Based on Ian McEwan's novel. In 1962 England, a young couple find their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.


Dominic Cooke


Ian McEwan (screenplay), Ian McEwan (novel)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Howle ... Edward Mayhew
Saoirse Ronan ... Florence Ponting
Andy Burse Andy Burse ... Waiter One
Rasmus Hardiker ... Waiter Two
Anne-Marie Duff ... Marjorie Mayhew
Adrian Scarborough ... Lionel Mayhew
Mia Burgess Mia Burgess ... Harriet Mayhew
Anna Burgess Anna Burgess ... Anne Mayhew
Emily Watson ... Violet Ponting
Bebe Cave Bebe Cave ... Ruth Ponting
Samuel West ... Geoffrey Ponting
John Ramm John Ramm ... Postman Terry
Barney Iley Barney Iley ... Timothy
Mark Donald Mark Donald ... Charles
Imogen Daines ... Jenny

Saoirse Ronan Through the Years

Take a look back at Saoirse Ronan's movie career in photos.

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Adapted by Ian McEwan from his bestselling novel, the drama centers on a young couple of drastically different backgrounds in the summer of 1962. Following the pair through their idyllic courtship, this movie explores sex and the societal pressure that can accompany physical intimacy, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night. This movie features Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Anne-Marie Duff, Adrian Scarborough, Emily Watson, and Samuel West.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing See more »


Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Executive Producer, Author, and Screenwriter Ian McEwan stated to an audience back in 2014 that he wanted Saoirse Ronan to play Florence Ponting. See more »


In the tennis match between Edward and Florence's father (Geoffrey), they're either counting the games wrong or not alternating service properly. Edward begins serving at the start of the third set, so he should be serving when the game score is even. We immediately jump forward to a later game in which Geoffrey is serving. Geoffrey loses the game (for a change), and Edward announces the score as 1-4 before serving, which means he is now serving when the game score is odd.

It's also slightly off that Geoffrey starts serving the first set, and then Geoffrey begins serving the third set after 12 games. This, however, could simply be the result of Geoffrey letting Edward begin serving the third set, out-of-order and out of strict compliance with the rules, as a sop after beating him 6-0, 6-0 in the first two sets. See more »


Florence Ponting: We can live by our own rules too, Edward. I can say this because I know you love me. We don't have to be like everyone else. We could live together and... and so... and no one would know what we did or didn't do. We'd be together and if you wanted, really wanted, that's to say, whenever it happened, and of course, it would happen, I'd understand. More than that, I'd want it because I want you to be happy, and free. I'd never be jealous as long as I knew that you loved me.
See more »


Features A Taste of Honey (1961) See more »

User Reviews

Love Saoirse, but ...
1 June 2018 | by spencer-39789See all my reviews

This movie was a particular disappointment as Saoirse put in another wonderful performance and the co-star Billy Howle was also good. It is a coming-of-age movie with the awkwardness of the two parties being central. But unfortunately the scenes of their awkwardness go on forever and the quite nice music in the background, rather than making it more important, just seems to be pushing it. This movie needed a lot more substance or a lot sharper editing ... or maybe a different director. Maybe the moral is that the author (here Ian McEwan, whose work I like a lot) shouldn't be allowed to write the screenplay. Not an unpleasant way to spend a couple of hours, but I really hope that Saoirse takes on meatier roles.

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Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]





Release Date:

18 May 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

On Chesil Beach See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,765, 20 May 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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