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Hearts in Atlantis (2001)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 27,263 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 259 user | 137 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

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

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(book), (screenplay)
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

28 September 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nostalgia del pasado  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£110,793 (UK) (8 March 2002)

Gross:

£110,793 (UK) (8 March 2002)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Scott Hicks mentions (commentary at 09:14) that, in Stephen King's story, Ted was an alien and the Low Men were aliens and that was something he just didn't want to go with in the film, preferring to center on the story in the human drama between the central characters. See more »

Goofs

When Brautigan relates the story of Bronko Nagurski's return to football in 1943, he states that the Chicago Bears played the "crosstown Cardinals" (at around 52 mins). Everything about this story is factual except the opposing team was actually the Washington Redskins. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

References The Shawshank Redemption (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Sleep Walk
(1959)
Written by Ann Farina, Johnny Farina, Santo Farina
Performed by Santo & Johnny
Courtesy of BMG Records S.p.A.
Under license from BMG Special Markets
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User Reviews

"The kiss by which all others will be measured..."
11 September 2001 | by (Western Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

Sure to be one of the best-loved films of this fall, "Hearts in Atlantis" adapted from Stephen King's best seller mines a lot of familiar territory from "Stand by Me," but that beloved film is a good model. In "Stand by Me," it was a writer reflecting back on the childhood summer "when we found the body," here it's David Morse as a photographer remembering the summer of his eleventh year "when Ted the boarder moved upstairs." Downplaying King's supernatural elements, this film slowly, but surely, builds to an emotional payoff every bit as moving as the end of Rob Reiner's gem.

This is a small, gentle film with lots of character development and period atmosphere. The tech credits such as production design and cinematography are superb and bring to life a time--1960--which, for some of us, was not that long ago. The child-actors are perfectly cast, and Anthony Hopkins as the mysterious stranger gives one of his best, most-heartfelt performances. (This guy could read USA Today weather forecasts aloud and make them sound like Shakespeare.) While others may have taken a radically different approach to the material, emphasizing action and suspense, I think screenwriter William ("Misery") Goldman and director Scott ("Shine," "Snow Falling on Cedars") Hicks ultimately hit the right notes. I will interested in seeing if this decidedly low-key approach strikes a box office chord with moviegoers frazzled by the big, dumb summer action films. If there's any fairness left in the world it will. It's that good.


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