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Deaf: Major Films  
TitleDead Silence (1997)
Alternative/Original Title
DisabilityDeaf Asthma
CountryUSA
Length99
GenreThriller
Rating2
DirectorDaniel Petrie, Jr.
CastJames Garner Kim Coates Lolita Davidovich Marlee Matlin Charles Martin Smith James Villemaire Ken Welsh
NotesA busload of deaf children is taken hostage by three escaped prisoners. A welcome return for Marlee Matlin but this is basically a thriller and one that pulls out all the stops. The three escaped convicts take the busload of deaf children with their deaf teacher and an interpreter hostage. Pursued by the police they take refuge in an old factory. The FBI is called in, represented by James Garner, well past retirement age. He's old enough to know it all and is in conflict with the younger FBI agents. Against the protests of Garner the District Attorney brings in the State Police. With political correctness Garner's second in command is black but isn't given much dialogue. Likewise Marlee Matlin is shown at one of the factory windows communicating to them with sign language but this advantage is lost in a number of plot twists. Strangely near the end when everyone is released and the surviving prisoners caught (one is killed by another) Matlin who has played a minor role is kept 'on hand' so in the final twist she can be 'a woman under threat'. One of the children has asthma.

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