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To the Lighthouse (1983)

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 ... See full summary »


Colin Gregg


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


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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

23 March 1983 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A világítótorony See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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

"Nothing Happens"
12 March 2006 | by ps22See all my reviews

I read somewhere that Kenneth Tynan took a friend who knew nothing about Chekhov to see a production of "The Cherry Orchard;" as they were leaving the theatre, Tynan asked the other guy what he made of the play, and got the reply, "Rather boring, I thought. Nothing happens." "Nothing except the end of an age and the birth of the next one," was Tynan's response. I think that something similar applies to this version of "To the Lighthouse;" the film is heavy with pathos, regret, longing, decline, all coming from the interactions each member of the household has with all of the others. I felt again the pleasure of watching Mrs Wolff's genius at work, in the mosaic created by so much seeming-random-but-always-revealing dialogue as well as the interior monologues spoken by some of the characters. I was completely enthralled by the film and deeply impressed by the great honesty of all the actors' performances. Definitely a winner in my estimation.

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