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Goodnight, Mister Tom (1998)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | TV Movie 30 May 1999
A shy and quiet World War II evacuee is housed by a disgruntled old man, and they soon develop a close bond.

Director:

Jack Gold

Writers:

Brian Finch (adaptation), Michelle Magorian (novel)
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4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Thaw ... Tom Oakley
Nick Robinson Nick Robinson ... William Beech
Annabelle Apsion ... Mrs. Beech
Thomas Orange Thomas Orange ... Zacharias Wrench
William Armstrong William Armstrong ... Dr. Stelton
Geoffrey Beevers Geoffrey Beevers ... Vicar
Mossie Smith Mossie Smith ... Mrs. Fletcher
Peter England Peter England ... Michael Fletcher
Ivan Berry Ivan Berry ... George Fletcher
Harry Capehorn Harry Capehorn ... Edward Fletcher
Merelina Kendall ... Mrs. Holland
Marlene Sidaway ... Mrs. Webster
John Cater ... Dr. Little
Denyse Alexander Denyse Alexander ... Mrs. Little
Avril Elgar Avril Elgar ... Mrs. Ford
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Storyline

We're in an English village shortly before Dunkirk. "Mr. Tom" Oakley still broods over the death of his wife and small son while he was away in the navy during WWI, and grief has made him a surly hermit. Now children evacuated from London are overwhelming volunteers to house them. Practically under protest, Mr. Tom takes in a painfully quiet 10-year-old, who gradually reveals big problems. William nightly wets the bed. He can't read or write, although he is intelligent and shows artistic talent. He constantly dreads going to hell. Scars cover his back. Mr. Tom soon realizes that his little boarder comes from a horribly abusive home, and determines to provide him a better one. All goes well until William's mother persuades him to return to London for a few days' visit. When Mr. Tom hears nothing from the boy after two weeks, he can endure the loneliness and worry no longer. Written by Paul Emmons <pemmons@voicenet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

PBS [United States]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Masterpiece Theatre: Goodnight Mister Tom See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Carlton Television, WGBH See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the book, 'Goodnight Mister Tom' See more »

Goofs

When Tom is asking the woman for clothes whilst repairing the roof. The guttering behind him is plastic, definitely not correct for the period. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the UK, the version shown on ITV1 cuts out the scene where William's mother is shouting at him then cuts to the next scene immediately after she slaps him we only hear the sound of his cry as does so before it goes black. Originally, when his mother slaps him quite hard, he falls off the chair on the floor & she leans over threatening she has knows lots of shops that sell belts & to get upstairs out of her sight, which then he runs very quickly scared up the stairs and covers his ears on the bed as she shouts to the screaming baby "And you can shut up and all!" The ITV DVD is uncut. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Unforgettable John Thaw (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very Moving
9 November 2005 | by BJJManchesterSee all my reviews

The plot of GOODNIGHT MR TOM on paper makes it seem we are in for a large dose of maudlin,sickly sentiment.But,talented director Jack Gold is an expert on touching the emotions in the right manner,and it emerges instead as a compelling,deeply moving wartime drama with excellent production and lead performances.One of the best,if not the best TV movies of the 1990's which possibly would've had even greater success if it had been released in the cinemas.

The evacuation of children to countryside towns and villages in World War II was of course a common practice,but in the case of the young boy here was doubly important because of a wretched home life in the UK's capital.The horrors of war on the home front are not drifted over though,and the construction of the film until it's throat-lumping,misty-eyed ending leaves us with a sense of optimism despite what has happened before.It is almost(but not quite)worthy of comparison with the finale to IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE(1946).All in all,a modern classic.


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