Best Boy (film)

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Best Boy
Directed by Ira Wohl
Written by Ira Wohl
Cinematography Tom McDonough
Distributed by International Film Exchange
Release date
1979 (1979)
Running time
110 minutes
Country United States

Best Boy is a 1979 documentary made by Ira Wohl. The film received critical acclaim, and won many awards including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1979.[1]

The film follows Ira's mentally handicapped cousin, Philly Wohl, who at that time was 52 years old and still living with his elderly parents. Ira forces his aunt and uncle to realize that they will not be around to care for Philly forever, and that they must start making preparations for when that time should come. Philly then begins to attend classes in New York City to learn how to take care of himself and become independent.

Philly's father, Max Wohl, dies during the course of the film. His mother, Pearl, died in 1980. Philly is now an octogenarian, and he lives in a group home where he has learned to basically take care of himself. Zero Mostel died in 1977 and the film was dedicated to his memory.

A sequel entitled Best Man: 'Best Boy' and All of Us, 20 Years Later, was produced in 1997. Following the sequel, in 2006, Ira made 'Best Sister' which rounded off the trilogy by looking at the effect Philly's sister had on his current life.


  1. ^ "NY Times: Best Boy". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 

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