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Dear Frankie
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Dear Frankie (2004) More at IMDbPro »

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Dear Frankie -- US Home Video Trailer from Miramax
Dear Frankie -- After having responded to her son's numerous letters in the guise of his father, a woman hires a stranger to pose as his dad when meeting him.


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7.9/10   17,258 votes »
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Up 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Andrea Gibb (screenplay)
View company contact information for Dear Frankie on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 January 2005 (Ireland) See more »
After having responded to her son's numerous letters in the guise of his father, a woman hires a stranger to pose as his dad when meeting him. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
8 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Movie-Making Of The Highest Order See more (177 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Emily Mortimer ... Lizzie

Jack McElhone ... Frankie
Mary Riggans ... Nell

Sharon Small ... Marie
Sophie Main ... Serious Girl
Katy Murphy ... Miss MacKenzie

Sean Brown ... Ricky Monroe
Jayd Johnson ... Catriona
Anna Hepburn ... Headmistress
Rony Bridges ... Post Office Clerk
Douglas Stewart Wallace ... Stamp Shop Keeper
Elaine M. Ellis ... Librarian (as Elaine Mackenzie Ellis)
Carolyn Calder ... Barmaid
John Kazek ... Ally

Gerard Butler ... The Stranger
Garry Collins ... Waiter
Anne Marie Timoney ... Janet
Maureen Johnson ... Singer
Andrea Gibb ... Waitress

Cal Macaninch ... Davey
Sharon MacKenzie ... Staff Nurse
Jonathan Pender ... Frankie (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Harrison ... Pub Character (uncredited)
Alan Marsh ... Extra (uncredited)

Directed by
Shona Auerbach 
Writing credits
Andrea Gibb (screenplay)

