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Akenfield (1974)

As the young man, Tom, prepares to leave the Suffolk village of his birth, voices and experiences from his family's past crowd in on his mind, weaving a poetic tapestry of the love of home and the longing to get away from it.


Peter Hall


Ronald Blythe


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Garrow Shand Garrow Shand ... Tom Rouse
Peggy Cole Peggy Cole ... Dulcie Rouse
Barbara Tilney Barbara Tilney ... Jean Quantrill
Lyn Brooks Lyn Brooks ... Charlotte Rouse
Ida Page Ida Page ... Aunt Ida
Ted Dedman Ted Dedman ... Ted
Mollie Dedman Mollie Dedman ... Mollie
Charlie Cornish Charlie Cornish ... Charlie
Charlie Whiting Charlie Whiting ... Charlie
Robin Buckingham Robin Buckingham ... Robin
Alan Wright Alan Wright ... Young Tom Rouse
Mary Hammond Mary Hammond ... Young Dulcie Rouse
Ronald Blythe Ronald Blythe ... The Vicar
F.O. Staddon F.O. Staddon ... The Minister
Bob Wilson Bob Wilson ... Farmer


As the young man, Tom, prepares to leave the Suffolk village of his birth, voices and experiences from his family's past crowd in on his mind, weaving a poetic tapestry of the love of home and the longing to get away from it.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

18 November 1974 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Burgh, Suffolk, England, UK See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Angle Films Limited See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Made over a year so they could include all the seasons. See more »


Charlie: He said "Now what sort of husband was he"? "Oh", she said "one of the best. You couldn't wish for a better one". She said, "We used to lie in bed, Sunday mornings, and hear the church bells ringing. We used to go up with the ding and come down with the dong". And she'd say "if it hadn't been for that fire engine going by, at the bloody time, he'd be alive now".
See more »


Fantasia concertante on a theme of Corelli
Written by Michael Tippett
Played by The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
Conducted by Neville Marriner
recorded by Argo Record Company
See more »

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User Reviews

Powerful, though not easy
23 January 2011 | by sprattonSee all my reviews

Until now in 2011 I had not seen this film, and I am pleased and surprised to learn that so many millions watched it when it was first released. I already knew the book, of course. This was in a way my father's life; he saw the ending of the worst years, 1933 onwards, working on Suffolk farms, and his own stories matched this film exactly. He, like "Tom", might have gone on to a good school, but there was no money for that, and he started at age 14 on a Suffolk farm, living-in, "all found" and no wages at all for the first year. Luckily he was offered part time training at Chadacre Agricultural Institute, and became a skilled farm worker, herdsman, shepherd, and eventually a farm manager. "Boy" was his normal term of address or description for anyone. "Old boy from Swaffham" could mean a 15-year old or a pensioner. "There was no fat on them old boys" was how he described the men he worked with 75 years ago.

The film stuck to what it was like. There was no acting then, or in this film, just people saying things through the day, and always trying to settle or resolve all troubles with proverbs and sayings and mottoes. A closed world, really. The leaving was so difficult and so simple, so treacherous --- how dare you? Not like other films, but the story deserved to be told, and told just like this is. I'd like to thjank Peter Hall for making this film.

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