MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 17,401 this week

When the Whales Came (1989)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  20 October 1989 (USA)
6.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 275 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 5 critic

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 »

Director:

Writers:

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

10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 268 titles
created 06 Mar 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 08 Nov 2012
 
a list of 200 titles
created 24 Jul 2013
 
a list of 500 titles
created 21 Jul 2014
 
a list of 47 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: When the Whales Came (1989)

When the Whales Came (1989) on IMDb 6.5/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of When the Whales Came.
3 wins. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Royal Deceit (1994)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

This re-telling of Hamlet goes back to the original Danish source material. The opening scenario remains the same: Hamlet's father murdered by his brother who then weds the widowed mother. ... See full summary »

Director: Gabriel Axel
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Helen Mirren, Christian Bale
No Such Thing (2001)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

"No Such Thing" tells the story of a young journalist who journeys to Iceland to find her missing fiancée only to encounter a mythical creature. She eventually forges a relationship with the being.

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Sarah Polley, Robert John Burke, Margrét Ákadóttir
As You Like It (TV Movie 1978)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After the overthrowing of Duke Senior by his tyrannical brother, Senior's daughter Rosalind disguises herself as a man and sets out to find her banished father while also counseling her clumsy suitor Orlando in the art of wooing.

Director: Basil Coleman
Stars: Helen Mirren, Brian Stirner, Richard Pasco
Greenfingers (2000)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A prison inmate with a green thumb goes on to compete in a national gardening competition. Based on a true story.

Director: Joel Hershman
Stars: Clive Owen, Helen Mirren, David Kelly
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A meditation on power and the metaphor of the body of state, based on the real episode of dementia experienced by George III [now suspected a victim of porphyria, a blood disorder]. As he ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Hytner
Stars: Nigel Hawthorne, Helen Mirren, Rupert Graves
Bartleby II (1970)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Updated to 1970s London, this faithful adaptation of Herman Melville's classic follows a young accounting clerk rebelling against his employer by responding to demands to do work by saying,... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Friedman
Stars: Paul Scofield, John McEnery, Thorley Walters
White Nights (1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An expatriate Russian dancer is on a plane forced to land on Soviet territory. He is taken to an apartment in which a black American who has married a Russian woman lives with her. He is to... See full summary »

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines, Jerzy Skolimowski
Coming Through (TV Movie 1985)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Celebrated actors Kenneth Branagh (Hamlet) and Helen Mirren (Prime Suspect) star in this film by award-winning playwright Alan Plater about one of the great love affairs and greatest ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Barber-Fleming
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Helen Mirren, Alison Steadman
Red Hot Shot (1970)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Frank è stato allontanato da un'indagine che conduceva su MacBrown, possessore di un'industria farmaceutica, ma sospettato di traffico di droga e di esperimenti illegali su adolescenti. ... See full summary »

Director: Piero Zuffi
Stars: Michael Reardon, Barbara Bouchet, Carmelo Bene
The Quiz Kid (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A hopeless quiz team is revived by the addition of a bright young lecturer but all is not well when the barmaid takes a shine to him and this upsets her boyfriend.

Director: Bill Hays
Stars: Helen Mirren, John Woodvine, Michael Elphick
Happy Birthday I (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  
Director: Helen Mirren
Stars: Jenica Bergere, Ken Hudson Campbell, Beverly D'Angelo
Hamlet (1976)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Celestino Coronado
Stars: Quentin Crisp, Helen Mirren, Barry Stanton
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuando vuelvan las ballenas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Fujicolor)
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Scilly islands
29 November 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This charming 1989 film was shown recently on cable. Not ever having seen it, or known about it, one realizes what a shame it is not to have been show to a wider audience. "When the Whales Came" is a wonderful film that should be seen by children, as it will charm and involve them in a positive way. Director Clive Rees does a wonderful job in adapting Michael Marpago's novel, in which it's based.

The story takes place in the remote, but beautiful Scilly islands. They are inhabited by people that eke a life out of a hostile environment. Two children, Gracie and Daniel are intrigued by the mysterious man, the Birdman, who lives in a remote shack, but who sensing their curiosity, begins leaving them a few of his wood carvings. As they get to meet the man, he encourages them to follow his example. Then one day, whales beach themselves and the Birdman pleads with the children and the other folks to help him in getting these gentle giants back into the ocean where they belong.

It's a sweet story made even better by Paul Scofield, who as the Birdman makes a fabulous contribution to the film. Mr.Scofield, an actor's actor, is rarely seen on the screen and one rejoices in seeing this magnificent actor in the film. Helen Mirren is also seen as the mother of one of the children. The children, Helen Pearce and Max Rennie are delightful. Also seen in the film, David Suchet, Barbara Jefford, Jeremy Kemp and David Threlfall, among others.

An inspired film that will satisfy any audience thanks to the treatment Mr. Rees gave everything.


10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
When the whales came janetbeat
Available on Love Film! branwen_blaidd
Discuss When the Whales Came (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?