Turtle Diary

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Turtle Diary
Turtle diary post.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Irvin
Produced byRichard Johnson
Written byRussell Hoban (novel)
Harold Pinter (screenplay)
StarringGlenda Jackson
Ben Kingsley
Richard Johnson
Michael Gambon
Jeroen Krabbé
Rosemary Leach
Harriet Walter
Nigel Hawthorne
Music byGeoffrey Burgon
CinematographyPeter Hannan
Editing byPeter Tanner
Distributed byThe Samuel Goldwyn Company
Release datesDecember 1985 (UK)
Running time97 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
 
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Turtle Diary
Turtle diary post.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Irvin
Produced byRichard Johnson
Written byRussell Hoban (novel)
Harold Pinter (screenplay)
StarringGlenda Jackson
Ben Kingsley
Richard Johnson
Michael Gambon
Jeroen Krabbé
Rosemary Leach
Harriet Walter
Nigel Hawthorne
Music byGeoffrey Burgon
CinematographyPeter Hannan
Editing byPeter Tanner
Distributed byThe Samuel Goldwyn Company
Release datesDecember 1985 (UK)
Running time97 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Turtle Diary is a 1985 British romantic comedy about "people rediscovering the joys of life and love," based on a screenplay adapted by Harold Pinter from Russell Hoban's novel Turtle Diary, directed by John Irvin, and starring Glenda Jackson, Ben Kingsley, and Michael Gambon.[1]

Synopsis[edit]

Two lonely Londoners - Neaera Duncan, a children's author (Glenda Jackson), and William Snow, a bookstore assistant (Ben Kingsley) - find common ground when visiting the sea turtles at London Zoo; independently of each other, both perceive that the turtles are unnaturally confined, and they hatch a plan with the assistance of zookeeper George Fairbairn (Michael Gambon) to smuggle them out and release them into the sea, which they ultimately succeed in accomplishing. Their release of the turtles represents metaphorically their release of themselves from their own inhibitions.[2]

Main cast[edit]

Harold Pinter has a cameo role as a man in the bookshop where William and Harriet work.

Critical reception and analysis[edit]

According to its description at Amazon.com, Turtle Diary has been "Critically hailed as a mini-masterpiece."[2]

In his 1985 Sunday Telegraph review of the film, Castell observes that Pinter's screenplay concentrates on developing dialogue and plot, leaving clues for the actors to convey their characters' subtle emotional and psychological development: "It is hard to think of two actors better matched to play Pinter than Glenda Jackson and Ben Kingsley. They milk every nuance, point up every missed beat and relish each irony and repetition in the script. … Turtle Diary is a fine film that charts movingly the unnoticed despair of everyday lives, the sufferings of those who endure loneliness in silence."[1]

The film grossed $2.2 million in its U.S. theatrical release.

Home video[edit]

The film was released on videocassette in 1986 by Vestron Video. The film has not yet been released on DVD.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b David Castell (1985-12-01). "Review of Turtle Diary" (Web). Sunday Telegraph. HaroldPinter.org. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Turtle Diary (1985)(HD DVD): Editorial reviews: Product Description" (Web). Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-04-06. "Critically hailed as a mini-masterpiece, TURTLE DIARY is the enchanting film of people rediscovering the joys of life and love. … Outside of their chance meetings at the aquarium, they have little in common, but an inspiration to free the captive turtles starts a bond that gives their lives a new outlook. The 'turtlenappers' are about to set their own spirits free." 

References[edit]

Castell, David. Review of Turtle Diary. Sunday Telegraph 1 Dec. 1985. Rpt. in HaroldPinter.org. Harold Pinter, 2000–2003 [2009]. Accessed 22 March 2009.

External links[edit]