7.6/10
3,263
51 user 19 critic

The Whales of August (1987)

It's August. Like they have most summers, elderly widowed sisters Libby Strong and Sarah Webber, who live in Philadelphia, are staying together in the family's summer cottage on an island ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (play)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Bunny O'Hare (1971)
Certificate: GP Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Bunny is a penniless widow who blackmails a robber into teaching her the trade. Soon the pair starts a successful crime spree, and the cops aren't turning a blind eye.

Director: Gerd Oswald
Stars: Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Cassidy
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 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
As Summers Die (TV Movie 1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The plot centers around a large area of land owned by an old black lady, Elvira Backus. It had been given to her by her one time employer and secret father of her two children, a southern ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Claude Tramont
Stars: Scott Glenn, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bette Davis
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sir Walter Raleigh overcomes court intrigue to win favor with the Queen in order to get financing for a proposed voyage to the New World.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Bette Davis, Richard Todd, Joan Collins
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge, and predictable complications result.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Bette Davis, Claude Rains, Walter Abel
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Old friends Kit Marlowe and Millie Drake adopt contrasting lifestyles: Kit is a single, critically acclaimed author while married Millie writes popular pulp novels.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, Gig Young
The Great Lie (1941)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After a newlywed's husband apparently dies in a plane crash, she discovers that her rival for his affections is now pregnant with his child.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Mary Astor
A Piano for Mrs. Cimino (TV Movie 1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

An elderly widow must find meaning and activity in her life when her son suggests she is no longer capable of handling her own affairs.

Director: George Schaefer
Stars: Bette Davis, Penny Fuller, Christopher Guest
Dead Ringer (1964)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The working-class twin sister of a callous, wealthy woman impulsively murders her out of revenge and assumes her identity. But impersonating her dead twin is more complicated and risky than she anticipated.

Director: Paul Henreid
Stars: Bette Davis, Karl Malden, Peter Lawford
The Star (1952)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A washed-up movie queen finds romance, but still desires a comeback.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Bette Davis, Sterling Hayden, Natalie Wood
Comedy | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three sons who work in the family construction business help their overbearing mother celebrate her anniversary to her late husband.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Bette Davis, Sheila Hancock, Jack Hedley
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Explores the relationships shared by the residents of a seedy boarding house in London.

Director: Franklin Gollings
Stars: Bette Davis, Michael Redgrave, Alexis Kanner
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

It's August. Like they have most summers, elderly widowed sisters Libby Strong and Sarah Webber, who live in Philadelphia, are staying together in the family's summer cottage on an island off the coast of Maine. The cottage, which now belongs to Sarah, has been in their family most of their lives, it which was the family's summer getaway from Philadelphia when they were younger. There are a few people who have been half-century friends or acquaintances on the island, including the outspoken Tisha Doughty who is like a bossy third sister, and Joshua Brackett, who has long done any of the handy work around the cottage. Someone relatively new at least to Sarah's social circle is Mr. Maranov, a former Russian aristocrat for who chivalry is just a way of life. His stay on the island is however threatened when his landlady, Hilda Partridge, passes away. Sarah and Libby have come to the realization that they are in the respective twilight of their lives, largely regarding issues directly ... Written by Huggo

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:

(flashbacks)| (TVC)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene, Lillian Gish and Ann Sothern are seen overlooking the ocean. Sothern's character remarks that whales have scarcely been seen since the war due to submarines. In real life, Ann Sothern's paternal grandfather, Simon Lake, was the inventor of the modern submarine. See more »

Goofs

When the radio (or wireless) is switched on in order for Libby to listen to her favourite programme, the sound of the broadcast is heard immediately as though it were a modern transistor or digital radio. But the film is set in the mid-1950s during the era of valve wireless receivers (see also the prop used in the scene), meaning that the ladies would have to wait for several seconds while the set warms up before the programme could be heard. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Maranov: I've learned one thing from life, Mrs. Strong: to expect nothing.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 60th Annual Academy Awards (1988) 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

 
A Lost Breed of Movie
16 August 2002 | by (Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

I'm 22 years old and yet this movie about two elderly sisters and their friends touched my heart deeply.

I must admit before I begin that I am a fan of Bette Davis and Vincent Price, and that Miss Lillian Gish is my all time favorite actress, so my view of this film may be skewed. However, I must admit and admire the sheer artistry of these actors (including the unsung Ann Sothern) and their ability to take a simple story and turn it into an engaging, emotional tour de force film of power and majesty.

Miss Gish was in the twilight of her life in this, her last film, but you could still see the same actress who touched audiences in 1919's "Broken Blossoms"...the same powerful skills which are on display in 1928's "The Wind", and the same quiet dignity portrayed in 1959's "The Night of the Hunter". Her scenes are by far the finest of the movie.

I must respectfully disagree with my fellow reviewers in their dismissal of Bette Davis's performance. Her character was supposed to be hard-headed, mean, and in bad health (why else keep harking on dying?). Bette is all of these things. I could really feel that she WAS Libby. Although her constant yelling of "SAY-rah" was a little annoying, but that's Ms. Davis for you.

Vincent Price was a revelation for those of us who have only seen him as a schlockmiester. His role as the Count, warm, friendly, scared and courtly, was probably the most sympathetic character in the film.

All in all, a touching, beautiful tribute to the legends of the screen and to the movies themselves. A lost breed of film.


52 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page