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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

The name under which children's author Neaera Duncan (Glenda Jackson) wrote children's books, was the pseudonym "Delia Swallow". See more »

Quotes

Assistant Keeper: Hello, George. What have you got there?
George Fairbairn: Turtles.
Assistant Keeper: Oh yeah, what are you gonna do with 'em?
George Fairbairn: Give 'em a holiday, they need it.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Low-key but beautifully acted story of everyday people fulfilling their little dream
16 June 2001 | by adteerlinkSee all my reviews

"Turtle Diary" is a movie easily underestimated: the viewer is not 'pushed' through a nerve-wrecking plot and scenes. However, this movie rewards the viewer with an intimate and at times moving picture of common people in unusual circumstances. Ben Kingsley plays a totally credible single male living an undisturbed life as a book-selling clerk. During his daily visits to the giant sea turtles - rare animals on the brink of extinction - in the Zoo Aquarium he develops the moral conviction that the animals should be set free. He discovers that a female writer of nature books, who sometimes visits the bookstore where Kingley works, shares his vision and together with the zoo assistant they make a plan and prepare the illegal 'abduction' of the turtles. The movie succeeds in engaging the viewer in the plans and the suspense of the preparation while at the same time presenting a realistic and sometimes moving picture of daily life in the English lodging house where Kingley lives. There is even a little surprising romantic touch at the end of the movie. The movie invites the viewer to identify himself (and herself) with the main characters. There are reminders of classic Italian neo-realistic cinema in the combination of realism with the feeling of personal involvement it can evoke from the viewer.


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