6.9/10
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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 Reverend Mr.... See full summary »

Director:

Pat O'Connor

Writers:

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

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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 Reverend Mr. Keach tells World War I 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

Birkin's stammer was scripted. It was not improvised by Colin Firth. See more »

Goofs

Colin Firth is seen laying on a tomb in the graveyard smoking a woodbine cigarette that has a filter tip. The film is set in 1920. Filter tipped woodbine were not sold in the UK until 1948. See more »

Quotes

Alice Keach: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I wake you?
Birkin: That depends on... weather I'm awake or not.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Breakthrough Stars of 1990 (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Marche Militaire
Written by Franz Schubert
(uncredited)
Played on the organ by the young man in the showroom
See more »

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User Reviews

The last movements of a phantom limb
21 November 2000 | by blessed_damoselSee all my reviews

When an arm or leg is removed, the amputee can continue to 'feel' it for some time afterwards. The phantom limb can hurt, or itch, or feel cold. But nothing is truly the same.

Similarly, the First World War irrevocably altered Britain, but in its immediate aftermath we limped on, unaware (or unwilling to admit) that anything had changed. It's this brief period of denial that Month in the Country illustrates: the moment when we teetered on the edge of the 19th century before toppling into the 20th.

Consequently, while it is a film of great heartbreak and loss, it is also one of great hope and triumph of the human spirit. There is one scene that perfectly illustrates this: a little girl visits her friend, who is sick in bed. She talks about the weather and her new hat and how they'll play together when her friend gets well. Then as she walks back home she says to Colin Firth

'She knows she's dying, doesn't she?'

It is as tragic for the girl to be so knowing and capable in the face of death as it is for young men to have experienced the hell of the trenches and return to indifference and hostility. But because of that tragedy they will go on to experience a more real, and potentially more joyful world, than the other inhabitants of comfortable and conventional Oxgodby.


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