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Hearts in Atlantis (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama, Mystery | 28 September 2001 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer

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



(book), (screenplay)
3,173 ( 267)
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 ...
Richie O'Rourke (as 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)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Even though the film is based on a story from the book "Hearts in Atlantis", the story it was based on was actually called "Low Men in Yellow Coats", referring to the men that were after Ted. "Hearts in Atlantis" is the name of the story that follows "Low Men in Yellow Coats". See more »


When Ted offers Bobby the job of reading the newspaper to him as they are seated at the table in Ted's apartment, things move about on the table top. At 17:25, in a medium shot of Bobby from behind Ted, the cup, sugar and creamer, and Bobby's root beer are aligned. At 17:26, in a medium shot of Ted drinking his root beer from behind Bobby, the sugar and creamer have moved to Bobby's left out of alignment. At 17:29, in a medium shot of Bobby from behind Ted, the sugar and creamer have moved back, but Bobby's root beer has moved to his left out of alignment. 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 »


Referenced in Everything's Eventual (2011) See more »


Driving Home Part 2
Written and Performed by Paul Gayten
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

A big, fat 'wow'
6 January 2003 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

For some, Stephen King is just a mere auteur of horror stories. If you look closer, you'll see he is much more. Nearly all his stories are melancholic tales about the loss of childhood innocence. With a paranormal twist, but that really isn't the most important. I even think that Hearts in Atlantis would have worked even better, if the whole paranormal thing would have been left out. The most interesting aspects of the story are Bobby Garfield and his relationship with his mother, girlfriend and Ted. Whenever Ted brought up the low-men, my personal interest curve got a bit of a dip, but hey it's a Stephen King movie, I guess we'll have to live with it.

As it is, Hearts in Atlantis remains a wonderful film. It's the kind of film where the scenes in the present are filmed in gloomy blue and grey tones, and all the flashbacks get a golden sepia treatment. Sure it's been done before, but rarely have the effects been of such a shattering beauty.

Anthony Hopkins, never shy of giving a bombastic performance, is remarkably soft-spoken in this one, though I doubt that he was really interested in this movie. The star of the show, however, is Anton Yelchin as Bobby Garfield. He looks like the young Elijah Wood, with the same angelic blue eyes, and he's truly captivating. He even has genuine chemistry with the girl that plays his love interest. A big fat ‘wow' is in order here, let's hope he'll get the chance to exploit his talents further.

It's a shame this movie failed at the box-office, but then again so did The Shawshank Redemption. So let's all rent/buy this wonderful film, and boost that IMDb score.

I gave this one a 9/10.

91 of 100 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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