3 October 2016

84 Charing Cross Road

84 Charing Cross Road 1987
  • Director: David Jones
  • Based on book by Helene Hanff
  • Cast: Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, Judi Dench, Ian McNeice, Connie Booth
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Anne Bancroft – The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone, To Be or Not to Be, The Elephant Man, The Graduate, The Miracle Worker
    • Anthony Hopkins – Thor, Bobby, Proof, The Human Stain, Titus, Meet Joe Black, Surviving Picasso, The Remains of the Day, Howards End, The Silence of the Lambs, Othello, The Elephant Man, The Lion in Winter
    • Judi Dench  – Philomena, Spectre, Hotel Marigold 2, Vicious, Hotel Marigold, My Week with Marilyn, Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides, Jane Eyre, Cranford, Nine, Quantum of Silence, Notes on a Scandal, Casino Royale, Mrs Henderson Presents, Ladies in Lavender, Die Another Day, The Shipping News, Chocolat, The World is Not Enough, Tea with Mussolini, Shakespeare in Love, Tomorrow Never Dies, Mrs Brown, Hamlet, Golden Eye, Middlemarch, Henry V, A Handful of Dust, A Room with a View, Macbeth,
    • Ian McNeice – Valkyria, From Hell, Longitude, David Copperfield, A Life Less Ordinary, Nicholas Nickleby
    • Connie Booth – Monty Python, Fawlty Towers
  • Why? Like the book
  • Seen: Two or three times previously. Now: 1 October, 2016 with Hal, YW and KW in the read-book-watch-movie group      

       A must for book lovers, letter writers and Anglophiles. I won’t tell you the story. If you don’t know it, look it up. But I will tell you it’s about a bookshop known for out-of-print rare books in London and a NW writer who loves rare books. It’s a true story, though sadly the bookshop no longer exists.
       The book is a gem. The film gives a fair attempt at living up to it. Hopkins and Bancroft are perfect choices. Dench plays quite a small role and in the beginning she’s almost unrecognisable but she already has the Dench voice.
       One complaint. There are unnecessary additions in the film. I wish they hadn’t done that. It seems they felt they had to pad the story but they could have done that by developing what’s already there in the book.
       At times though it touches the essence of the book and thereby the heartstrings. It too is a small gem in its way. Less than perfect but a great pleasure to watch.

3 ½ * of 5.  


  1. One of my all time favorite movies, perhaps because I have a similar pen pal experience that has lasted 35 years. Happy to see that someone else enjoyed the movie, too (my sister said she fell asleep watching it...)

  2. Hello, Retta! Thank you for commenting. Glad we're kindred spirits on this film. Hope your sister wakes up to it one day :-) All the best from Ruby