34 user 3 critic

Goodnight, Mister Tom (1998)

A shy and quiet World War II evacuee is housed by a disgruntled old man, and they soon develop a close bond.



(adaptation), (novel)
4,554 ( 597)

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4 wins. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Oakley
Nick Robinson ...
William Beech
Mrs. Beech
Thomas Orange ...
Zacharias Wrench
William Armstrong ...
Dr. Stelton
Geoffrey Beevers ...
Mossie Smith ...
Mrs. Fletcher
Peter England ...
Michael Fletcher
Ivan Berry ...
George Fletcher
Harry Capehorn ...
Edward Fletcher
Merelina Kendall ...
Mrs. Holland
Mrs. Webster
John Cater ...
Dr. Little
Denyse Alexander ...
Mrs. Little
Avril Elgar ...
Mrs. Ford


We're in an English village shortly before Dunkirk. "Mr. Tom" Oakley still broods over the death of his wife and small son while he was away in the navy during WWI, and grief has made him a surly hermit. Now children evacuated from London are overwhelming volunteers to house them. Practically under protest, Mr. Tom takes in a painfully quiet 10-year-old, who gradually reveals big problems. William nightly wets the bed. He can't read or write, although he is intelligent and shows artistic talent. He constantly dreads going to hell. Scars cover his back. Mr. Tom soon realizes that his little boarder comes from a horribly abusive home, and determines to provide him a better one. All goes well until William's mother persuades him to return to London for a few days' visit. When Mr. Tom hears nothing from the boy after two weeks, he can endure the loneliness and worry no longer. Written by Paul Emmons <pemmons@voicenet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War

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Release Date:

30 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Masterpiece Theatre: Goodnight Mister Tom  »

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Did You Know?


Based on the book, 'Goodnight Mister Tom' See more »


When Tom is asking the woman for clothes whilst repairing the roof. The guttering behind him is plastic, definitely not correct for the period. See more »


Featured in The Unforgettable John Thaw (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

A touching story of the human heart
20 January 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

20 out of 10 This is a truly wonderful story about a wartime evacuee and a curmudgeonly carpenter Tom Oakley. The boy (William Beech) is billeted with Tom and it is immediately apparent that he has serious issues when he wets his bed on the first night. William is illiterate and frightened but somehow the two find solace in each others loneliness. It transpires that William has a talent as an artist and we see Tom's talent as a choirmaster in an amusing rendition of Jerusalem. William is befriended by Zacharias Wrench, a young Jewish lad also from London and along with both Tom and Zacharias, he finally learns to read and write and to feel a part of this small close knit community. Just as he is settling down, William is recalled back to London by his mother, and it is here we see why he is so screwed up. His mother is clearly mentally sick and when Tom doesn't hear from William, he travels to London to look for him. He finally finds him holding his dead baby sister where he has been tied up in a cellar. After a period in hospital, Tom realises he must kidnap him and take him home with him. The climax is a bitter-sweet ending when William is told he is to be adopted by Tom, while at the same time, learning his best friend Zacharias has been killed in an air raid in London. For me, one of the most moving scenes was when Tom was talking to a official from the Home Office.

I love 'im, an' for what it's worth, I think he loves me too'.

It just doesn't get better that that does it?

38 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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