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The Shell Seekers (1989)

PG | | Drama | TV Movie 3 December 1989
Given an opportunity to trade her most cherished possession for comfort and security, Penelope Keeling (Dame Angela Lansbury) must take a good look at her future. With three grown children ... See full summary »

Director:

Waris Hussein

Writer:

John Pielmeier
Reviews
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Angela Lansbury ... Penelope Keeling
Irene Worth ... Dolly Keeling
Sam Wanamaker ... Richard
Patricia Hodge ... Olivia
Anna Carteret ... Nancy
Sophie Ward ... Antonia
Denis Quilley ... Cosmo
Serena Gordon Serena Gordon ... Annabel
Michael Gough ... Roy Brookner
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Patrick Blackwell Patrick Blackwell ... Taxi Driver
Christopher Bowen ... Noel
Tracey Childs ... Penelope (age 20)
James Goodwin James Goodwin ... Rupert
Laura Goodwin Laura Goodwin ... Melanie
William Hope ... Young Richard
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Storyline

Given an opportunity to trade her most cherished possession for comfort and security, Penelope Keeling (Dame Angela Lansbury) must take a good look at her future. With three grown children and a lifetime of memories, she realizes that something is missing, the simple joy she knew as a child playing on the beach. So she embarks on an incredible journey - fifty years into her past - to discover the secret to happiness for her friends, her family...and herself

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A television movie made for ABC. See more »

Connections

Edited into Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) See more »

User Reviews

 
Memories of a seascape
20 January 2000 | by shrine-2See all my reviews

Penelope Keeling has just had a heart attack, or so her doctor says, but she cannot tolerate the sights and sounds of impending death that surround her at the hospital. So against his orders, she goes home. She looks over her garden, and determines to clear away the weeds there, when suddenly a memory of the past flashes before her: a vision of her mother Sophie and her playing against a beautiful seascape. Her father is in the foreground, capturing the scene on canvas, and it isn't unlike his painting on her parlor wall called "The Shell Seekers" that she keeps because it's a document of the days when she was most happy.

It's a mighty vision, because in it lies the heart of Penelope's gift--the joy of living that her dead mother was able to pass on to her, a joy she so wishes she knew how to convey to her children--and can't. And in her frustration, she embarks on a journey to recapture that happiness again.

In its soft, hushed way, "The Shell Seekers" is a testament to what great television can be. John Pielmeier opens before us the mystery and grandeur of Rosamund Pilcher's story about maternal loss and love, and Angela Lansbury reveals sides in the embodiment of Pilcher's creation that reach something primal inside of you and takes root in you for what seems might be forever. I don't think I'll forget the ending to this movie as long as I live. It jerked tears that I never thought I had; the last time my heart was caught in my throat this hard was in one of the great crying parties of all time "Imitation of Life." And where Juanita Moore's problem was obvious, Angela Lansbury's is less clear. Her past suffering was brought on by the surprises that war springs on unsuspecting people and the usual entanglements brought on by hostile relatives, but the sorrow about her grown children is much more mysterious like the deep, blue sea Penelope seems to be stretching her arms out to. Lansbury has never been this pensive in a role, although she had a lot of practice on "Murder, She Wrote." But nothing there ever had this kind of lingering poignancy. With Anna Cateret, Patricia Hodge, and Christopher Bowen as her children; Denis Quilley as Hodge's lover; Sophie Ward as his mermaid of a daughter; Mark Lewis Jones as the gardener with a tender secret of his own; and Sam Wanamaker as the man Pen let get away. If Cornwall is as beautiful as Waris Hussein is able to show us in this movie, I hope to visit it one day.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 December 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Shell Seekers (#39.1) See more »

Filming Locations:

Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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