Down 6,921 this week

Goodnight, Mister Tom (1998)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, War  |  30 May 1999 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 2,358 users  
Reviews: 33 user

A shy and quiet WWII evacuee is housed by a disgruntled old man, but they soon develop a close friendship.



(adaptation), (novel)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: April

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

Related News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 15 May 2013
list image
a list of 33 titles
created 08 Jan 2014
a list of 31 titles
created 6 months ago
a list of 39 titles
created 4 months ago
a list of 33 titles
created 3 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Goodnight, Mister Tom (TV Movie 1998)

Goodnight, Mister Tom (TV Movie 1998) on IMDb 8/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Goodnight, Mister Tom.
4 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

La passione (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: John B. Hobbs
Stars: Shirley Bassey, Sean Gallagher, Thomas Orange
The Sweeney (1975–1978)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

British police TV series which revolutionized the genre on UK television in the mid-1970s starring John Thaw as a hard-edged detective in the Flying Squad of London's Metropolitan Police.

Stars: John Thaw, Dennis Waterman, Garfield Morgan
Monsignor Renard (TV Mini-Series 2000)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of the German occupation of France during World War II told through the eyes and experiences of a humble and extraordinary priest.

Stars: John Thaw, Joachim Paul Assböck, John Axon
Into the Blue I (TV Movie 1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Harry Barnett is a failed businessman who used to run a garage until he went bankrupt. He is now living on the island of Rhodes, looking after the villa of a friend, Alan Dysart, a former ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: John Thaw, Tom Towndrow, Vida Garman
Inspector Morse (1987–2000)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Inspector Morse has an ear for music, a taste for beer and a nose for crime. He sets out with Sergeant Lewis to solve each intriguing case.

Stars: John Thaw, Kevin Whately, James Grout
Home to Roost (1985–1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Stars: John Thaw, Reece Dinsdale, Elizabeth Bennett
Plastic Man (TV Movie 1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A seemingly happily married, successful plastic surgeon embarks on a torrid affair with tragic consequences for his marriage and those close to him.

Director: Sarah Pia Anderson
Stars: John Thaw, Sorcha Cusack, Frances Barber
The Naked Civil Servant (TV Movie 1975)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The life and times of Quentin Crisp, an outrageous and flamboyant homosexual, coming of age and growing into old age in conservative England.

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: John Hurt, Liz Gebhardt, Patricia Hodge
Buried Treasure (TV Movie 2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Harry Jenkins is a self-made business man, who one day receives a message that his only daughter has died in a car crash. Last time he saw his daughter was at his wife's funeral. When ... See full summary »

Director: Adrian Shergold
Stars: John Thaw, Dominique Jackson, Wil Johnson
The Glass (TV Mini-Series 2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Stars: John Thaw, Sarah Lancashire, Joe McFadden
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Director: Jamie McCoan
Stars: James Grout, John Thaw, Kevin Whately
Ali and Danny (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  
Director: Vahid Nikkhah-Azzad
Stars: Akbar Abdi, Jamshid Jahanzadeh, Mehdi Lotfi


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

30 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Masterpiece Theatre: Goodnight Mister Tom  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Did You Know?


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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A man and a boy flourish together
26 July 2002 | by (Philadelphia) – See all my reviews

This film rates a 9 of 10 or maybe even 10 from me, an accolade that I do not bestow generously. Anything is regrettable that makes one glad *not* to have read a book, but those whose acquaintance with the literary original has spoiled their appreciation of this production beg that very sentiment.

Their objections are as follows:

* Mr. Tom is not as they picture him in the book. (No details). Tough. John Thaw is a great actor, who should be allowed some scope in developing his character and should not be faulted if he doesn't happen to look alike. Jeez, some critics also objected to Daniel Radcliffe simply for not having green eyes like in the Harry Potter novels. What do you want, a talented actor who enjoys the author's own enthusiastic endorsement and brings a character to life, or a green-eyed duffer?

* Giving William his favorite breakfast, just once, and telling him what a beautiful baby he was made his mother too nice. I found the mother thoroughly horrifying, so much that an occasional calculated indulgence would be all the more insidious and discomfiting. We have to wonder what manipulative treachery she's up to now. Maybe she was trying confuse her son into suspecting even a gesture of kindness and pleasure as inevitably leading to misery. As for telling him how nice he had been-- when someone is out to tear all your self-esteem to shreds, observing that you used to be better makes it even worse. Make no mistake, we have here a movie mother from hell right down there with Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate. I can hardly imagine a more chilling woman. The silver lining in the cloud is that when Mr. Tom later comforts William by explaining that she must have been "very sick" and wartime conditions kept people from noticing or coming to help, he could more easily believe him.

* The film named Mr. Tom's own son John rather than William. Point well taken, I don't know why this would have been changed, although it is rather trivial. One might claim it as an improvement, or at least an appropriate concession to the medium. Mr. Tom always let William be himself, loved him for himself, and wanted him to know this-- hence he wouldn't want to suggest that William reminded him of, or was standing in for, another child. Books are able to explain what goes on in a character's mind, but films must confine themselves to what can be seen and heard.

One of my favorite scenes: Mr. Tom announces that he plans to go fishing the next day. William begs to go along, too, and Tom agrees with a sigh of feigned reluctance. Then we see him marching through town with a determined poker face, pretending to pretend that he is oblivious to a long retinue of boys and girls behind him: that they have nothing to do with the Old Grouch, they just happen to be going the same way in single file with their fishing poles. Several neighbor women on the sidewalk exchange amused winks with one another.

Someone dismissed the story as predictable. Huh? I can only quote the ten-year-old in another wonderful film, who was just as desperate as William for someone to care: "You might have been ordinary once, but you're not ordinary now. Not many unmarried men want to adopt." This was Jamie in "Second Best." Only a third comes to mind treating this situation with nearly as much sympathy and probity: the all-too-obscure "Marvin and Tige." When an industry so addicted to the predictable and formulaic as Hollywood fails to mine this vein any more than it has done to date, one must doubt that any such accusation applies.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
HORRIBLE! johnny_crazy88
Monstrous Mom littlekaren
Where was it filmed? jurassicjames
Help with a monologue QuiteRipesrock
'Evacuated to the country' bigalblowers2
Train and station? Dylon
Discuss Goodnight, Mister Tom (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: