Hearts in Atlantis (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Mystery  |  28 September 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 29,272 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 263 user | 135 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

A widowed mother and her son change when a mysterious stranger enters their lives.



(book), (screenplay)
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2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Monte Man
Harry Doolin (as Timmy Reifsnyder)
Terry Beaver ...
Joe T. Blankenship ...
Willie Shearman


This is a gentle, innocent film about the reflections of an aging man, who returns to his home town after the death of his best friend. Memories of life at age 11 floods back as it was a magical time that changed his life. Three 11 year old children (Bobby, Carol, and Sully) share their lives. Carol and Bobby have a special affection for one another including sharing a kiss "by which all others will be measured". Bobby lives with his mother, a bitter, vain woman who looks for pleasures for herself without sharing much with her son. Into their lives comes a mysterious new boarder, who befriends the boy but generates distrust from the mother. As time passes, the man and boy share confidences and special powers are revealed. The man warns the boy to be on the lookout for the "lowmen", who were seeking him. The two share a summer's adventures and come to love one another before the inevitable happens. A confrontation with a school bully also changes everyone. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What if one of life's great mysteries moved in upstairs?


Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

28 September 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nostalgia del pasado  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,021,494 (USA) (28 September 2001)


£110,793 (UK) (8 March 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The story on which this film was based originally contained references to Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series, which is set in multiple parallel universes, some resembling our own, but others having high fantasy and/or steampunk settings. The character of Ted Brautigan later appeared in King's seventh and final Dark Tower novel, "The Dark Tower". In that novel, the full extent of Ted's psychic power is shown. At one point, he leads several other characters into a closet, from which he transports them to a far-off land. One character explicitly compares this to the wardrobe from "The Chronicles of Narnia", by C.S. Lewis. Anthony Hopkins played Lewis in Shadowlands (1993). Lewis himself also wrote an unfinished novel entitled The Dark Tower. See more »


On the front porch, Bobby's newspaper switches from folded (at around 7 mins), as Bobby stands and holds his fingers in a cross, to unfolded (at around 31 mins), as Bobby sits back down, between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Bobby Garfield (Adult): Whenever it wants, the past can come kicking the door down. And you never know where it's going to take you. All you can do is hope it's a place you want to go.
Bobby Garfield (Adult): [answering machine message] Hi, you have reached the Garfield family. Jill and the boys are away skiing, you can reach them on their various cellphones. Me, I'm going to be on the road for a few days. I'll be back Tuesday.
See more »

Crazy Credits

WV Films LLC and WXFilm Partners L.P. is the author of this motion picture for the purposes of copyright and other laws See more »


Features A Star Is Born (1954) See more »


Sh-Boom (Life Could Be a Dream)
Written by James Keyes, Floyd McRae, Claude Feaster, James Edwards
Performed by The Crew Cuts
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music group
See more »

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User Reviews

The wonders of youth viewed through a prism
3 January 2003 | by (Montreal, Canada) – See all my reviews

There are two distinct dimensions to Stephen King's writing. On the one hand he is most widely known as the horror meister who can churn out novels quicker than most of us can go through toilet paper. Then there is the King who knows when to leave the schlock behind and tell a good, character driven, yarn.

This is the King who penned Hearts in Atlantis, along with similar captivating stories turned into film such as Stand By Me, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.

Told in flashback, it is the story of a young boy who is mentored by a psychically gifted border (Hopkins) with a shadowy past who is renting the upstairs room in his mother's house. He instructs the boy to be on the lookout for the "low men" who are persuing him. It tells the story of lives and loves lost in the fleeting wonder of youth. Filled with metaphor, this is a gem of a film. View it for the acting. View it for the cinematography. View it for the art direction. View it for the directing. But most of all, view it for the wonderful story that it is. It will captivate you and leave you wishing it would go on forever.

31 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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hearts in atlantis, dark tower connections kt113-1
Why the poor mark on imdb ? bogdanb18
The Kid with the Bat Allardyce99
Who is Ted Brautigan? Read Dark Tower VII to find out. inmagic79
Thier deaths... mags_agd
Anyone else find this film REALLY depressing? grimsnipe
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