6.5/10
273
7 user 5 critic

When the Whales Came (1989)

PG | | Drama | 20 October 1989 (USA)
A pair of children befriend an accentric old man, who lives isolated on the far shore of their island home. But it turns out that the old man knows a terrible secret about the island and ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay)
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3 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
The Birdman
...
Jack Jenkins
...
Clemmie Jenkins
Helen Pearce ...
Gracie Jenkins
Max Rennie ...
Daniel Pender
...
Mr. Wellbeloved
John Hallam ...
Treve Pender
Barbara Ewing ...
Mary Pender
...
Big Tim
...
Vicar
Joanna Bartholemew ...
Miss Tregarthen
...
Auntie Mildred
Irene Wilson ...
Molly Woodcock
Fergus Rees ...
The Birdman as a Boy
Kerra Spowart ...
Margaret Pender
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Storyline

A pair of children befriend an accentric old man, who lives isolated on the far shore of their island home. But it turns out that the old man knows a terrible secret about the island and the narwhales who sometimes come. Meanwhile WWI is making life hard in the village. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

island | girl | boy | redemption | curse | See All (18) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

20 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuando vuelvan las ballenas  »

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Color:

(Fujicolor)
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User Reviews

 
Beautiful adaptation of a charming story
24 August 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When the Whales Came, based upon Michael Morpurgo's charming story, is a beautiful well-meaning film, that I do think is worthy of a lot more praise than it is given. The cinematography and scenery were gorgeous, and so was the enchanting music score. The part when the villagers drive the Narwhal into the sea was such a poignant moment. The script was fine and so was the direction and the acting. The two children are believable, and Helen Mirren and David Suchet, two exceptional actors give fine support. Though the real kudos have to go to Paul Scofield, who was fantastic, and to Jeremy Kemp as Mr Wellbeloved, who wasn't only warm and loving towards the children, but it was also an altogether sensitive portrayal. My only minor complaint with the movie was the pace, it was a tad slow, but overall this film is beautiful. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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