Second best (1994)

Second, best is a touching and moving masterpiece directed by Chris Menges. The plot reminded me of another great British movie – “Dear Frankie. “I guess it is that father–son relationship that makes movies like these two so special. The loyalty of the son, both in the characters of Jimmy, played by Nathan Yapp and Graham Holt (William Hurt), is touching, and I am not ashamed to admit that there were moments of this movie that truly brought tears to my eyes.

One other reviewer wrote:

“Chris Cleary Miles’ apparently initial screen performance as the troubled youth is nearly amazing.”

And I couldn’t agree more with that – the acting of Chris Cleary Miles, William Hurt and for that matter, all the other actors in this movie is first class – their gestures, the words they say, the way they say them – you have to watch it to experience the movie – because that is what you are going to get an unforgettable experience.

The flashbacks moments (the memories of the little Jimmy) were very carefully chosen, and I felt really weird watching them, knowing that there is something more hidden there. This feeling stayed with me until the final scenes in which these flashbacks became more revealing …

They’re also a lot of symbolism in Second Best –the scene in which the boy looks at the man who wants to adopt him through a broken window is just one example, and if you watch it more than once, you will surely notice many other symbols – the letter, the scars … etc.

You couldn’t watch the movie without noticing how much the music contributes to it – piano or guitars. It fits the scenes really well – making the emotional impact on the viewer’s powerful and overwhelming.

Second Best (1994)

105 min|Drama|30 Sep 1994
6.9Rating: 6.9 / 10 from 1,655 usersMetascore: N/A
Graham, a lonely Welsh postal worker, adopts James, a troubled ten-year-old boy. Graham always wanted a son, but James loves his biological father too much to give Graham a chance. Will the two be able to accept each other as family?
Blogger, cyclist , entrepreneur , music lover and film critic.


  1. I still can’t believe this classic has not been preserved to DVD. William and Chris put on a very good performance, and its a shame this film will be lost to a generation.

  2. Hey – just wanted to say that I like the random posts-section. There always is a chance to encounter things you have not seen / noticed before. Just as in this case. ;-)

    What an interesting film ! Thinking of it, it already has been some time since I watched it. 4 or 5 years, even ? Unfortunately, I have this film only on VHS, I bought it on Ebay back in the days (US-version).

    Any chance there has been a DVD-release in due time… ? Since I already abandoned my VHS-player…^^

    Greetings, Ikarus


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