7.3/10
3,988
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
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

Penultimate theatrical feature film of actress Bette Davis whose final picture would be Wicked Stepmother (1989). See more »

Goofs

When the radio (or wireless) is switched on in order for Libby to listen to her favourite programme, the sound of the broadcast is heard immediately as though it were a modern transistor or digital radio. But the film is set in the mid-1950s during the era of valve wireless receivers (see also the prop used in the scene), meaning that the ladies would have to wait for several seconds while the set warms up before the programme could be heard. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Maranov: [recounting his mother, in the time of Imperial Russia] She said, "Nikolai, our Empress is gone. There will no longer be any use for any of us. You must leave me now and go into the world." Then she handed me a handkerchief - in which she had wrapped all of her remaining jewelry. She made me take it. My mother kissed me and said, "Use my treasure for your needs, my son, but in the end, be able to say that it was well spent."
See more »

Connections

References Crazy Mama (1975) 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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