Produced by
Gillian Berrie .... co-producer
Stephen Evans .... executive producer
Angus Finney .... executive producer
Matthew T. Gannon .... co-producer
François Ivernel .... executive producer
Brian Kaczynski .... line producer
Cameron McCracken .... executive producer
Duncan Reid .... executive producer
Caroline Wood .... producer
Original Music by
Alex Heffes 
Cinematography by
Shona Auerbach (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Oral Norrie Ottey 
Casting by
Des Hamilton 
Production Design by
Jennifer Kernke 
Art Direction by
Margaret Horspool 
Costume Design by
Carole K. Millar 
Makeup Department
Laura Hill .... makeup assistant
Irene Napier .... hair designer
Irene Napier .... makeup designer
Production Management
Alistair Hopkins .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marissa Carrera .... third assistant director (as Marissa Carrara)
Joe Geary .... first assistant director
Michael Queen .... second assistant director
Art Department
Brian Adams .... carpenter (as Brian John Adams)
Alan Ashby .... plasterer
Muir Balfour .... carpenter
Brian Boyne .... stagehand (as Brian A. Boyne)
Tristan Carlisle-Kitz .... dressing propsman
Paul Curren .... chargehand painter
Sam Curren .... painter
Colin H. Fraser .... construction manager (as Colin Fraser)
Derek Fraser .... construction chargehand
Iain Geddes .... painter
Richard Hassall .... stand-by construction
Caroline McDonald .... art department assistant (as Caroline MacDonald)
Gemma McGeadie .... art trainee: RSAMD
Elaine McLenachan .... production buyer
Tim Monroe .... stand-by art director
Danny Oji .... plasterer (as Daniel C. Oji)
Danny Oji .... stagehand (as Daniel C. Oji)
Bob Orr .... prop master
Neil Querns .... carpenter
Lucy Vaughan .... art trainee: Scottish Screen
Angus West .... laborer
Billy Wilson .... dressing propsman
Billy Wilson .... stand-by rigger
Ross Wilson .... stand-by props
Sound Department
Peter Brill .... location sound mixer
Edward Bulman .... foley editor (as Ed Bulman)
Edward Bulman .... foley recordist (as Ed Bulman)
Mike Grimes .... assistant sound effects editor
Cy Jack .... adr recordist: Glasgow
Dan Johnson .... assistant dubbing mixer
Hugh Johnson .... dubbing mixer
Bronek Korda .... adr recordist: Glasgow
Melissa Lake .... foley artist
Alastair Mason .... boom operator
Kenny McLeod .... assistant adr recordist
Marcus Oliver .... dubbing assistant
Jeremy Price .... supervising sound editor
Andrew Stirk .... adr editor
Graeme Stoten .... adr recordist
Jason Swanscott .... foley artist
Hilary Wyatt .... supervising dialogue editor
James Seddon .... dolby consultant (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Stuart Anderson .... camera trainee: Scottish Screen
Jaspreet Bal .... focus puller: second camera (as Jazprette Bal)
Anna Benbow .... clapper loader: second camera
Neil Davidson .... still photographer
Arthur Donnelly .... electrician (as Arthur Donnely)
Graeme Dunn .... camera operator
Kevin Higgins .... grip
Paul McGeachan .... gaffer
Brian McGee .... generator operator
Campbell McIntosh .... electrician (as Campbell Macintosh)
Alan McSheehy .... camera operator: second camera
Kevin O'Brien .... focus puller
Jan Pester .... Steadicam operator
Julia Robinson .... clapper loader
Gary Thompson .... best boy (as Garry Thompson)
Mark Tillie .... special still photographer (uncredited)
Casting Department
Abigail Barbier .... adr voice casting
Kahleen Crawford .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lesley Abernethy .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Nicola Armstrong .... post-production coordinator
Rachel Connors .... post-production assistant
Steve Ferguson .... editor trainee: Scottish Screen (as Steven Ferguson)
Steven Forrester .... first assistant editor
Sarah Hughes .... negative checker
Music Department
Gemma Dempsey .... music supervisor
David Juritz .... orchestra leader
Ian MacPherson .... orchestrator (as Ian Macpherson)
Steve Price .... music recording engineer
Andy Richards .... music mixer: Out of Eden
Hilary Skewes .... musician contractor
Sam Southwick .... music editor
Transportation Department
Brian Boyne .... driver (as Brian A. Boyne)
Jas Brown .... unit driver
Tommy Bryce .... unit driver
Jim Cardy .... driver: facilities
Jeff Derby .... driver: facilities (as Jeffrey Derby)
Roddy Garden .... driver: props runaround
Paul Heavey .... driver: camera car
Robbie Kirkpatrick .... driver: minibus
Bill McKeller .... driver: facilities
Stuart McKeller .... driver: facilities
Other crew
Lindsey Alexander .... chaperone
Alison Brister .... legal affairs: Ingenious Films
Jo Cameron Brown .... dialogue coach
Alison Campbell .... production coordinator
Claire Chapman .... head of production: Scottish Screen
Miglet Crichton .... assistant location manager
Brendan Diver .... catering manager
Linsey Donnelly .... chaperone
Pierre Du Plessis .... legal and business affairs executive: Pathé Pictures (as Pierre du Plessis)
Simon Fawcett .... financial director: Pathé Pictures
Linda Fraser .... accounting assistant
Graham Galloway .... floor runner
Graham Galloway .... stand-in
Celine Haddad .... head of creative affairs: Pathé Pictures
Carol-Anne Henderson .... floor runner
Carol-Anne Henderson .... stand-in
Sarah Hughes .... rights and clearances
John Jaggon .... accounts: Ingenious Films
Paula Jalfon .... physical production: Ingenious Films
Wendy Kidd .... unit publicist
Scott Leadbetter .... production trainee: Scottish Screen
Susie Lee .... floor runner
Susie Lee .... stand-in
Ranald Maclean .... production runner (as Ranald MacLean)
Myra McCormick .... tutor
Janice McElhone .... chaperone
Suzanne McGeachan .... script supervisor (as Suzanne Clegg)
Steve McIntyre .... chief executive: Scottish Screen
Jack Myles .... legal and business affairs executive: Pathé Pictures
Joan Napier .... tutor
Frederico Piacentini .... caterer
Carole Sheridan .... head of development: Scottish Screen
Shaw Statham .... production accountant
Stef Swiatek .... unit nurse coordinator (as Stefania Swiatek)
Beverley Syme .... location manager
Alison Thompson .... head of international sales: Pathé Pictures
Derek Todd .... deaf advisor
Alison Wallace .... floor trainee: Scottish Screen
Lucy Warnes .... deaf advisor
Michael Wilson .... assistant coordinator
Susanna Wyatt .... head of physical production: Pathé Pictures
Jacqueline Wylie .... location trainee: Scottish Screen
Derek Yeaman .... band organizer
Gordon Carroll .... advisor: philately (uncredited)
Elza Auerbach .... special thanks
Peter Auerbach .... special thanks
Mary Brehony .... special thanks
Lee Bye .... special thanks
Leonard Crooks .... special thanks (as Lenny Crooks)
Will Davies .... special thanks
Anna Duffield .... special thanks
Dixie Goddard .... special thanks
Tony Goddard .... special thanks
Wendy Goddard .... special thanks
Abi Leland .... special thanks
Gillane Lister .... special thanks
Abigail Payne .... special thanks
Angus Pigott .... special thanks: Sigma Films (as Angus Pigot)
Natasha Ross .... special thanks
Sarah Sulick .... special thanks
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for language
105 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:10 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-7 | Hong Kong:I | Iceland:LH | Iceland:LH (video rating) | Malaysia:U | Netherlands:AL | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:12 | Spain:13 | Sweden:Btl | UK:12A (edited for re-rating) | UK:15 (original rating) | UK:12 (video rating) (2005) | USA:PG-13

Did You Know?

Jack McElhone (Frankie) is not deaf but worked with a speech coach so that his one spoken line would sound correct.See more »
Continuity: When Lizzie is reading the last letter, it says "Thanks for the book" twice, but it is only read once.See more »
Lizzie:We had an arrangement. You broke it.
The Stranger:One more day that's all.
Lizzie:No, no, no. I want you to go now. It's over, do you hear me, it's over.
The Stranger:My ship sails on Monday. There is only one more day.
Lizzie:Who the hell do you think you are? Who gave you the right to come in here and behave like this?
The Stranger:You did.
See more »
DelicateSee more »


How does it end?
What did Frankie's da do?
See more »
168 out of 181 people found the following review useful.
Movie-Making Of The Highest Order, 6 March 2005
Author: Wilfred1 from United Kingdom

I'm somewhat taken aback by a lot of the criticisms of this masterpiece. It is a masterpiece in my view, and that "fact" occurred to me only when examining the cries by the writers here. I found myself dismissing every single one of them without difficulty.

