6.4/10
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13 user 5 critic

When the Whales Came (1989)

PG | | Drama | 20 October 1989 (USA)
A pair of children befriend an accentric old man, who lives isolated on the far shore of their island home. But it turns out that the old man knows a terrible secret about the island and ... See full summary »

Director:

Clive Rees

Writers:

Michael Morpurgo (novel), Michael Morpurgo (screenplay)
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3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Scofield ... The Birdman
David Threlfall ... Jack Jenkins
Helen Mirren ... Clemmie Jenkins
Helen Pearce Helen Pearce ... Gracie Jenkins
Max Rennie Max Rennie ... Daniel Pender
Jeremy Kemp ... Mr. Wellbeloved
John Hallam ... Treve Pender
Barbara Ewing Barbara Ewing ... Mary Pender
Dexter Fletcher ... Big Tim
Nicholas Jones ... Vicar
Joanna Bartholemew Joanna Bartholemew ... Miss Tregarthen
Barbara Jefford ... Auntie Mildred
Irene Wilson Irene Wilson ... Molly Woodcock
Fergus Rees Fergus Rees ... The Birdman as a Boy
Kerra Spowart Kerra Spowart ... Margaret Pender
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Storyline

A pair of children befriend an accentric old man, who lives isolated on the far shore of their island home. But it turns out that the old man knows a terrible secret about the island and the narwhales who sometimes come. Meanwhile WWI is making life hard in the village. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

island | girl | boy | redemption | curse | See All (18) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuando vuelvan las ballenas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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User Reviews

Low key drama fueled by solid performances.
4 September 1999 | by Zane-14See all my reviews

On a remote, desolate island off the British coast, a community lives a hand to mouth existence, celebrating when passing yachts come to grief so they can scavenge the wood. They celebrate more when a pod of narwhales are beached, knowing they can eat in style for weeks. As the islanders ready themselves to butcher the whales, an elderly hermit appears to warn of danger if the whales are harmed, remembering an earlier time when the slaughter of a pod of stranded whales was followed by disaster.

Good performances all round, led by Paul Scofield and Helen Mirren. This is certainly not a film to get your adrenalin going but "When the Whales Came" is worthy of a viewing; for the acting, the scenery and the whales.


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