7.6/10
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455 user 122 critic

I Am Sam (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 January 2002 (USA)
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2:24 | Trailer
A mentally handicapped man fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter and in the process teaches his cold-hearted lawyer the value of love and family.

Director:

Jessie Nelson
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Popularity
3,580 ( 117)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Sam Dawson
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Rita
Dakota Fanning ... Lucy
Dianne Wiest ... Annie
Loretta Devine ... Margaret Calgrove
Richard Schiff ... Turner
Laura Dern ... Randy Carpenter
Brad Silverman Brad Silverman ... Brad (as Brad Allan Silverman)
Joseph Rosenberg Joseph Rosenberg ... Joe
Stanley DeSantis ... Robert
Doug Hutchison ... Ifty
Rosalind Chao ... Lily
Ken Jenkins ... Judge McNeily
Wendy Phillips ... Miss Wright
Mason Lucero ... Conner Rhodes
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Storyline

Sam Dawson has the mental capacity of a 7-year-old. He works at a Starbucks and is obsessed with the Beatles. He has a daughter with a homeless woman; she abandons them as soon as they leave the hospital. He names his daughter Lucy Diamond (after the Beatles song) and raises her. But as she reaches age 7 herself, Sam's limitations start to become a problem at school; she's intentionally holding back to avoid looking smarter than him. The authorities take her away and Sam shames high-priced lawyer Rita Harrison into taking his case pro bono. In the process, he teaches her a great deal about love and whether it's really all you need. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

love is all you need

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 January 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Am Sam See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$41,779, 30 December 2001

Gross USA:

$40,311,852

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$97,818,139
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dakota Fanning's character is named Lucy Diamond from The Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." Michelle Pfeiffer's character's name is Rita Harrison, from the song "Lovely Rita," and the last name of Beatles member George Harrison. Sam, Lucy, and Sam's friends walking across the street with the balloons is a tribute to the case cover of "Abbey Road." Sean Penn wanted the soundtrack to be all Beatles music but was unable to get the rights, so he asked various artists to cover the Beatles songs he wanted to use. And in order for the re-recorded music to fit into the movie, each of the artists had to use the same tempo as the original Beatles songs. See more »

Goofs

In the very beginning shot, when Sam is sorting sugar packets in the holders, he puts the brown "raw sugar" packets in front. When he is shown setting the holders on the tables, the brown packets are in the middle. See more »

Quotes

Joe: Do we get a balloon with these?
Shoe Salesman: ...Yeah
Robert: All of us or just her?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vengeance Is Mine: Reinventing 'Man on Fire' (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Strawberry Fields Forever
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Performed by Ben Harper
Ben Harper appears courtesy of Virgin Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Very well done, especially Penn and Fanning
4 August 2005 | by vchimpanzeeSee all my reviews

In 'Rain Man', Dustin Hoffman gave the best portrayal I have ever seen of a mentally disturbed person, but Sean Penn came very close here. He was quite convincing but somewhat funnier. With Hoffman, I never quite knew when he was supposed to be funny, but with Penn there were many funny moments that I felt okay about laughing at. And I just had to like the character.

I've heard so many good things about Dakota Fanning, and now I see for myself. She's great.

The actors playing Sam's friends also seemed very convincing, one in particular. I didn't catch his name, but he wore glasses and I think he must have really been mentally disabled. The others could have been but might just have been acting.

MIchelle Pfeiffer was very good also, and gorgeous. And Richard Schiff was likable as the lawyer on the other side of Sam's case. In fact, I didn't see those who were against Sam as evil. They just had Lucy's best interests in mind. But I wanted Sam to win.

While it is true this may have been done before, I think this movie offered unique twists and qualities other movies didn't have, and the performances were very good.


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