7.1/10
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29 user 11 critic

A Month in the Country (1987)

Five centuries ago a mural was created in a country church in the north of England and then hidden under layers of white paint. Looking at it again will be a distraction, the Rev. Mr. Keach... See full summary »

Director:

Pat O'Connor

Writers:

J.L. Carr (novel), Simon Gray
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Firth ... Birkin
John Atkinsons John Atkinsons ... Old Man on Train
Jim Carter ... Ellerbeck
Patrick Malahide ... Reverend Keach
Kenneth Branagh ... James Moon
Richard Vernon ... Colonel Hebron
Tim Barker Tim Barker ... Mossop
Vicki Arundale Vicki Arundale ... Kathy
Martin O'Neil Martin O'Neil ... Edgar
Natasha Richardson ... Alice Keach
Tony Haygarth ... Douthwaite
Eileen O'Brien Eileen O'Brien ... Mrs. Ellerbeck
Elizabeth Anson Elizabeth Anson ... Lucy Sykes
Barbara Marten Barbara Marten ... Mrs. Sykes
Ken Kitson ... Mr. Sykes (as Kenneth Kitson)
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Storyline

Five centuries ago a mural was created in a country church in the north of England and then hidden under layers of white paint. Looking at it again will be a distraction, the Rev. Mr. Keach tells WWI veteran Tom Birken who will spend a month in the country restoring the mural. Another veteran, James Moon, is looking for the grave of an ancestor of the patroness of the church who fought in the Crusades. The rector's wife, Alice, comes to see the mural and later visits Birken's bell tower abode, bringing a basket of apples. Will she open the book in which he has pressed the yellow rose she gave him earlier? Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 1987 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

En månad på landet See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$443,524
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Film historian Nick Redman mentions in his commentary included in the BFI edition of the film that ,at the time of its original release, this was said to be a film "starring two nobodies". See more »

Goofs

According to Alice Keach, her roses are the variety Sarah Van Fleet. However, the film is set in 1920 and Sarah Van Fleet roses were not introduced until 1926. See more »

Quotes

Birkin: One dab too few, and some poor chap won't get back from five centuries ago. One dab too many and... wiped him out forever.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Breakthrough Stars of 1990 (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Zum Sanctus: Heilig, heilig ist der Herr
from Deutsche Messe
Written by Franz Schubert
(uncredited)
Played during the opening WW1 scene, and again at the very end of the film, when old Birkin returns to the church and looks at the painting
See more »

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User Reviews

A gem to be rewatched again and again.
15 November 2000 | by KJArtSee all my reviews

I think this is the most-watched movie in my collection. Its strong passions are beautifully understated by the entire ensemble, which is the thing that I appreciate most in this film. All the cast are excellent, including the children (and I must add a special appreciation for Jim Carter, who has played opposite Firth in at least two other films that I know of), but this is an absolute tour de force for both Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh. The viewer seems to share the pain and humiliation borne by the sufferers of "shell shock". Their encounters with the joy and grief inherent in the life and people of a small Yorkshire village are both poignant and humorous.

The slow pace enriches the character development and story. It mirrors the patient process of both leading characters' pursuits: Firth's character uncovers a medieval church mural slowly and carefully, as Branagh's seeks and uncovers a mysterious grave. Both work with an audience of curious local villagers by day, and wrestle with their personal demons by night. Slowly new bittersweet relationships develop as the summer progresses. I pity the impatient of this world who can't focus their attention long enough to take in or appreciate the rich content of the performances, the subtle direction, the beauty of both the cinematography and the music.

This movie is a gentle and uplifting experience each time it is viewed! A movie to be savored. I highly recommend it!


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