Firstly, I am aghast at those who are not happy with films that produce an emotional reaction on the part of the movie-goer, as if to make an emotive piece of work is somehow limp or uncool or a cop-out. The best films are those that mirror humanity, whether that be in terms of violence committed by Man/Woman to Man/Woman, love, hate, envy, ambition and the others which make up the full range. Let us be clear: any film that deals with pain and heartbreak is not one that is choosing a soft option. How many of us do not feel pain and heartbreak? None of us presumably, so to state the obvious, this is valid ground for the modern writer and director to tread.

The difficulty for the film-maker in 2005 is finding the money to make a piece of work that is not compromised by commerce: to use music, action and dialogue in a clichéd manner to satisfy the warped idea of producers that the masses will only pay money for films that use such devices. Auerbach manages in this movie to almost completely avoid these pitfalls. There is no sex, no bulging orchestral interventions, no truly happy ending. I would however have removed the awful song by the awful Damien Rice and taken the dopey look off Emily Mortimer's face when she realised that the stranger was a decent guy as well as a bit of alright, but these in the end are trifles; for the director makes us emote without manipulation and without using plot devices which strain credulity (I don't care what any of you think).

Critics here are being too cynical. The searing melancholy of Bergman might satisfy them I suspect, but they seem to be missing the fact that there is precious little humour in this movie. The Mortimer character here is almost humourless enough for a Bergman movie, as is the Stranger for the most part, so the criticism of mawkishness isn't remotely credible. The mother is also a fairly grim presence. Auerbach could easily have tweaked her film to emphasise or exaggerate the sense of internal pain of all three leads, but she happily and smartly eschews still shots of these nomadic characters wallowing in their isolation. Instead, their internal lives are displayed with a greater sense of reality. There is a humdrum quality to their lives which is as it should be if a director is shooting for naturalism. Contrast this with Leigh's Vera Drake where for more verisimilitude, there should have been more dirt, more roughness to the people and their homes. True the working class often prided themselves on cleanliness, but in the terraced house in Tottehnam I encountered in the late-50s and early-60s you smell the lack of true cleanliness and see it too.

In terms of characterisation Auerbach also got things right. Far from The Stranger being too handsome, handsome people can be found anywhere, and he's a scruff! Furthermore, the idea that he is Mr Perfect is risible. He is emotionally stunted initially, callous and unfeeling in his first meeting with Mortimer, and for me - not that I know any seaman - is plausibly detached from regular land life. The criticism seems to be that is implausibly seduced by the admittedly dysfunctional family unit. I don't buy that. His inability to relate to the child when they meet for the first time is either perfect or too much, but he's anything like the Disneyland father- manqué some reviewers here are suggesting. Auerbach has him thawing out very slowly. The movie too slow? A slicker 95 minute version wouldn't have allowed this. If some viewers have a retarded attention span that's their lookout.

That the Stranger is won over is not feel-good nonsense, it's entirely believable and well executed. Why? Because the father instinct is in all men. He responds to this splendid child in a way that is merely human. Sure, some men would not have responded, so go on, be cynical, but then there's no film. And if Mortimer's search for the surrogate father seems far-fetched, most of us can tell you miseries that the truth of everyday life is often far stranger than reality.

The denouement is magnificent. I'm rubbish at seeing twists coming in movies, and I saw this one accidentally. My reaction (look away if you've not seen the film) when the child first sees the "Father" was, 'he knows he's not his real Dad.' The direction is brilliant, the acting brilliant or Aerbach got lucky. In the end it doesn't matter; this key scene is superbly subtle however achieved.

There are indeed moving moments. The gift of the sea horse was profoundly affecting. The boy's talking to the Stranger to show how he felt about the crucial surrogate fathering that he's just received could for me also have been very, very upsetting. The direction of Frankie at this moment is fantastic: to keep his reaction under control is how we are: in our lives few lose control, weep hysterically or throw the punch. Frankie doesn't here, so tears us apart.

Finally, the real father: moral ambiguity? Life has many of these moments. I don't agree with the point anyway. Mortimer's reaction to the violent father is beautifully poised between the hard-heartiness part of her wants to show him and the dignified humanity the other part of her wants to reveal.

Such precious, subtle moments make for a tremendous piece of film-making. Fortunately most reviewers here liked the movie. If that weren't the case, we might as well all give up and start praying for the human race.


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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why was another actor used for the voiceover? ender342
Stranger Not with the Ship dilemmameringue
Gerard Butler, Any opinions. bono_vox_is_god
did he really have a ship? frekinidiot
Question about the commentary slacker_bubbles73
The accent! I really like it.. Is it Scottish? stargirl_weasley-1
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