23 user 5 critic

An Angel for May (2002)

Tom travels fifty years to the past after discovering a time machine. He meets May, a little orphan who needs help. Now that he knows his friends' fate and his own, he will try to reorder the events and change their history.


Harley Cokeliss


Melvin Burgess (novel), Peter Milligan

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Wilkinson ... Sam Wheeler
Charlotte Wakefield Charlotte Wakefield ... May (Aged 10)
Matthew Beard ... Tom Collins
Hugo Speer ... Bob Harris
Matthew McNulty ... Sniffer (as Michael McNulty)
Anna Massey ... Rosie
Angeline Ball ... Barbara Collins (Mom)
Julie Cox ... Alison Wheeler
Richard Fleeshman ... School Team Captain
Dora Bryan ... Evelyn
James Joyce James Joyce ... Big Kid
Daniel Mason Daniel Mason ... Short Hair
Jonathan Bradd Jonathan Bradd ... Sir
Andrew Foxcroft Andrew Foxcroft ... Number 2
Ashley Rhodes Ashley Rhodes ... Small Boy


Tom travels fifty years to the past after discovering a time machine. He meets May, a little orphan who needs help. Now that he knows his friends' fate and his own, he will try to reorder the events and change their history.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Fantasy


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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

23 December 2002 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Un ángel para May See more »

Filming Locations:

South Yorkshire, England, UK


Box Office


£1,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


In the final segment, when Tom is searching for Rosie and is unable to find her, he is wearing a QuickSilver jersey. See more »

Alternate Versions

Determining an original length of the British film 'An Angel for May' is complicated by its playing on the film festival circuit during the second half of 2002 and having an ITV TV release 23-Dec-2002 in England without having a theatrical release. The British Board of Film Classification approved the film, in the form of a PAL format DVD from Guerilla Films, for a PG rating on 14-May-2006 with no cuts to its 102 minutes and 47 seconds total PAL run-time for all video on the DVD including a PAL video of the movie with a PAL run-time of 96 minutes and 2 seconds. PAL video runs at 50 frames per second while film projectors run at 24 film frames per second (48 PAL frames per second). Thus a film version of the movie's PAL frames would have a run-time of (96 + 2/60) * 25/24 = 100 minutes and 2 seconds, which would also be the NTSC run-time were the film converted to NTSC DVD. In 2007 distributor Feature Films for Families released 'An Angel for May' on full-frame NTSC format DVD with a 97 minute 16 second run-time including a 30 second FFFF video clip at the beginning and a 13 second FFFF video clip at the end. Subtracting the 43 seconds of FFFF video leaves 96 minutes and 33 seconds of original film run-time compared with 99 minutes and 55 seconds of original film run-time in the Guerilla Films PAL format version after the 7 second Guerilla Films video clip is subtracted. This means at least 3 minutes and 22 seconds of original film run-time in the Guerilla version was deleted from the FFFF version. Feature Films for Families has a reputation for buying distribution rights to family movies and distributing an edited version with segments of any scene or dialogue cut that might cause young children to ask awkward questions of their parents. One example of FFFF cuts in 'An Angel for May' is an early scene in the police station where 12-year old Tom has been taken by officers who pick him up on the freeway trying to hitchhike to London. The first cut starts just before it would become clear that Tom is talking with someone, an 18-year-old (credited as Sniffer) who is telling him how to break into homes through open bathroom windows. This cut runs for 17 seconds until Rosie appears and stares at Tom -- she actually recognizes him as a boy she met in 1941, 50 years earlier, but first-time viewers won't know this. When Sniffer sees she is staring at Tom he says "Oi, Rossie! Piss off, alright?" A second cut starts just after Sniffer says "Rosie" and runs for 6 seconds (while Tom echoes the sentiment) stopping just before Sniffer says "People like that should be locked up." Sniffer's subsequent dialogue is cut from the soundtrack as Tom's mother approaches so FFFF viewers won't realize Sniffer is talking to Tom -- reformatting from widescreen to full frame also helps Sniffer to be cut out of the frame. See more »

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User Reviews

Return to the past
10 October 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

"An Angel for May" came unexpectedly the other day on cable. We hadn't heard about this film, at all, as we don't remember it having played locally. This English film, directed with style by Harley Cokeliss, proved to be a surprise and we recommend it for young audiences and their parents as it will provide quality entertainment with a good story to boot!

The film opens in England after an air raid during WWII, in which a young girl is calling for help, although we don't see her. Right after that, we are in the present time following Tom, a young boy who lives with his mother in a rural community after the parents separated. Tom is a boy in turmoil by what's going on. As a result, Tom goes on his bicycle all to the nearby countryside where he had spotted a dog that seems to be lost.

His search brings him to an old ruined structure where he finds the dog. Little does he know that he is going to embark in an adventure he didn't bargain for. In fact, this ruined placed used to be a farm that holds a mystery and involves Tom and a childhood friend. Not wanting to give out anything else, let's say that Tom is completely surprised by what he discovers among the ruins.

The closing sequence of the film was handled with great care by Mr. Cokeliss, as it involves Tom going to the old church trying to find out about the whereabout of someone dear to him. Tom's mind is put at ease when the kind Rosie comes to him as he is contemplating the names in a tomb in the church's cemetery. The scene is lovely and it finally puts Tom's mind at ease because he has deciphered the mystery of what he experienced.

The two young actors, Matthew Beard and Charlotte Wakefield are wonderful in their roles. They are intelligent children and a delight to see. Any film that has Tom Wilkinson and Anna Massey in it can't be bad. Mr. Wilkinson does a great job in his short appearance. Anna Massey is lovely in that tender scene at the end of the film. Geraldine James, Julie Cox and Angeline Ball are seen in supporting roles.

Congratulations to Harley Cokeliss for bringing this beautiful tale to the screen and we recommend it to anyone who is young at heart.

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