6.7/10
1,972
21 user 11 critic

Waterland (1992)

Trailer
0:29 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Tom Crick, a high school history teacher, is having trouble connecting - with his class, with his wife. He ventures into telling his class stories about his young adulthood in the Fens ... See full summary »

Director:

Stephen Gyllenhaal

Writers:

Graham Swift (novel), Peter Prince (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Moonlighting (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Polish contractor, Nowak, leads a group of workmen to London so they can provide cheap labor for a government official based there. Nowak (Irons) has to manage the project and the men as ... See full summary »

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Eugene Lipinski, Jirí Stanislav
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A man new to a smallish British town joins an amateur theatre company. Once there, he discovers that the drama on stage is quite often nothing compared to what's happening behind the scenes... See full summary »

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Anthony Hopkins, Richard Briers
Betrayal (1983)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Pinter's semi-autobiographical play examining the surprise attraction, shy first steps, gradual flowering, and treasonous deception of a woman's extramarital affair with her husband's best ... See full summary »

Director: David Hugh Jones
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley, Patricia Hodge
Mystery Date (1991)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A teenage boy would like to meet with a very pretty, blonde girl who lives next door. His elder brother helps him with a car and a credit card to be successful. This simple story gets ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Wacks
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Teri Polo, Brian McNamara
Biography | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Wealthy Sunny von Bülow lies brain-dead, husband Claus guilty of attempted murder; but he says he's innocent and hires Alan Dershowitz for his appeal.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close, Ron Silver
Chinese Box (1997)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story of Hong Kong, from New Year's Day to June 30th, 1997, when the British left their colony and turned it over to the People's Republic of China.

Director: Wayne Wang
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Li Gong, Maggie Cheung
Century (1993)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Paul Reisner, a young doctor, becomes a researcher in a prestigious medical institute. He feels he has a chance to be part of a movement of unending progress in science and civilization. ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Poliakoff
Stars: Charles Dance, Clive Owen, Miranda Richardson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Irons ... Tom Crick
Sinéad Cusack ... Mary Crick
Grant Warnock Grant Warnock ... Young Tom
Lena Headey ... Young Mary
Callum Dixon ... Freddie Parr
Sean Maguire ... Peter (as Sean McGuire)
Ross McCall ... Terry
Camilla Hebditch Camilla Hebditch ... Shirley
David Morrissey ... Dick Crick
John Heard ... Lewis Scott
Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Maggie Ruth
Ethan Hawke ... Matthew Price
Cara Buono ... Judy Dobson
Pete Postlethwaite ... Henry Crick (as Peter Postlethwaite)
Stewart Richman Stewart Richman ... Ernest Atkinson
Edit

Storyline

Tom Crick, a high school history teacher, is having trouble connecting - with his class, with his wife. He ventures into telling his class stories about his young adulthood in the Fens district in England. The emotional wounds from his younger life wash over him in present day, affecting his work and his relationships with his students and his wife. Written by Martin Lewison <milst1@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language, and for an abortion scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Geheimnis seiner Liebe See more »

Filming Locations:

East Anglia, England, UK See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,034,287
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Jeremy Irons; and three Oscar nominees: Pete Postlethwaite, Ethan Hawke and Maggie Gyllenhaal. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tom Crick: Once upon a time, children, there was a history teacher who came home one day, after giving a class on the French Revolution, to find that his wife, the woman he loved since they were children, had herself committed a revolutionary, a miraculous act.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Gloomy and messy melodrama
6 September 2011 | by donaldkingSee all my reviews

I have not read the novel, but a quick glance at a synopsis of the plot suggests what a mess they've made of it on film. The novel sounds like a serious, intellectual drama. The film is an attempt to simplify the concepts involved, and turn them into a rather straightforward drama. In itself, and no further, this might have succeeded. The failure is caused by other things.

The transferral of the Cricks from Greenwich to Pittsburgh is a disastrous mistake - the only reason for doing it was clearly the American box office. Again, the distributors tend to assume that Americans are too stupid to take in a drama set in England. They are wrong.

The conversations between Irons (Crick) and John Heard, as American school-teachers discussing education in 1974, are embarrassingly wrong somehow, and bang an entirely wrong beat. The time you first realise Irons is addressing his class of teenagers (Ethan Hawke is 22, actually) as 'children' is even more excruciating. The fact that he apologises for this expression in his farewell speech made me think that one of the script editors had only just noticed how dumb it sounded, and shoved it in as an 'apology' (to the film-goer rather than to the student) at the end.

Things get worse. When Irons shows his 'children' a print of the Guillotine and describes, very mildly, some of the mutilated corpses, they all exclaim 'Oh God, no...' and 'Aaargh, how sickening...' They sound more like children from 'Pollyanna', than actual teenagers from Pittsburgh, who'd have grown up under Vietnam, and were just about to see 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.' Nearly every 'American' scene is mind-numbingly awful. Irons's farewell speech is hardly Michael Redgrave (or even Albert Finney) in 'The Browning Version.'

Someone had another pointless idea. "When Irons starts talking about his past life, let's have the American teenagers actually transported there on the screen." This makes no sense, and after a while the whole idea seems to have been mercifully abandoned. The scene of them trundling across Norfolk in a truck was risible, and I half-expected Captain Mainwaring and Jones's van to appear at any minute. The assumption behind this 'idea' seems that the film-goer is in reality just as thick as John Heard assumes students are - i.e. no one's interested in history and the past - so our best bet is to actually SHOW Ethan Hawke tramping about in the Fens of WW2.

John Heard and Peter Postlethwaite are completely wasted, and David Morrissey does the valiant best he can as Irons's mentally handicapped elder brother. I have always found Jeremy Irons greatly over-rated, and 'Waterland' shows just how insipid his acting can be at times. I was - even within the constrictions of the wreckage made of the Graham Swift novel by the scriptwriters - longing for a Dirk Bogarde or a Christopher Ecclestone. Irons simply doesn't carry it. In fact, the bar room scene with Irons and Ethan Hawke showed how much better Hawke is. I was reminded of Hawke with Robin Williams in 'Dead Poets Society' three years earlier. Even that has tinges of embarrassment (most filmmakers have no real idea what schools or universities are like - watch Lewis Gilbert's hysterical portrayal of a 1980's British university in 'Educating Rita') but 'Dead Poets Society' is great stuff compared to the wet mess of 'Waterland'. (Like most films of this sort, it has lashings of dull 'mood music' - always appearing at the completely wrong moment in the film.)

PS Ethan Hawke looks 'pretty.'


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed