6.9/10
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270 user 134 critic

Hearts in Atlantis (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama, Mystery | 28 September 2001 (USA)
A widowed mother and her son change when a mysterious stranger enters their lives.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)

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ON DISC
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Monte Man
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Harry Doolin (as Timmy Reifsnyder)
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Terry Beaver ...
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Richie O'Rourke (as 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:

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Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$24,185,781 (USA) (30 November 2001)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(technicolor)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scott Hicks notes that a real moth appears at a porch light at 12:09 when Bobby first talks with Ted, but at 12:18 and 12:26 digital moths are shown as part of several things done to make the scene appear more realistic even though it was shot on a set due to the restrictions Anton Yelchin's age imposed on his participation in night shooting. Despite using a moth wrangler (not specifically cited in the credits), only one real moth made it into the film. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the movie young Bobby is running to meet his mother as they move away. As she sits in the Rambler waiting for him she listens to a car radio that is not there-only chrome covers where dials should be, and a blank radio front. 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.
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Crazy Credits

Thanks to the citizens of Richmond and Staunton, Virginia See more »

Connections

References The Boogeyman (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Carol
(1958)
Written and Performed by Chuck Berry
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Group
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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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