7.5/10
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82 user 28 critic

84 Charing Cross Road (1987)

True story of a transatlantic business correspondence about used books that developed into a close friendship.

Director:

David Hugh Jones (as David Jones)

Writers:

Helene Hanff (book), James Roose-Evans (play) | 1 more credit »
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ON DISC
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Bancroft ... Helene Hanff
Anthony Hopkins ... Frank P. Doel
Judi Dench ... Nora Doel
Jean De Baer Jean De Baer ... Maxine Stuart
Maurice Denham ... George Martin
Eleanor David ... Cecily Farr
Mercedes Ruehl ... Kay
Daniel Gerroll ... Brian
Wendy Morgan ... Megan Wells
Ian McNeice ... Bill Humphries
J. Smith-Cameron ... Ginny
Tom Isbell Tom Isbell ... Ed
Anne Dyson ... Mrs. Boulton
Connie Booth ... The Lady from Delaware
Ronn Carroll ... Businessman on Plane
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Storyline

When a humorous script-reader in her New York City apartment sees an ad in the Saturday Review of Literature for a bookstore in London that does mail order, she begins a very special correspondence and friendship with Frank P. Doel (Sir Anthony Hopkins), the bookseller who works at Marks & Co., 84 Charing Cross Road. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A true story


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 February 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nunca te vi, siempre te amé See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,350, 16 February 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,083,486
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although claiming to be a true story, at least one source implies that there was a bit of artistic license. Leo Marks, later a screenwriter, was the son of the bookstore's owner, and the head of codes and communication for Britain's special operatives and the underground during World War II, despite being barely old enough for college. In his book, "Between Silk and Cyanide" he says of his father: "He never read the gentle little myth by Helene Hanff; Long before it was published he'd become one himself." See more »

Goofs

Helene says that she wishes Geoffrey Chaucer had kept a diary of his time in the court of Richard III. Chaucer served Edward III and Richard II, more than 150 years before the reign of Richard III. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Businessman on plane: Your first trip to London?
Helene Hanff: Yes.
Businessman on plane: You want a word of advice? Don't trust the cab drivers; they'll take you five miles to go three blocks... and, uh, don't waste your time looking at a street map. Nobody can find their way around London - not even Londoners.
Helene Hanff: Maybe I should go to Baltimore instead.
Businessman on plane: No; you'll enjoy it. London's a great place. What kind of trip is it - business or pleasure?
Helene Hanff: Unfinished business.
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Crazy Credits

The production teams in New York and London were almost completely separate, and the closing credits reflect this: in front of a split screen showing Helene in New York and Frank in London, the crews for the two cities scroll side by side. In most cases the same jobs are shown in both columns, and the job titles are then shown in the center. See more »

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User Reviews

No One Who Thinks...
29 April 2005 | by PiafreduxSee all my reviews

No one who thinks himself civilized should fail to see, and to appreciate and enjoy, the rare gem that is '84 Charing Cross Road.' It's not a perfect film; its most unsettling flaw is Bancroft's direct speech to the camera - her performance being otherwise eminently artful yet genuine, and profoundly moving; and the remainder of its flaws are minor; but it's a powerfully encouraging film from which one comes away refreshed and renewed in faith in our imperfect species - and in its members' common destiny. Its intelligently, warmly told story reassures us that each of us souls ought not fear living or dying.

Hopkins is in fine form - again brilliant in understatedly conveying all from the subtlest to the deepest emotions; he's perfectly the mate here for Bancroft's exuberant, beautifully expressed duality of intellect and earthiness - in fact I cannot imagine another actress approaching, let alone succeeding at, the role of Helene. I agree with the many others who think it reflects ill of popular culture - particularly of one of its chief champions, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, that this pair were not awarded Best leading role Oscars for their splendid turns in this touching, moving film.


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