7.0/10
678
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)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Champions (1984)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The true story of Bob Champion, a British steeple chase jockey who, in the late 1970s, was diagnosed with cancer. Rather than succumb to the disease, however, Bob stages a miraculous ... See full summary »

Director: John Irvin
Stars: John Hurt, Gregory Jones, Mick Dillon
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A high-ranking Polish politburo member is banished from the party, and must find out why. Set in 1979 Poland before the Solidarity events.

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Anne Archer, Paul Freeman
Mandela's Gun (2016)
Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Set in 1962 MANDELAS GUN is a political thriller, based on Mandelas African Odyssey. As Commander-in-Chief of the Liberation Army Umkhonto we Sizwe (the MK) he undergoes military training ... See full synopsis »

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Tumisho Masha, Khaled Benaïssa, Nick Boraine
Freefall (1994)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Wildlife photographer Katy is sent to Africa by her fiance Dex, the CEO of the international company that publishes the magazine she works for, to take photos of a rare bird of prey ... See full summary »

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Eric Roberts, Jeff Fahey, Pamela Gidley
Mona Lisa (1986)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man recently released from prison manages to get a job driving a call girl from customer to customer.

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, Michael Caine
Dot.Kill (2005)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A detective tries to hunt down a serial killer who broadcasts his murders live on the internet.

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Armand Assante, Sonny Marinelli, Raffaello Degruttola
Widows' Peak (1994)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Edwina has just moved into the neighborhood known as "Widows' Peak," so called due to the prevalent marital status of the residents, who tend to be a rather exclusive bunch. The residents ... See full summary »

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Joan Plowright, Mia Farrow, Natasha Richardson
Shiner (2000)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The past catches up with a ruthlessly ambitious boxing promoter.

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Michael Caine, Martin Landau, Frances Barber
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Together in Rome to shoot a film, a German actress (McCormack) and an English actor (Pryce) contend with forces that complicate their romance as well as the production itself.

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Alfred Molina, Catherine McCormack
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

For 16 years Miss Bentley has been spending April at an elegant hillside villa on Lake Como. This year, 1937, her London society artist father has recently died and the only other ... See full summary »

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Edward Fox, Uma Thurman
Reunion (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two young boys from very different backgrounds become friends in 1933 Stuttgart. However, they don't realize how different they are until much later as one is the son of a well-to-do Jewish... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Jason Robards, Christien Anholt, Samuel West
Betrayal (1983)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Pinter's semi-autobiographical play examining the surprise attraction, shy first steps, gradual flowering, and treasonous deception of a woman's extramarital affair with her husband's best ... See full summary »

Director: David Hugh Jones
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley, Patricia Hodge
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 February 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Diario de tortugas See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$40,115, 17 February 1986

Gross USA:

$2,156,772

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Billing: Glenda Jackson (first), Sir Ben Kingsley (second), and on some movie posters, third was writer Harold Pinter. Normal billing for actors has Richard Johnson (third), Michael Gambon (fourth), Rosemary Leach (fifth), Eleanor Bron (sixth), Harriet Walker (seventh), and Jeroen Krabbe (eighth). See more »

Quotes

George Fairbairn: I've been telling them for years to let the big ones go. Put 'em in the sea.
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Screen Acting at its Best in a Gentle, Memorable Fable
19 March 2006 | by dglinkSee all my reviews

Two lonely people, who desperately need to break out of their own confines, conspire together to free two sea turtles that have been imprisoned in an aquarium for thirty years. Harold Pinter's well-written script for "Turtle Diary" is spare, but Ben Kingsley and Glenda Jackson are such consummate actors that they bring a depth to their parts that goes well beyond words. Screen acting rarely gets better than these two performances. A glance, a half smile, and a shrug convey more than a page of written lines, and Kingsley and Jackson are masters of non-verbal communication. The supporting cast in this quirky film is equally skilled and ably fleshes out the sketchily written roles. Eleanor Bron is particularly memorable as a shadowy woman of few words, who lives in the same boardinghouse as Kingsley. She says little, but suggests much. Bron's character will haunt the viewer long after the film is over. Richard Johnson plays Jackson's neighbor, and he too creates a character far more real than his few lines of dialog would suggest. Nigel Hawthorne, Rosemary Leach, Michael Gambon, and Jeroen Krabbe also add idiosyncratic characterizations to this engaging film.

Set in London, "Turtle Diary" could be classified as a love story, although no romance develops between the leads and the lack of romance or interpersonal involvement constrains many of the protagonists. For the most part, the characters are solitary individuals, who exist alone and uninvolved when the film opens. However, as the story progresses, the fortunate form attachments, while those who do not remain confined by their loneliness. The story is slight and obviously intended to provide parallels between the plight of the turtles and those of the characters. Events move slowly, and character trumps plot. "Turtle Diary" is a glowing film for patient viewers, who will be rewarded for their time with excellent performances, memorable characters, and a gentle captivating story.


11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed