An archaeologist embarks on the historically important excavation of Sutton Hoo in 1938.


Simon Stone


Moira Buffini (screenplay), John Preston (novel)
163 ( 22)
Nominated for 5 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Fiennes ... Basil Brown
Stephen Worrall Stephen Worrall ... Ferryman
Danny Webb ... John Grateley
Carey Mulligan ... Edith Pretty
Archie Barnes Archie Barnes ... Robert Pretty
Robert Wilfort Robert Wilfort ... Billy Lyons
James Dryden ... George Spooner
Joe Hurst ... John Jacobs
Paul Ready ... James Reid Moir
Peter McDonald ... Guy Maynard
Christopher Godwin Christopher Godwin ... Dr. Parry
Ellie Piercy ... Mrs. Lyons
Bronwyn James ... Ellen McKenzie
Desmond Kaliszewski Desmond Kaliszewski ... Barge Skipper
Monica Dolan ... May Brown


An archaeologist embarks on the historically important excavation of Sutton Hoo in 1938.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Nothing stays lost forever.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief sensuality and partial nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Peggy Piggott, played by Lily James, is the real-life aunt of the author of the book "The Dig". See more »


Long shot towards end of the view across the dig field showed very high, jagged hills in the background. No hills like that in view of Sutton Hoo. See more »


Basil Brown: Robert, we all fail. Every day. There are some things we just can't succeed at no matter how hard we try. I know it's not what you want to hear.
See more »


Featured in Jeremy Vine: Episode #4.25 (2021) See more »


La Rejouissance (Allegro)
Written by George Frideric Handel
Public Domain
Arranged by Julian Kershaw
Performed by Alder Valley Brass
See more »

User Reviews

There was no need for the distracting love triangle.
7 February 2021 | by JimmycakesSee all my reviews

I was excited to see a film that portrays 1930's England, and Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan are proven actors that bring a unique presence to their films. Archeology might be a tough sell for the premise of a film and it was these actors that drew me in. The first half gets it so right, it's just about the time period and characters digging while becoming excited as they unearth the past, it's rather simple yet these actors have no trouble keeping you interested. In fact it was refreshing to see English people presented on screen becoming excited over finding evidence of their ancestors and past to this ancient land given the current hostile attitude towards the English and Celtic peoples by particular political groups and media companies who like to remind us we have little culture and heritage.

Then suddenly it's as if the writers thought viewers would become bored and in comes a new character, a rather modern-behaving "liberated" female with her controlling husband, inserted into the plot to remind us how women should really behave in the current age as if we needed reminding. The key characters become background noise, and you have this love triangle develop, the film takes on a different purpose, I'd rather see more character development between the man who discovered the relics and the museum trying to take credit from the little man.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

29 January 2021 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dig See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos



Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »

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