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Silence of the Heart

Silence of the Heart is a 1984 American made-for-television drama film starring Charlie Sheen, Chad Lowe, Mariette Hartley, Dana Hill, Howard Hesseman and Silvana Gallardo, directed by Richard Michaels and written by Phil Penningroth.[1]

Silence of the Heart
DVD cover of the movie Silence of the Heart.jpg
DVD cover
Written byPhil Penningroth
Directed byRichard Michaels
StarringMariette Hartley
Dana Hill
Howard Hesseman
Chad Lowe
Charlie Sheen
Music byGeorges Delerue
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Jon Avnet
Steve Tisch
Producer(s)James O'Fallon
David A. Simons
Production location(s)Monrovia High School - 845 W. Colorado Boulevard, Monrovia, California
CinematographyIsidore Mankofsky
Editor(s)Peter E. Berger
Running time100 minutes
Production company(s)David A. Simons Productions
Tisch/Avnet Productions Inc.
DistributorWarner Bros. Television
Original networkCBS
Picture formatColor
Audio formatMono
Original release
  • October 30, 1984 (1984-10-30)

The film was considered groundbreaking for the time period and heralded a coming trend of films that dealt with teenage suicide, a topic previously not discussed in family film,[2][3] with an emphasis on the surviving family of a teenager who commits suicide.[4]


Skip Lewis (Chad Lowe) is a 17-year-old boy who has been having academic problems. A girl named Andrea, whom he has been pursuing, has told him that she has no interest in him. He tries to talk to his parents (Mariette Hartley & Howard Hesseman) about this but can't bring himself to, thinking that they won't understand. He commits suicide by driving his car over a cliff onto rocks. Now, his parents are in denial saying that his death was an accident. However, his best friend, Ken Cruze (Charlie Sheen) who was the last person he saw before his death, was told by Skip that he was considering killing himself and is feeling guilty that he didn't try to stop him. Skip's sister Cindy (Dana Hill) tries to bring her family out of denial so they can heal.

Partial castEdit

Critical receptionEdit

The New York Times wrote "In any television project of this sort, the dramatization elements tend to be shaped by requirements usually associated with a how-to manual. This is the problem, we are told, and this is the way to cope with it. Experts are recruited. (Silence of the Heart lists Charlotte Ross, director of the Suicide Prevention and Crisis Center of California's San Mateo County, as technical adviser.) Not infrequently, dramatic clout gets lost in the authenticity shuffle. Fortunately, this is not the case with Silence of the Heart, a David A. Simons Production made in association with Tisch/Avnet Productions. Steve Tisch and Jon Avnet, the executive producers, have been steadily compiling an impressive television record since the release of their film Risky Business and this production gives them still another solid credit. Phil Penningroth's script and Richard Michaels's direction are effectively restrained, avoiding unnecessary melodrama. (The use of a volume of Sylvia Plath's poetry is a trifle pat bud not entirely out of order.)"[citation needed]


  1. ^ O'Connor, John J. (October 30, 1984). "'Silence of the Heart', teen-age suicide". The New York Times. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
  2. ^ "Television". 104. Newsweek. August 27, 1984: 114. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Knight, Ken (2008). The Midnight Show: Late Night Cable-TV "Guy-Flicks" of the 80's. A credit to her craft: An interview with Silvana Gallardo: AuthorHouse. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-4343-4148-8.
  4. ^ Farber, Stephen (October 11, 1984). "3 TV films on suicide by youths". The New York Times. Retrieved August 4, 2011.

External linksEdit