36 user 3 critic

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.


Jack Gold


Brian Finch (adaptation), Michelle Magorian (novel)

On Disc

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4 wins. See more awards »




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
Bill Armstrong Bill Armstrong ... Dr. Stelton (as William Armstrong)
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


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


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

PBS [United States]





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:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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


During this programme we sometimes get a view of other houses / cottages in the village. It is a shame that with all the other detail and thought that went into the making of it, no one thought to remove or disguise the UHF television aerials on their rooves ! You would not have seen an aerial of that type on a roof until the mid 1960's when BBC2 came into being. 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 »


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

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User Reviews

Beautiful, moving, thought provoking
21 November 2002 | by lizzie-anneSee all my reviews

This has to be one of the most beautiful, moving, thought provoking films around. It's good family entertainment and at the same time makes you think very hard about the issues involved. Every time I see the "ghost of Zac riding the bike through the puddle at the end I can't help but cry my eyes out. John Thaw's performance is so touching and it is a shame he is no longer with us. Gone but not forgotten. A outstanding film. Full marks.

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