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Turtle Diary (1985)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  14 February 1986 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 604 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 16 critic

Two separate people, a man and a woman, find something very stirring about the sea turtles in their tank at the London Zoo. They meet and form an odd, but sympathetic camaraderie as they ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Mr. Johnson (Neaera's neighbor)
...
Rosemary Leach ...
Eleanor Bron ...
...
...
...
Michael Aldridge ...
Mr. Meager, Bookstore Owner
Rom Anderson ...
Girl at Zoo
Tony Melody ...
Garage Attendant with Bucket
Gary Olsen ...
Lorry Driver at Rest Park
...
Harold Pinter ...
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Storyline

Two separate people, a man and a woman, find something very stirring about the sea turtles in their tank at the London Zoo. They meet and form an odd, but sympathetic camaraderie as they plan to steal two of the turtles and free them into the ocean. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

14 February 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Diario de tortugas  »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,156,772 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was made and released about ten years after its source novel of the same name by Russell Hoban had been first published in 1975. See more »

Quotes

Neaera Duncan: What do you do, exactly?
Mr. Johnson: Top secret.
See more »

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User Reviews

A joy to watch unfold; a rare treasure that is worth the wait
23 February 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a film that takes its time to get where it's going, and you should savor every minute of it while it gets there. Nothing monumental happens in it, but it's a joy to watch the story unfold. As a shy and reclusive writer, Glenda Jackson watches the giant sea turtles swim around in their restrictive and small enclosure wishing she could set them free. Ben Kingsley is a shy and nervous book store owner who wishes he could do the same. These two eventually get together and plot to release them back into the wild, with the help of the turtle's keeper.

Watching these two consummate actors twitch, stare and fume through their roles is part of the charm of the film; there is obviously some mental condition that Jackson's character is suffering from, but we never get a clear idea of what it is. She was at one time was a successful author but seems not to be able to write anymore. Her mind is in some way cornered within a small space trying to break free, in a way that makes her relate to the plight of the turtles. Romance does figure in the film in a major way, but not between the two leads; this is also part of the film's allure. It is wonderful to see Richard Johnson doing even a small acting role; he's delightful as Jackson's neighbor. Kingsley's rooming house occupants are also a varied crew, and his battles with them form the more comic parts of the film.

In the end, this is a quiet, intelligent film about people with problems who struggle to overcome them and help several turtles at the same time. There are no explosions, no running gun battles, no catchphrases. What it does have is a great story and actors, wonderful music, and a marvelous aura to it that is ultimately more memorable than those blockbuster films. I highly recommend it.


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