Simon Birch
Simon Birch poster
Directed by Mark Steven Johnson
Produced by Roger Birnbaum

Laurence Mark


Ian Michael Smith
Joseph Mazzello
Jim Carrey
Ashley Judd
Oliver Platt

Music by Marc Shaiman
Cinematography Aaron E. Schneider
Editing by Amanda Burns
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release September 18, 1998
Running time 114 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30 million
Gross revenue $18,253,415

Simon Birch is a 1998 comedy-drama film loosely based on A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. It was directed and written for the screen by Mark Steven Johnson. The film stars Ian Michael Smith, Joseph Mazzello, Jim Carrey, Ashley Judd, and Oliver Platt. It omitted much of the latter half of the novel and altered the ending. The movie does not share the book's title at Irving's request; he did not believe that this novel could successfully be made into a film. The name "Simon Birch" was suggested by him to replace that of Owen Meany. The main plot centers around 12-year old Joe Wenteworth and his best friend Simon Birch.


  • Ian Michael Smith as Simon Birch
  • Joseph Mazzello as Joe Wenteworth
  • Jim Carrey as Adult Joe / Narrator
  • Ashley Judd as Rebecca Wenteworth
  • Oliver Platt as Ben Goodrich
  • David Strathairn as Reverend Russell
  • Dana Ivey as Grandmother Wenteworth
  • Beatrice Winde as Hilde Grove
  • Jan Hooks as Miss Leavey
  • Cecilley Carroll as Marjorie
  • Sumela-Rose Keramidopulos as Ann
  • Sam Morton as Stuart
  • Holly Dennison as Mrs. Birch
  • Peter MacNeill as Mr. Birch
  • Thomas J. Burns as Simon Birch Stunt Double


The bus crash scene was filmed near Ontario's French River. The film's quarry scenes were shot at Elora, Ontario. The church featured in many parts of the film is in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Its black borders were painted white for the film. At the end of the film when it switches to the future, the borders are black. The baseball scene as well as many indoor scenes were filmed in Glen Williams, Ontario.

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