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84 Charing Cross Road (1987)

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


(as David Jones)


(book), (play) | 1 more credit »

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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... Helene Hanff
... Frank P. Doel
... Nora Doel
Jean De Baer ... Maxine Stuart
Maurice Denham ... George Martin
... Cecily Farr
... Kay
... Brian
... Megan Wells
... Bill Humphries
... Ginny
Tom Isbell ... Ed
... Mrs. Boulton
... The Lady from Delaware
... Businessman on Plane


When a humorous script-reader in her New York 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 Doel, the bookseller who works at Marks & Co., 84 Charing Cross Road. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

13 February 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nunca te vi, siempre te amé  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,350, 16 February 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In real-life, Helene Hanff did eventually visit the book shop at 84 Charing Cross Road, but by this time, it had closed. Hanff had postponed her journey there too long, due to financial problems and a reluctance to travel, with pen-pal Frank Doel dying due from peritonitis from a burst appendix in December of 1968. Hanff eventually got to 84 Charing Cross Road in the Summer of 1971 to greet an empty premises. Hanff recounted this visit in her 1973 book "The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street". In this work, according to Wikipedia, "Hanff describes her visits with friends and fans to various locations and places of literary and historical interest in London and Southern England. This trip was a highlight of her life, her modesty and sense of humor are evident as she talks about the friends, including Frank Doel's wife, Nora, and daughter, Sheila, who were so devoted to her because of 84 Charing Cross Road, and her love of London." See more »


In a street-shot near the funeral, there is a view of some houses with UHF TV aerials, though UHF TV broadcasting did not start in the UK until the mid 1960's. See more »


[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 »


References The Adventures of Ellery Queen (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

A Different View of Singlehood
9 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

I saw this movie in 1987, read the book, and just rented it again in memory of Anne Bancroft. It remains for me a gem-an amazingly done story. What is really amazing however-and a sad comment on where people's attentions are focused-is that in 1987 there were two movies that dealt with married men and single women. This was one of them; the other was "Fatal Attraction." What a difference! People flocked to see the latter film in which (spoilers for "F.A." here) a single urban career woman has a brief affair with a married man, tries to kill herself, tries to kill everyone else, fricassees a pet rabbit, etc. Now in "84 Charing Cross Road," the heroine's finances prevent her from crossing the ocean to actually meet the married man of her daydreams- but even if she had been able to visit England and meet him,I doubt she would have baked his children's pets or kidnapped his children. This was not,thankfully,that kind of film. This was a true story of a single career woman whose life was happy in spite of her being single. She had friends, her writing, the books she was buying and reading. We see at one point a photograph on her bureau of a man in uniform-was this a former boyfriend,a fiancé,who was killed in the war? Possibly-but the woman does not live in grief nor does she go melodramatically crazy. It's too bad that America chose to make the derivative trash that is "F.A." popular while not honoring "84 Charing Cross Road" for its depiction of a brainy adult relationship.

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