Walter (1982)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  July 1986 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 206 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 3 critic

A man with learning difficulties suffers neglect and ill-treatment, and this is only exasperated when his parents die and nobody seems to know what to do with him.



(dramatisation), (novel)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Walter and June (TV Movie 1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Ian McKellen, Sarah Miles, Debby Bishop
Countdown to War (TV Movie 1989)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Based on a play, the story details the dramatic negotiations between UK, France, Poland, Nazi-Germany and USSR from the day Czechoslovakia fell, until Britain's declaration of war on Germany caused by Hitler's invasion of Poland.

Director: Patrick Lau
Stars: Ian McKellen, Michael Aldridge, Tony Britton
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Following the banning and burning of his novel, "The Rainbow," D.H. Lawrence and his wife, Frieda, move to the United States, and then to Mexico. When Lawrence contracts tuberculosis, they ... See full summary »

Director: Christopher Miles
Stars: Ian McKellen, Janet Suzman, Ava Gardner
A Performance of Macbeth (TV Movie 1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Macbeth is a daring member of the Scottish military who receives a revelation from three menacing sorceresses that he will someday become the King of Scotland. This information gives him a ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Casson
Stars: Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, John Bown
Saigon: Year of the Cat (TV Movie 1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two Westerners - Barbara, bank employee, and Bob, CIA analyst within the U.S. Embassy - meet a short time before the fall of Saigon.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Judi Dench, Frederic Forrest, Chic Murray
Certificate: M Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young London girl studying a doctorate in the British museum spends her nights trying to avoid the sexual admiration of men in her life.

Director: Waris Hussein
Stars: Sandy Dennis, Ian McKellen, Eleanor Bron
Emile (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In a story weaving the past and present together, Emile seeks redemption from the family he abandoned.

Director: Carl Bessai
Stars: Ian McKellen, Deborah Kara Unger, Theo Crane
Alfred the Great I (1969)
Certificate: M Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

While Old England is being ransacked by roving Danes in the 9th century, Alfred is planning to join the priesthood. But observing the rape of his land, he puts away his religious vows to ... See full summary »

Director: Clive Donner
Stars: David Hemmings, Michael York, Prunella Ransome
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Based on a true story, this is the tale of Josephine Monaghan, a young woman of the mid-19th century who is thrown out of her parents' home after being seduced by the family's portrait ... See full summary »

Director: Maggie Greenwald
Stars: Suzy Amis, Bo Hopkins, Ian McKellen
Edward II (TV Movie 1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The reign of Edward II, King of England, is troubled from the start when he brings his male lover, hated by the nobles, out of exile.

Directors: Richard Marquand, Toby Robertson
Stars: Ian McKellen, Timothy West, Diane Fletcher
David Copperfield (TV Series 1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Stars: Ian McKellen, Tina Packer, Flora Robson
Zina (1985)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After Stalin's purges, Zinaida Volkova, daughter of Leon Trotsky, is exiled to Berlin. As the Nazis rise to power and WW2 is approaching, she becomes obsessed with Antigone, the protagonist of a famous Greek tragedy, and loses her mind.

Director: Ken McMullen
Stars: Ron Anderson, George Antoni, Micha Bergese


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah - Walter's mother
Arthur Whybrow ...
Walter's father
Tony Melody ...
Mr. Hingley
Mr. Richards
Linda Polan ...
Miss Rushden
Mike - Stockroom
Lesley Clare O'Neill ...
Jean - Stockroom
Paula Tilbrook ...
Mrs. Ashby
Marjorie Yates ...
Social Worker
Joseph - Orderly
Kenny Ireland ...
Angus - Orderly
Don McKillop ...
Mr. Lipman (as Donald McKillop)
Nabil Shaban ...
Ben Gunn
Bob Flag ...


A man with learning difficulties suffers neglect and ill-treatment, and this is only exasperated when his parents die and nobody seems to know what to do with him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

July 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Loving Walter  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shown on the opening night of Channel 4 in the United Kingdom in 1982. It brought a storm or protest however from many of the large first night audience who had expected lighter fare. See more »


Followed by Walter and June (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

It's Grim Up North At Channel 4
11 November 2012 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

It's difficult to believe for a younger generation but once upon a time in Britain we only had three television channels: BBC One , BBC Two and ITV . BBC Two was a station people rarely watched since it confined itself to documentaries and current affairs and one year - 1979 - ITV went on strike for several months . Having a fourth television station was a major event in Britain . Well it was for those who could receive it because some of the country couldn't which as fate decreeded included the Island of Bute . It was a frustrating thing for me and my local peers having to read a television listing page in the newspaper wondering what television shows we'd be missing on this mythical channel and one thing I did notice was that C4 would broadcast a film almost every night . When we finally did get receive channel 4 in May 1985 the realisation was that we weren't missing too much and perhaps this was summed up by the " films " they showed which weren't actually films per se but overproduced teleplays shot on film

WALTER was the very first " film " shown on Channel 4 in 1982 and it personifies what I'm talking about . It's very similar to what the BBC'S PLAY FOR TODAY was producing at the same time which a feature length kitchen sink drama with much social relevance with not much in the way of a feel good factor . Interestingly enough when PFT disappeared a couple of years later Channel 4 started investing in the British film industry and within a short period of time channel 4 films such as MY BEAUTIFUL LANDRETTE started getting the odd Oscar nomination then with the likes of THE CRYING GAME there'd be a sackful of nominations and awards and even then who'd have thought a Film4 production like SLUMDOG MILLIONIRE would dominate both the box office and the Oscars ? It says a lot when you make a film with a feel good factor

This is the problem with WALTER , it's devoid of any sort of feelgood factor and centres around a young retarded man the eponymous Walter who destiny has decided must suffer a rotten life . Not only born with learning difficulties he's born in to that type of nihilistic Northern England that only seems to exists in this type of story . His father has just died , he works in a factory populated by bullies , his mother hates him and his only friends are the pigeons he keeps . Yes that's right , a gritty true life tale featuring Northerners is never complete without an indigneous protagonist keeping either birds or whippets. One can't help understanding that when it was broadcast it received a large number of complaints and one empathizes with the stereotypical portrayal of the Northern English

Along with it being the first film shown on Channel 4 WALTER should be remembered as something of a breakthrough role for Ian Mckellan who had been an actor for many years before this and one who Joe Public would have a serious problem putting a name to the face . It's a power house performance and one wonders if WALTER had been a truly cinematic film how rewarded his performance would have been ? As it stood his next substantial role would be in Michael Mann's THE KEEP which flopped at the cinema and you're left scratching your head wondering what an actor has to do to get noticed by the public

1 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Walter mcdowell271
Discuss Walter (1982) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: