GenreDrama, Romance CinematographyFred Koenekamp WriterDouglas Day Stewart LanguageEnglish
Release dateMay 5, 1989 CastKirk Cameron (Tucker Muldowney), Jami Gertz, Roy Scheider, Amanda Peterson (Donna Lumis), Tim Quill, Christopher Atkins (Bruce Arlington) Similar moviesAmanda Peterson and Christopher Atkins appear in Listen to Me and Fatal Charm
TaglineIt's about real life.
Listen to me 1989
Listen to Me is a 1989 American drama film written and directed by Douglas Day Stewart. Released on May 5, 1989, it stars Kirk Cameron, Jami Gertz, and Roy Scheider. The film was largely shot on location in Malibu, California, including the campus of Pepperdine University.
Listen to Me centers around a group of college students who are members of the debate team at fictional Kenmont College. The two main characters, Tucker Muldowney (Cameron) and Monica Tomanski (Gertz), come from underprivileged backgrounds, having won scholarships to Kenmont for displaying exceptional talent for debating. Both students are taken under the wing of the debate team coach, Charlie Nichols (Scheider), who was a star debater in his youth.
The team eventually wins a chance to debate the issue of abortion in front of the Supreme Court. Along the way, the students learn lessons about life, love, friendship, and politics.
Kirk Cameron as Tucker Muldowney
Jami Gertz as Monica Tomanski
Roy Scheider as Charlie Nichols
Amanda Peterson as Donna Lumis
George Wyner as Dean Schwimmer
Anthony Zerbe as Senator McKellar
Quinn Cummings as Susan Hooper
Christopher Atkins as Bruce Arlington
Timothy Dang as Bobby Chin
Peter DeLuise as Cameron Sweet
Jason Gould as Hinkelstein
Yeardley Smith as Cootz
Moon Unit Zappa as Longnecker (Credited as Moon Zappa)
Tom Schanley as Stewart Shields
Dan Schneider as Nathan Gore
Rance Howard as Mr. Tucker
Ron Masak as Mr. Tomanski
Dottie Archibald as Mrs. Tomanski
Tim Quill as Garson McKellar
Jon Shear as Braithwaite (credited as Jon Matthews)
Christopher Rydell as Tom Lloynd
Martin West as Justice Blyleven
Jamie Kantrowitz as Monica's Little Sister
Barbara Pilavin as Monica's Aunt
Francine Selkirk as Monica's Aunt
Sean Stewart as Reform School Boy At Fence
Stephanie Copeland as Kenmore Cheerleader
Jodi Engleman as Kenmore Cheerleader (Credited as Jodi Engelmann)
Francine L. Julius as Kenmore Cheerleader
Alison Morgan as Kenmore Cheerleader
Traci L. Murray as Kenmore Cheerleader
Tammi Urner as Kenmore Cheerleader
Nancy Valen as Mia
Dorrie Krum as Tasha
Dylan Stewart as Chess Player
Julie Dretzin as Sloan
Lynn Fischer as Bobby Chin's Girlfriend
Mark Christopher Lawrence as Attila
Robert A. Chumbrook Jr. as Horny (Credited as Robert A. Chumbook)
Lilyan Chauvin as French Professor
Julie Robb as Fountain Girl (Credited as Julie Simone)
Annette Sinclair as Fountain Girl
Dianne Travis as Garson's Mother (Credited as Dianne Turley Travis)
Anna Lee as Garson's Grandmother
Kenneth Patterson as Garson's Grandfather (Credited as Kenneth G. Patterson)
Thomas Heinkel Miller as Columbia Debate Official
Priscilla Kovary Charlie's Dancing Partner
Richard Lundin as Hansom Cab Driver (Credited as Rick A. Lundin)
Jon Lindstrom as Television Reporter
David Downing as Officer of the Court
Don Galloway as Harvard Coach
Ed Wright as Justice Patterson
R. Norwood Smith as Justice Goodman (Credited as Norwood Smith)
Dave Gilbert as Justice Tarlton
Mary Gregory as Justice Brooderworth
Frank Ferruccio as Alex Corey
Donald Hall as Man in Restaurant
Lara Holmes as College Student
Angel Jager as Student
Michael Joiner as College student
Chillie Mo as Shaun
Tricia Sheldon as Debator
Tracii Show as College Student
Reynaldo Silva as College Student
The film was originally called Mismatch and was meant to star James Garner but he had heart surgery and was replaced by Roy Schneider. Filming started in May 1988.
The film was re-titled Talking Back when released on video in the US.
"It's kind of the flipside of Less Than Zero," said associate producer Chuck Cooperman. "These people are our future leaders. They're just as bright, concerned and just as passionate as anyone."
It was financed by the Weintraub Entertainment Group from Jerry Weintraub.
Kirk Cameron said it "was easy for me to relate to" his character. "To begin with, it's a dramatic part. It's not a film about teenagers with half a brain running around drinking, dancing and partying. The characters are intelligent and responsible. They are genuinely concerned about the world we live in. It's much closer to reality than other teen pictures. It's time to show the other side of my generation, the deeper side."
The film's marketing was going to focus on Kirk Cameron, then at the height of his popularity. However Jerry Weintraub over-rode them and insisted on ads that emphasised the fact the film dealt with a debate about abortion, hoping to stir up controversy. The movie was a flop at the box office. "Fans were neither angered or disturbed, they simply stayed away," wrote the Wall Street Journal.