bond Richie Fletcher
Eric Poppick Mr. Smith
Julia Barry Kelly
Marnie Mosiman Susan
William Duff-Griffin Mr. Brown
Peggy Roeder Bag Lady on TV
Katrina Cerio Makeup Artist
Kevin Jackson Inspector Dayton
Don Gazzaniga Fire Captain
Lance Kinsey Paramedic
Michael Talbott State Police Officer
John Ackerman Bag Man
Paul Hewitt Parker
Shirley Pierce Anchorwoman-Channel 4
Sam Derence Reporter-Channel 8
Rick Plastina Reporter-Channel 13
Martin Schienle Allen in Coma
Jeff Garlin News Vendor
John Mohrlein Fighter Wannabee
Tony Fitzpatrick Fighter Wannabee
Vito D'Ambrosio Another Wannabee
Jay Leggett Mud Face Wannabee
Dev Kennedy Tall Wannabee
James Alfred Whitaker Tough Prisoner
Collins Williams Daniels Rasta Prisoner
I.M. Hobson Waiter/Captain
William Newman Millionaire
Clea Lewis Sylvia
C. John Merrill Street Kid
Lynn Oddo Buxom Woman
Milton L. Cobb Vietnam Vet
Robert Pabst Vietnam Vet
Rom Milanovich Guard at Jail
Cordis Heard Nurse Roberts
Mandy Duncan Teen in Hospital
Gerardo Murillo-Carr Teen in Hospital
Robert Munns Doctor
Tamar Teufenkjian Child in Hospital
Jose Reyes Child in Hospital
Michael Mullen Child in Hospital
Kody Cullum Child in Hospital
Heidi McNeal Teenage Girl at Hospital
Michael O'Dwyer Cop at Hospital
Ed Scheibner Donna's Boyfriend
James Callahan Police Chief
D. David Morin Fireman on Ledge
Dan Healy George Bush Lookalike
Edward Herrmann Actor
Jeff Klein Street Kid
Barney Martin Actor
Richard Montoya Vargas
Marita Geraghty Joan
John M. Watson African-American Wannabee
Henry Brown Hospital Guard

Technical Credits
Stephen Frears Director
Mick Audsley Editor
Billy Bates Stunts
Kenny Bates Stunts
Christine Baur Stunts
Simone Boisseree Stunts
Hank Calia Stunts
Joseph M. Caracciolo Executive Producer
Michael Carr Stunts
Tony Cecere Stunts
Doug Coleman Stunts
Gina B. Cranham Set Decoration/Design
Louis D'Esposito Asst. Director
Eric Edson Screenwriter
Donna Evans Stunts
George Fenton Score Composer
Howard Feuer Casting
Dennis Gassner Production Designer
Mickey Gilbert Stunts
Troy M. Gilbert Stunts
John Gillespie Stunts
Nancy Haigh Set Decoration/Design
Gene Hartline Stunts
Richard Hornung Costumes/Costume Designer
Lawrence Hubbs Set Decoration/Design
Jimmy Lewis Stunts
Dennis Madalone Stunts
Steve Maslow Sound/Sound Designer
Leslie McDonald Art Director
David Peoples Screenwriter
Ray Saniger Stunts
Alvin Sargent Screenwriter
Keith Shartle Special Effects
Christina Smith Makeup
Oliver Stapleton Cinematographer
Juliet Taylor Casting
Monty Westmore Makeup
Laura Ziskin Producer,Screenwriter


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Hero 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dustin Hoffman, in order to play such a complicated part, must have somehow understood very well what the plight of the homeless was. He portrayed what many ex-Vietnam veterans must have felt when they returned home to a country who was hostile about the war not the military. There were enough clues in this film to speak to the hearts of all Americans as to what it means to be a REAL hero, to come back to a country after defending it. Hence, we have Dustin Hoffman playing LaPlante. Geena Davis and Dave Garcia were spectacular in their performances. This movie comes at a time when our soldiers in Iraq are heading for the same experience that Dustin Hoffman is emulating. Cynical, hopeless, and lacking trust because they were led into a conflict that has no plan to end it. My husband's a veteran and he ran into some veterans who seem to run into the same negative experience. The bottom line for this film is having human compassion for your fellow citizen whether you are fortunate or misfortunate, and acknowledge the people who have gone out of their way to help others without a second thought. These are the heroes of our time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though often overlooked, this movie's one of the best of the 90's. Hilarious, unpretentious, with great dialogue and an interesting message, the don't get much better. Dustin Hoffman's performance is as usual wonderful, as is Andy Garcia's and Joan Cusack's. Together, they make up for Geena Davis' lackluster performance. A wonderful movie.