6.1/10
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14 user 5 critic

When the Whales Came (1989)

PG | | Drama | 20 October 1989 (USA)
A pair of children befriend an eccentric 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 eccentric 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, World War I 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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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Motormouth: Episode #2.1 (1989) See more »

User Reviews

 
Beautiful adaptation of a charming story
24 August 2009 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When the Whales Came, based upon Michael Morpurgo's charming story, is a beautiful well-meaning film, that I do think is worthy of a lot more praise than it is given. The cinematography and scenery were gorgeous, and so was the enchanting music score. The part when the villagers drive the Narwhal into the sea was such a poignant moment. The script was fine and so was the direction and the acting. The two children are believable, and Helen Mirren and David Suchet, two exceptional actors give fine support. Though the real kudos have to go to Paul Scofield, who was fantastic, and to Jeremy Kemp as Mr Wellbeloved, who wasn't only warm and loving towards the children, but it was also an altogether sensitive portrayal. My only minor complaint with the movie was the pace, it was a tad slow, but overall this film is beautiful. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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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 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,030, 22 October 1989

Gross USA:

$73,131

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$73,131
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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