7.9/10
3,052
35 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.

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(adaptation), (novel)
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4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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>

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Genres:

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?

Trivia

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

Goofs

During this programme we sometimes get a view of other houses / cottages in the village. It is a shame that with all the other detail and thought that went into the making of it, no one thought to remove or disguise the UHF television aerials on their rooves ! You would not have seen an aerial of that type on a roof until the mid 1960's when BBC2 came into being. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Very Moving
9 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

The plot of GOODNIGHT MR TOM on paper makes it seem we are in for a large dose of maudlin,sickly sentiment.But,talented director Jack Gold is an expert on touching the emotions in the right manner,and it emerges instead as a compelling,deeply moving wartime drama with excellent production and lead performances.One of the best,if not the best TV movies of the 1990's which possibly would've had even greater success if it had been released in the cinemas.

The evacuation of children to countryside towns and villages in World War II was of course a common practice,but in the case of the young boy here was doubly important because of a wretched home life in the UK's capital.The horrors of war on the home front are not drifted over though,and the construction of the film until it's throat-lumping,misty-eyed ending leaves us with a sense of optimism despite what has happened before.It is almost(but not quite)worthy of comparison with the finale to IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE(1946).All in all,a modern classic.


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