John Thaw stars in this touching adaptation of Michelle Magorian’s award-winning novel, Goodnight Mister Tom.
Tom Oakley (John Thaw) is a cantankerous old man who, at the begin of World War II, finds his life irrevocably changed. Without warning, little Willie Beech (Nick Robinson) is evacuated from London and sent to live with Tom in a little village. Willie is a quiet, sad child with a disturbing past, but Tom in a patient manner takes on the occupation of bettering Willie’s reading and writing abilities and fosters his natural talent for drawing. Through Tom’s friendship and attention, Willie’s anxieties are smoothed away and a strong bond formulates amidst this improbable pair.
However, just as Willie celebrates his tenth birthday, his mother summons him back to the unexpected terrors of Blitz-torn London. Aware of the nightmare that awaits the boy, Tom is forced to act to save the child… and has to fight to keep him.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #25686 in DVD
- Brand: PBS
- Released on: 2005-11-22
- Rating: Unrated
- Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Formats: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD, NTSC
- Original language: English
- Dimensions: .22 pounds
- Running time: 84 minutes
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful.
Great story of human victory over tragic circumstances…
By Gene Bitner
A grumpy old man, who has lost a child of his own and has learned to live by himself, is told he must “do his part” when a village takes in children who have been sent to smaller towns in hopes of being safer from Hitler’s bombs.
He slowly becomes a father all over again– to a boy who has a whacko mother back home. He even becomes a teacher when it is learned that the youngster is sadly behind in his reading skills.
The mother, a religious radical and hardened bigot– suddenly decides she wants the boy back. Then follows a very disturbing series of scenes– child abuse pure and simple.
Tragedy also strikes the boy’s best friend. The fact that this film actually ends on a hopeful and victorious note– is to me evidence of great writing and directing!
As a viewer, I felt like I was right there in that little village– and I was so pleased that the old man could once again allow himself to love a child.
This one should be on DVD in the U.S.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful.
True to the Book
I really enjoyed Masterpiece Theatre’s film adaptation of the book GOODNIGHT, MR. TOM because it portrayed the characters just as I had imagined them. For instance, the book described Willie as a small, quiet boy, and in the film, he is portrayed by a boy who speaks little and is much smaller than others his age. In the book, Zach was described as an outgoing, “look before you leap” sort of boy; in the film he is portrayed by a boy who talks a lot, always wears red, and says things like, “You do know all about sex, don’t you?” and, “He chews his food–I usually just put it in my mouth and swallow” (these are not exact quotes). Finally, Mr. Tom is described in the book as a gruff old man who is soft inside. Similarly, in the first few scenes of the movie, Mr. Tom responds to the vicar’s questions in a series of one word answers, yet has a tender, sad look on his face when he hangs Willie’s coat on the hook he’d constructed for his own son, who is now dead. Although the movie necessarily changes some scenes and leaves some out, I recommend it to anyone who has read the book since overall, it remains true to the author’s characters and themes. I also recommend this movie to those who have never read the book, since it tells a dark yet heartwarming story about violence, loss, grieving and recovery as they pertain to both children and adults, to both child abuse and the second World War.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful.
Wonderful Movie – Spoilers -
- Large Spoilers In This Review. Please Don’t Read If You Do Not Want To Know What Happens. Thanks. -
I understand that this wonderful movie is based on a book. I hear that parts of the book were omitted for this movie and things were changed. This is disappointing, however, I am reviewing the movie and not the book.
‘Goodnight Mr Tom’, in my opinion, is a fantastic movie about a boy, William,who becomes an evacuee in World War II. He is taken in by a kind man, Mr. Oakley, who he refers to as Mr. Tom. Tom is unsure whether he wants to look after a child in the beginning, but eventually accepts.
William experiences happy and sad moments at his temporary home and discovers that he is a talented artist. But William cannot read or write. Tom, being the kind man that he is, tries to teach William – and this helps him with his Schoolwork.
After a while, William’s Mother, Mrs. Beech, wants William back home. But sending him home is a mistake – as Mrs. Beech is an abusive Mother, who eventually, after learning that William has become best friends with a Jewish boy (Zacharias), in his evacuee home, locks him up a small room – with her new baby in with him.
Tom returns to London, to look for William – and the movie becomes a REAL tearjerker, with sad moments – poor William trying to recover, Tom wanting William back.
A wonderful movie.
10/10 – Wonderful Movie
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