6 user

To the Lighthouse (1983)

A family spends their last summer at the seashore, before personal tragedy and the outbreak of World War I destroy their world.


Colin Gregg


Hugh Stoddart, Virginia Woolf (novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Rosemary Harris ... Mrs. Ramsay
Michael Gough ... Mr. Ramsay
Suzanne Bertish ... Lily Briscoe
Lynsey Baxter ... Nancy Ramsay
Pippa Guard ... Prue Ramsay
Kenneth Branagh ... Charles Tansley
T.P. McKenna ... Augustus Carmichael
Nicholas Gecks Nicholas Gecks ... Paul Rayley
David Parfitt ... Andrew Ramsay
Craig Warnock Craig Warnock ... Jasper Ramsey (aged 14)
Jessie Walker Stewart Jessie Walker Stewart ... Cam Ramsay (aged 7)
Chris Lahr ... James Ramsey (aged 6) (as Christopher Lahr)
Kristin Milward ... Marie
Simon Dutton ... Jasper (aged 24)
Nicola Wright ... Cam (aged 17)


A faithful dramatization of Virginia Woolf's novel. A lecturer, his family, the spinster Aunt Lily, an old friend, and a student, Charles Tansley, spend a summer in an isolated house in Cornwall just before World War I. The stern Mr. Ramsay scolds everybody, while Mrs. Ramsay is the linchpin in keeping the family together. Aunt Lily paints, and the family talk about sailing to the lighthouse, but the trip is always postponed. Written by Will Gilbert

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Did You Know?


This movie was the first true independent production with the BBC. Keith Williams, BBC Head of Plays, Ronnie Marsh, the BBC Head of Co-Production worked with Producer David Wilkinson to pioneer the "Reverse Co-Production". The BBC provided the crew, equipment and post-production services. Wilkinson raised his funding from the Prudential Assurance, which paid for the actors, actresses, extras, screenplay, rights to the novel, music, and musicians. Colin Gregg Films then owned the copyright and world rights to the movie. The BBC had just two U.K. showings of the movie. It was one of four television movies nominated in 1983 for a BAFTA award. See more »


Clair de Lune
Music by Claude Debussy
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User Reviews

Some literary works should not be made into films and this is one of them!
26 December 2013 | by denizovSee all my reviews

This long film ( almost two hours) should not have been made at all. Knowing very well the style and characteristics of Virginia Woolf as a writer, I think that her novels are not suitable to be put onto screen. They hardly have a plot, they put much emphasis on language ( which cannot be shown on screen—it is not by chance that in the film characters speak their thoughts—this is a literary device and I would say—a sign of weakness) and on perceptions, thoughts, associations, philosophical analysis etc. All this is impossible to show through images. Literature and cinema are two different kinds of art. Literature works with words and language, cinema –with images. No wonder this film is a failure. It is trivial and boring although the actors do their best. I have mixed feelings about Virginia Woolf as a writer. I like some features of her works and I do not like others. Still, I must say that her books are good literature. But they do not make good films—it is as simple as that. Movie directors should understand this and leave them alone.

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Release Date:

12 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A világítótorony See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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