MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 884 this week

The Whales of August (1987)

 |  Drama  |  19 August 1987 (France)
7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,922 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 14 critic

Summer people in Maine: things are changing. Whales no longer pass close to the shore as they did during the youth of two elderly widowed sisters who have a seaside home where they've ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 16 Sep 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 09 Dec 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 12 May 2014
 
a list of 48 titles
created 27 Jul 2014
 
a list of 39 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Whales of August (1987)

The Whales of August (1987) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Whales of August.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

A mother/daughter pair of witches descend on a yuppie family's home and cause havoc, one at a time since they share one body & the other must live in a cat the rest of the time. Now it's up... See full summary »

Director: Larry Cohen
Stars: Bette Davis, Barbara Carrera, Colleen Camp
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In a Yorkshire mining town, three educated brothers return to their blue-collar home to celebrate the 40th wedding anniversary of their parents, but dark secrets come to the fore.

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: Alan Bates, Brian Cox, Gabrielle Daye
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: George Michael, Andrew Ridgeley
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Mick Travis is a reporter who is about to shoot a documentary on Britannia Hospital, an institution which mirrors the downsides of British Society. It's the day when Her Royal Highness is ... See full summary »

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: Leonard Rossiter, Malcolm McDowell, Brian Pettifer
Madame Sin (1972)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A CIA agent is used as a pawn in an insane woman's plan to steal a Polaris submarine.

Director: David Greene
Stars: Bette Davis, Robert Wagner, Denholm Elliott
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In Northern England in the early 1960s, Frank Machin is mean, tough and ambitious enough to become an immediate star in the rugby league team run by local employer Weaver. Machin lodges ... See full summary »

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel
Look Back in Anger (TV Movie 1980)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Jimmy is a self-loathing and frustrated musician who works at a candy shop. He takes out his rage on his long suffering wife and his business partner and best friend, who lives next door. ... See full summary »

Directors: Lindsay Anderson, David Hugh Jones, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Lisa Banes, Fran Brill, Robert Burr
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The story deals with Gloria Vanderbilt's difficult coming-of-age when, at eleven, she was a pawn in a custody battle between her sybaritic mother and her aunt.

Director: Waris Hussein
Stars: Angela Lansbury, Christopher Plummer, Maureen Stapleton
Henry (1955)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

This is the wrong poster for this short film.

Director: Lindsay Anderson
O Lucky Man! (1973)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

This sprawling, surrealist musical serves as an allegory for the pitfalls of capitalism, as it follows the adventures of a young coffee salesman in Europe. Many actors play multiple roles, giving the film a stagy tone.

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Ralph Richardson, Rachel Roberts
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An impassive young girl is taken from her suicidal London life, back to her home in North England on a bizarre bus trip. Seen through the poetic eye of the camera, this is a commentary of doomed British morbidity. In HD.

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: Patricia Healey, Arthur Lowe, John Sharp
The Old Crowd (TV Movie 1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

George and Betty, a middle-class English couple, have just moved into a big Edwardian house in London and are throwing a party to celebrate. Unfortunately, after ten days none of their ... See full summary »

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: John Moffatt, Isabel Dean, Philip Stone
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Frank Grimes ...
...
Tisha Sterling ...
...
Frank Pitkin ...
Mike Bush ...
Edit

Storyline

Summer people in Maine: things are changing. Whales no longer pass close to the shore as they did during the youth of two elderly widowed sisters who have a seaside home where they've summered for 50 years. Libby is blind, contrary, and seemingly getting ready to die. Sarah is attentive to her sister, worried about continuing to care for her, and half interested in an old Russian aristocrat who fishes from their shore. It's the eve of Sarah's 46th wedding anniversary. The Russian offers some fish he's caught, Sarah invites him to dinner, and Libby gets her back up. Sarah wonders if it isn't time to sell the place and find a home for Libby. What alternatives do old people have? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Screen's Immortals... A movie you'll never forget.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 August 1987 (France)  »

Also Known As:

As Baleias de Agosto  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,338,198 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(TVC)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Lillian Gish, marking the end of her 75-year film career. See more »

Goofs

After Sarah neatens Libby's dress, Libby keeps her right arm resting on her left one. In the next shot her right arm is on the chair arm. See more »

Quotes

Sarah Webber: Passion and truth: that's all we need.
See more »


Soundtracks

Roses of Picardy
(uncredited)
Music by Haydn Wood
Lyrics by Frederick Edward Weatherly
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The waning days of one last summer on the coast of Maine
18 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This 1987 film is truly remarkable in its own small way. The film centers on a beautiful and simple story about the bonds of sisters, the disappointments of life, and the waning days of one last summer on the coast of Maine.

The legendary, and I mean LEGENDARY, Lillian Gish stars here at age 93 as Sarah. Having appeared in about 120 films over an incredible span of 75 years (1912-87), Gish goes about her business of being an actress with great dignity and skill. There are several quiet scenes in which she talks to old photographs as she cleans or fixes up her hair and makeup. She's truly enchanting.

The legendary Bette Davis doesn't fare quite as well playing the harsh Libby. Davis (post- stroke) is certainly easy to believe as the flinty sister who is blind and bitter. Davis was almost 80 here and had also racked up about 120 films, dating from 1931.

As Tisha, Ann Sothern (more than 100 films) earned a well-deserved Oscar nomination as the nosy, pushy friend who hasn't quite given up on life. Sothern started as a dancer in films in 1927 as a delicate blonde beauty. Vincent Price (almost 180 films from 1938) plays the charming drifter (and foreigner) who may be looking for a new place to live. And Harry Carey, Jr. (son of Harry Carey, a cowboy star in silent films) plays the fixit man who wants to install a picture window.

There's little action here as the sisters squabble about daily routines and long-ago events in their lives. Gish is ever hopeful while Davis is always mistrusting. The 4 stars work well together although the age differences are apparent. Davis uses her usual Boston voice; Sothern tries out a pretty good "down east" accent. Price plays a Russian émigré, and Gish speaks in her own voice.

The feeling of 50s Maine is just right. The house, perched on a small cliff looking out to sea, looks right. The island (this was filmed in Casco Bay) is gorgeous and captures the simplicity of old Maine just perfectly. The atmosphere is windy and overgrown and rocky. It's the Maine of my childhood.

This marks the final film appearance of Gish and Sothern. While Sothern was the only one to win an Oscar nomination, she, along with Gish and Price, won Independent Spirit nominations. What a pity that Gish did not win Oscar recognition for this role and for her astonishing longevity in film. Gish earned only one Oscar nomination (for DUEL IN THE SUN) and an honorary award in 1971.

Gish did win the best actress award from the National Board of Review.


59 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I Enjoyed Bette Davis's Maggie Smith Impersonation lovethathat
A beautiful film Welch57
stage cast thomas-bennett
Vincent Price HBO_Junkie
Discuss The Whales of August (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page