IMDb > Secret Orchards (1979) (TV)

Secret Orchards (1979) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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Down 40% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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A film based on the life of Roger Ackerley, the Fyffes' banana king. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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Complex material intelligently realised through fine ensemble acting, writing and direction. An under-appreciated period drama gem. See more (1 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Freddie Jones ... Roger Ackerley / Uncle Bodger

Judy Parfitt ... Muriel Perry
Joseph Blatchley ... Joe Ackerley

Sophie Thompson ... Diana / Shrimpy

Phoebe Nicholls ... Stella
Suzanne Burden ... Helen
Noel Dyson ... Netta Ackerley

Garry Cooper ... Waiter on train
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Barbara Atkinson ... Miss Buss
Anthony Carrick ... Fowler
Ellis Dale ... Doctor Wadd
Yvonne Edgell ... Ellen
Jean Faulds ... Mrs. Woods
Faith Kent ... Stella
John Kidd ... Avery
Preston Lockwood ... Arthur Needham
Doreen Mantle ... Aunt Bunny
Madeleine Newbury ... Diana
John Rolls ... Morland
Jackie Smith-Wood ... Nancy Ackerley

Directed by
Richard Loncraine 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
William Trevor 

Produced by
James Brabazon .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Peter Hannan 
 
Film Editing by
Paul Green 
 
Production Design by
Roy Stonehouse 
 
Sound Department
Harry Brookes .... sound recordist
Martin Kay .... boom operator
 

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1.33 : 1 See more »
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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Complex material intelligently realised through fine ensemble acting, writing and direction. An under-appreciated period drama gem., 28 August 2004
Author: paul-ackerley from United Kingdom

This Edwardian-set period piece has been intelligently realised through fine ensemble acting, writing and direction. Written for the screen by the acclaimed William Trevor, he has shown good judgement in selection of material from its two source books, constructing a single powerful narrative that respects both author's dislike of sentimentality and valuing Joe's fondness for historical accuracy and economy of language. Richard Loncraine directs with restraint and subtlety while every member of the ensemble cast delivers beautifully understated performances. Freddy Francis and Judy Parfitt in particular.

It therefore remains a surprise that this has lain unappreciated for many years. It is the companion to 'We Think The World Of You', with Alan Bates and Gary Oldman, the other J.R.Ackerley piece to be filmed and is reminiscent of the excellent TV adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's 'Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit'. Both of these still enjoy distribution, while Secret Orchards does not. On the strength of the evidence, it can only be because, sadly, Secret Orchards is no longer considered a commercial proposition. If however you do find a copy, see it!

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