7.3/10
4,036
56 user 29 critic

The Whales of August (1987)

Not Rated | | Drama | 19 August 1987 (France)
Two aged sisters reflect on life and the past during a late summer day in Maine.

Director:

Lindsay Anderson

Writers:

David Berry (screenplay), David Berry (play)
Reviews
Popularity
4,316 ( 9,820)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Libby Strong
Lillian Gish ... Sarah Webber
Vincent Price ... Mr. Maranov
Ann Sothern ... Tisha Doughty
Harry Carey Jr. ... Joshua Brackett
Frank Grimes ... Mr. Beckwith
Margaret Ladd ... Young Libby
Tisha Sterling ... Young Tisha
Mary Steenburgen ... Young Sarah
Frank Pitkin Frank Pitkin ... Old Randall
Mike Bush Mike Bush ... Young Randall
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Storyline

It's August. Like they have most summers, elderly widowed sisters Libby Strong and Sarah Webber, who live in Philadelphia, are staying together in the family's summer cottage on an island off the coast of Maine. The cottage, which now belongs to Sarah, has been in their family most of their lives, was the family's summer getaway from Philadelphia when they were younger. There are a few people who have been friends or acquaintances on the island, including the outspoken Tisha Dought, and Joshua Brackett. Someone new at least to Sarah's social circle is Mr. Maranov, a former Russian aristocrat. His stay on the island is threatened when his landlady, Hilda Partridge, passes away. Sarah and Libby have come to the realization they are in the respective twilight of their lives, Sarah, who still keeps busy and wants to savor life's pleasures, acts as now sightless, cantankerous and bitter Libby's caregiver. Sarah knows she can no longer take care of Libby. As such, Sarah has to make ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Screen's Immortals... A movie you'll never forget. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 August 1987 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

As Baleias de Agosto See more »

Filming Locations:

Maine, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,338,198

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,338,198
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nelson Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Black and White (flashbacks)| Color (TVC)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Actress Tisha Sterling played a character, the young Tisha Doughty, who had the same first name as her own. See more »

Goofs

When Sarah blows out the candle, the supplementary light from above stays on a beat or two longer before going out. See more »

Quotes

Libby Strong: Anna has never been very daughterly... and you have never been very motherly.
See more »


Soundtracks

Roses of Picardy
(uncredited)
Music by Haydn Wood
Lyrics by Frederick Edward Weatherly
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Brings tears to this middle aged man's eyes
29 November 2004 | by bekayessSee all my reviews

Until tonight, I had not seen this charming film since it was first released in 1987--at that time I was 30. Now I'm quite a few years older [you do the math--:)]. . .I'm not easily brought to tears, not at weddings, not at funerals, not by sad movies. But the beauty of the final moments with the Misses Davis and Gish caused me to tear up and cry like a baby. How wonderful it is to see these two ladies--plus Mr. Price and Ms. Southern--give such moving and real performances, well past the years when most people have retired and decided it was time to sit around and wait for death. If just one person of my age--or any age, older or younger--sees this film and changes a defeatist attitude, then the actors and writer have done their job.

I know my attitude is changed. . .


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