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Pascali's Island (1988)

PG-13 | | Drama | August 1988 (USA)
A secret agent in Turkey is persuaded by his superiors to assist a couple of English cons in the theft of a priceless Greek statue.


James Dearden


James Dearden (screenplay), Barry Unsworth (novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Kingsley ... Basil Pascali
Charles Dance ... Anthony Bowles
Kevork Malikyan ... Mardosian
George Murcell ... Herr Gesing
Helen Mirren ... Lydia Neuman
Nadim Sawalha ... Pasha
Stefan Gryff Stefan Gryff ... Izzet Effendi
Vernon Dobtcheff ... Pariente
Sheila Allen Sheila Allen ... Mrs. Marchant
T.P. McKenna ... Dr. Hogan
Danielle Allen Danielle Allen ... Mrs. Hogan
Nick Burnell Nick Burnell ... Chaudan
Giorgos Oikonomou ... Greek Rebel
Alistair Campbell Alistair Campbell ... Captain
Ali Abatsis Ali Abatsis ... Boy in Bath


1908: Basil Pascali (Sir Ben Kingsley), a spy for the Sultan, sends reports to Istanbul that nobody reads. His suspicions are roused when a British archeologist appears, who may not be quite what he seems. Written by Cleo <frede005@maroon.tc.umn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The "Initial Film and Television" company that co-produced this movie was primarily a producer of music programming for television, and continued to be so for the following few decades. By 2019, Initial is now part of the Endemol Shine group, but it's unclear which company owns this movie, as it was a co-production with FilmFour International, the hybrid theatrical-television movie production division of the U.K.'s Channel Four, a.k.a. "Film on Four"/"FilmFour". See more »


Der Hirt auf dem Felsen
Composed by Franz Schubert
Performed by Guy Printemps/Anne Forez
Courtesy of Telora
See more »

User Reviews

Does your life have meaning?
10 October 2005 | by StripedLionSee all my reviews

Pascali's Island takes place in 1908 on a Greek Island still in the possession of the decaying Ottoman Empire. This movie gave a very strong sense of place and time. It concerns three principal characters; Basil Pascali(Kingsley)--a spy for the Sultan, an English adventurer/swindler(Dance), and an artistic free-spirit(Mirren). In the end it is the story of three middle-aged people who had led lives of disappointment thus far. In the film their lives become intertwined at a critical moment for all of them. Although the film is small in scope the historical period of impending change in which it takes place underscores the longing in each of the characters to find more purpose in their lives. The story is built around Pascali's dilemma: Does he remain faithful to the Sultan who has been the center of his life so far, but who has never even acknowledged him, or does he take a chance with two people who he has come to care for, but cannot trust? The subtle but rich way in which Ben Kingsley portrays Pascali in his dilemma is very moving. Lastly, the music and over all mood created for this multi-layered and thoughtful film are perfect.

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Release Date:

August 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pascali's Island See more »

Filming Locations:

Greece See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,979, 24 July 1988

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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