7.0/10
677
8 user 16 critic

Turtle Diary (1985)

Two separate people, a man and a woman, find something very stirring about the sea turtles in their tank at the London Zoo. They meet and form an odd, but sympathetic camaraderie as they ... See full summary »

Director:

John Irvin

Writers:

Russell Hoban (novel), Harold Pinter (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenda Jackson ... Neaera Duncan
Ben Kingsley ... William Snow
Richard Johnson ... Mr. Johnson (Neaera's Neighbor)
Michael Gambon ... George Fairbairn (turtle keeper)
Rosemary Leach ... Mrs. Charlie Inchcliff (landlady)
Eleanor Bron ... Miss Neap (Flora)
Harriet Walter ... Harriet Sims (bookstore clerk)
Jeroen Krabbé ... Mr. Sandor (the slob)
Nigel Hawthorne ... The Publisher
Michael Aldridge ... Mr. Meager, Bookstore Owner
Rom Anderson Rom Anderson ... Girl at Zoo
Tony Melody ... Garage Attendant with Bucket
Gary Olsen Gary Olsen ... Lorry Driver at Rest Park
Peter Capaldi ... Assistant Keeper
Harold Pinter ... Man in Bookshop
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Storyline

Two separate people, a man and a woman, find something very stirring about the sea turtles in their tank at the London Zoo. They meet and form an odd, but sympathetic camaraderie as they plan to steal two of the turtles and free them into the ocean. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They share a strange and amusing obsession.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 February 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Diario de tortugas See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$40,115, 17 February 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,156,772
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harriet Walter played a character, bookstore clerk Harriet Sims, who had the same first name as her own. See more »

Quotes

Harriet Sims: Have you ever been married?
William Snow: I must have been, I had two daughters. They were little once, they used to sit on my lap.
Harriet Sims: Were you a good father?
William Snow: They thought so, but they were only children at the time.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Murder of a Cat (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a film of many virtues
11 January 2011 | by mjneu59See all my reviews

Two withdrawn, pathologically shy Londoners, one a dedicated bachelor and the other an author of children's books, conspire to hijack a trio of sea turtles from a local zoo and liberate them into the English Channel, coming out of their own shells (so to speak) in the process.

It sounds trite, but what saves the film from becoming a starry-eyed promotion for Greenpeace is its refusal to rely strictly on charm. The screenplay by Harold Pinter (a refreshingly straightforward adaptation of the novel by Russell Hoban) is built entirely on small gestures and quiet epiphanies, with none of the expected emotional overkill or cheap inspirational grandstanding (there is, for example, no awkward romantic subplot tacked on to the adventure). Glenda Jackson and Ben Kingsley both give typically immaculate performances, and the film itself is likewise quite exhilarating, in its own understated, unassuming sort of way.


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