133 user 184 critic

Keeping Mum (2005)

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A pastor preoccupied with writing the perfect sermon fails to realize that his wife is having an affair, and his children are up to no good.


Niall Johnson


Richard Russo (screenplay), Niall Johnson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Rowan Atkinson ... Walter Goodfellow
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Gloria Goodfellow
Maggie Smith ... Grace Hawkins
Patrick Swayze ... Lance
Tamsin Egerton ... Holly Goodfellow
Toby Parkes Toby Parkes ... Petey Goodfellow
Liz Smith ... Mrs. Parker
Emilia Fox ... Rosie Jones
James Booth James Booth ... Mr. Brown
Patrick Monckton Patrick Monckton ... Bob - Pond Workman
Rowley Irlam ... Ted - Pond Workman
Vivienne Moore Vivienne Moore ... Mrs. Martin
Murray McArthur ... Vicar's Convention Master of Ceremonies
Morgan Gower Morgan Gower ... Reverend Campbell
Rupert Simonian ... Billy Martin the Bully


Walter Goodfellow (Rowan Atkinson), the vicar for the small English country parish of Little Wallop, has allowed his marriage to Gloria (Kristin Scott Thomas) go stale, and he is so detached from his family, that he has not taken notice that his seventeen-year-old daughter Holly (Tamsin Egerton) is going through a succession of relationships with unsuitable boyfriends, and his son Petey (Toby Parkes) fears going to school, owing to being bullied. Out of desperation for affection, Gloria begins to fall for the advances of Lance (Patrick Swayze), an American golf pro who is giving her "private" lessons. The problems upsetting the family start to fade away after Grace Hawkins (Dame Maggie Smith), the new housekeeper, arrives and starts tending to matters as an older, and rather darkly mysterious version of Mary Poppins. Written by Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They took her in. Now she's taking them out. See more »


Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



UK | USA | Isle Of Man



Release Date:

6 October 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secrets de famille See more »


Box Office


$169,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£645,886 (United Kingdom), 4 December 2005, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,112, 17 September 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,618,957, 21 January 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(dvd) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film is considered to be a vigilante flick. See more »


When everyone is taking the trunk upstairs, the shadow is visible above Grace's head moving around. See more »


Grace Hawkins: You know, men do sometimes lose their way, dear. I mean, Walter is a sweet soul, but he's a bit slow-witted like the rest of them.
Gloria Goodfellow: So you were married too?
Grace Hawkins: Yes I was. A long time ago.
Gloria Goodfellow: Did he lose his way?
Grace Hawkins: With a little help from another woman.
Gloria Goodfellow: Ohh...
Grace Hawkins: Completely lost his head over her.
See more »


Did You Ever Wonder Why?
Produced and Written by Dickon Hinchliffe
Sung by Dickon Hinchliffe and Cara Dillon
Guitar: Neil Fraser
Engineered by Philip Bagenal at Eastcote Studios and Mat Bartram at Angel Studios
Mixed by Ian Caple
Published by Keeping Mum Productions Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Sweetly dark accessible British comedy
21 February 2007 | by oneloveallSee all my reviews

This charming little black comedy should have all but ultra conservatives smiling throughout the ludicrous scripting, eluding gaping plot holes and complete unrealism with sheer likability. A friendly, very export-worthy British comedy, Keeping Mum is a throwback to guilt free, sinister joys that were in much greater fashion before everyone decided to let their films guide their morality. Nothing has recently personified this old fashioned, fun spirited creepiness as affectionately as Maggie Smith's vibrant performance for her semi-cuckoo, housemaid with a few secrets of her own. With a delightful, perceptive supporting cast, the plot may not exactly pull you in (especially the first half), but will nonetheless keep pleasant spirits anchored as the real fun takes hold. Rowan Atkinson in particular, portraying a character not unlike his famous bumbling priest in Four Weddings and a Funeral, gets to exercise more of his subtle comedic chops then usually seen, and the ensuing awkwardness that radiates whenever he is on screen is sweet and endearing.

Despite the obvious tone of an utmost fictionalization, I suppose Keeping Mum will still take a few hits for it's portrayal of religion and murder, but anyone seriously trying to analyze the lack of morality on this one will have missed the whole carefree point. The characters might have been completely unbelievable by the time this thing is over, but the nature of this kind of entertainment does not beckon one to take offense to that.

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