84 Charing Cross Road

( 12 )

Overview

Helene Hanff's book 84 Charing Cross Road had previously been a TV program and a stage play before it was converted into this 1986 film. The scene is New York, 1949: Anne Bancroft plays a struggling writer and passionate bibliophile, who answers an advertisement from a rare-volumes bookshop at 84 Charing Cross Road in London. Thus begins a two-decade romance by correspondence between Bancroft and Briton Anthony Hopkins, the man in charge of the overseas department of Marks and Company. Though several meetings are...
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Overview

Helene Hanff's book 84 Charing Cross Road had previously been a TV program and a stage play before it was converted into this 1986 film. The scene is New York, 1949: Anne Bancroft plays a struggling writer and passionate bibliophile, who answers an advertisement from a rare-volumes bookshop at 84 Charing Cross Road in London. Thus begins a two-decade romance by correspondence between Bancroft and Briton Anthony Hopkins, the man in charge of the overseas department of Marks and Company. Though several meetings are arranged, Bancroft and Hopkins never come face to face thanks to mitigating circumstances. But Anne finally makes it to London, and finds that much has changed. 84 Charing Cross Road was produced by Mel Brooks, the husband of star Anne Bancroft.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
It's hard to build an entire film around charm, but this is essentially what the makers of 84 Charing Cross Road have done. How well they have succeeded will likely depend upon one's appreciation of -- or tolerance for -- the two characters who make up the core of the film. Epistolary in nature, director David Jones has done an admirable job of opening up the static story, finding ways of framing the constant voice-overs by placing the characters in different settings or situations. Hugh Whitemore's screenplay also helps; while there is still little action, he provides pithy, witty dialogue and delineates two strongly defined characters. Ultimately, of course, the film rises or falls on the actors who portray its characters, and there are no complaints here. Anne Bancroft brings her special brand of spunkiness and feistiness to the role, as well as her ability to twist unsuspected emotions from seemingly neutral sentences. Anthony Hopkins' skill and artistry are given free rein here, resulting in a delightfully understated and extremely effective performance. Although the supporting cast -- especially Judi Dench -- is quite good, it's Bancroft and Hopkins who matter here, and they do not disappoint. Even they, however, are unable to overcome the limitations of the film's basic concept. As a result, Charing Cross fails to totally satisfy, despite its charms.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/10/1995
  • UPC: 043396608153
  • Original Release: 1986
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anne Bancroft Helene Hanff
Anthony Hopkins Frank Doel
Judi Dench Nora Doel
Jean de Baer Maxine Bellamy
Maurice Denham George Martin
Mercedes Ruehl Kay
Eleanor David Cecily Farr
Daniel Gerroll Brian
Wendy Morgan Megan Wells
Ian McNeice Bill Humphries
J. Smith-Cameron Ginny
Tom Isbell Ed
John Bardon Labour Party Canvasser
Connie Booth Lady From Delaware
Rebecca Bradley Shela Doel At Age 12
Kate Napier Brown Mary Doel At Age 21
Danielle Burns Cecily Farr's Daughter
Ronn Carroll Businessman on Plane
Janet Dale Joan Todd
David Davenport Coronation Party Friend
Anne Dyson Mrs. Boulton
James Eckhouse Joey the Dentist
Rupert Holliday Evans Coronation Party Friend
Marty Glickman Baseball Commentator
Zoe Hodges Mary Doel at Age 4
Charles Lewsen Print Buyer
Betty Low Maxine's Mom
Kevin McClarnon Cop at Columbia
Michael John McGann Maxine's Stage Manager
Gwen Nelson Bill's Great Aunt
Roger Ostime Stately Home Butler
Bernie Passeltiner Willie, Deli Owner
Freda Rogers Coronation Party Friend
Sam Stoneburner New York Bookseller
Barbara Thorn Sheila Doel at Age 29
Tony Todd Demolition Workman
Technical Credits
David Jones Director
Gary Alper Sound/Sound Designer
Mel Brooks Executive Producer
Judy Courtney Casting
David John & the Mood Sound/Sound Designer
Eileen Diss Production Designer
George Fenton Score Composer
Jane Greenwood Costumes/Costume Designer
Geoffrey Helman Producer
Lindy Hemming Costumes/Costume Designer
Marilyn Johnson Casting
Marilyn Johnson Casting
Gary Levy Production Designer
Jo Lustig Associate Producer
Mark McGann Asst. Director
Edward Pisoni Production Designer
Brian West Cinematographer
Hugh Whitemore Screenwriter
Chris Wimble Editor
Jake Wright Asst. Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Stays with you

    This is one of those beautiful, emotional, funny and intelligent films that you love to watch on a rainy day and at some point will watch again. Acting of the entire cast is superb!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Bravo!

    I first saw this movie on HBO many years ago and found it to be a wonderful and enlightning movie. Anthony Hopkins' character was the type of Englishman I would hope to find in a bookstore. Ann Bancroft captured the essence of her character. It is a simply wonderful movie where United States and Great Britian merge to form this unique yet melancoly friendship. Bravo!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2012

    This is a wonderful film and, in its understated mode, makes a b

    This is a wonderful film and, in its understated mode, makes a brilliant comment about relationships.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Friendship with Depth and Love

    In these days of e-books, and bland books constructed from franchised ideas and formulas, we are presented "84 Charing Cross Road," a story about a relationship begun because of a mutual love of old great books.

    Hopkins and Bancroft share a film highlighting both of their genuine personas.

    Like Hopkins in "Shadowlands" and "The Remains of the Day," we see him in full glory, as a quiet man of grace and sophistication.

    He owns the English bookstore, and Bancroft's character mails him a request for a book. Correspondence and a relationship begins. Contently and confidently married, Hopkins responds as an older brother might, and the two grow to cherish each other despite the distance.

    As they care for each other, and slowly, their local friends and family become aware, we see how love transcends the sea. Neither character has an agenda, and this left me feeling a little less cynical about the world around me.

    Like so many of today's e-mail- and chatroom-only friendships, they learn to appreciate each other, though knowing only the other as they choose to describe themselves.

    This isn't a story about books or bookstores, despite the honest representation of their demeanor and personality. Any booklover knows the search for a book, and the texture of a bookseller's knowledge and connection with his books.

    This is a movie about the depth, trust, and love of one unexpected relationship. Book lovers will enjoy the context, and good friends will smile knowingly.

    --Brockeim

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    also read the book.

    this film is wonderful! I saw the movie,then read the book,also wonderful.it is a testament to Ms. Bancrofts talent that as I read the book, I could hear her voice in my head.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Charming!

    I just saw 84 Charing Cross Road for the second time. It is absolutely delightful. I love the scenes of old NY and London. I am very much like Helen Hanff played by Anne Bancroft. I love books and everything English. I know I will get to visit London soon. Anthony Hopkins playing Frank Doel is also marvelous. So very "British." Judi Dench plays his Irish wife superbly as usual. I highly recommend this film. It is suitable for the whole family. Thank you Mel Brooks for producing it and putting Ms. Bancroft in it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2010

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    Posted May 3, 2009

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    Posted September 20, 2009

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    Posted April 14, 2010

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    Posted June 29, 2010

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    Posted December 12, 2009

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