7.2/10
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Dean Spanley (2008)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 12 December 2008 (UK)
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2:40 | Trailer

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Set in Edwardian England where upper lips are always stiff and men from the Colonies are not entirely to be trusted, Fisk Senior has little time or affection for his son, but when the pair visit an eccentric Indian, they start a strange journey that eventually allows the old man to find his heart.

Director:

Toa Fraser

Writers:

Alan Sharp, Lord Dunsany (novel) (as Baron Dunsany)
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7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Northam ... Fisk Junior
Sam Neill ... Dean Spanley
Bryan Brown ... Wrather
Peter O'Toole ... Fisk Senior
Judy Parfitt ... Mrs. Brimley
Art Malik ... Swami Nala Prash
Ramon Tikaram ... Nawab of Ranjiput
Xavier Horan ... Harrington Fisk
Barbara Wilshere ... 1st Lady
Angela Clerkin Angela Clerkin ... 2nd Lady
Dudley Sutton ... Marriot
Shaughan Seymour Shaughan Seymour ... Wine Shop Proprietor
Charlotte Graham Charlotte Graham ... Woman in Cloisters
Haydon Downing Haydon Downing ... Boy in Cloisters
Miriama McDowell ... Foxy Lady
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Storyline

Each Thursday, a man approaching middle age calls upon his father, aged, caustic, nihilistic, and emotionally distant, perhaps from the loss of a son in the Boer War and his wife soon after. On this day, the son suggests they attend a visiting guru's lecture on the transmigration of souls. There they chat with a vicar and a soldier of fortune; dinner follows. Over glasses of Hungarian Tokay, the vicar, Dean Spanley, tells a story of friendship, freedom, and reincarnation. In what earthly way could this tale connect father and son? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the classic novel by Lord Dunsany See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic material and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [UK]

Country:

New Zealand | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 December 2008 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Dynas Spenlis See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£42,898 (United Kingdom), 14 December 2008, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter O'Toole said the use of comedy to explore the relationship between a father and son was part of what attracted him to the film. He remarked: "All of us had difficult familial relationships. I think it's a film for all of us who understand the relationship between a father and son. It's been interesting watching various members of the crew looking at the monitors during scenes. They come up to me then and say "I had the same thing with my father." See more »

Quotes

Fisk Senior: There's no point to regretting things that have gone to the trouble of happening
See more »

Soundtracks

Sally Gardens
Performed by Miriama McDowell
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Four Outstanding Thumbs-Up for Dean Spanley
30 December 2010 | by alinekaplan-1See all my reviews

We found Dean Spanley by surfing Comcast On Demand and were delighted by this witty, thought-provoking and emotional film. It's based on a story by Lord Dunsany, a writer who "imaginatively transforms materials from The Arabian Nights, classical mythology, Celtic, Germanic, and Hindu folklore as well as from medieval lays and quest romances." The cast is amazing for a New Zealand film, the script is excellent, the acting is superb and the climactic scene is totally gripping for all that it takes place in a dinner-table conversation. American film makers should take note of how this is done -- but they won't. Peter O'Toole should get an Oscar for his performance as Fisk Senior -- but he won't. We should all be able to see more movies like Dean Spanley -- but I'm not holding my breath. Don't let that keep you from enjoying this terrific movie. Four enthusiastic thumbs-up for Dean Spanley. (Dean is a title, not a name.)


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