84 Charing Cross Road

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84 Charing Cross Road

Postby Samfan » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:06 pm

I just watched this last week. It's an older movie (1986) with Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft. I think it might be based on a true story. Helene, a writer in New York who is always looking for old, rare used books, starts a letter correspondence in about 1949 with Frank Doel, a buyer for Marks & Co. in London. The movie tells the story about how the friendship develops between them, and also with her and the rest of the bookstore staff. The movie also addresses some current events of the time (rationing after the war in England; race riots in the United States). Its just a very nice story. I loved Bancroft's accent, and I always seem to like Anthony Hopkins.

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Last edited by Samfan on Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 84 Charing Cross Road

Postby ayresorchids » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:36 pm

I love this one, too, Samfan. When I re-watched it fairly recently, I was musing that Michael Kitchen might just as easily have had an Anthony Hopkins-esque fame worldwide if he'd wanted it, at a comparable age. Both are strong and versatile actors, have the English gentleman charm combined with hidden depths of emotion, were about the same size and build, and have poetic voices.

But something tells me the level of recognition MK had as a result of Foyle's War was about as far as he'd ever want to experience it. One notes that Hopkins divorced just after the most active years of his middle-aged household name-ness; that sort of thing so often has its downside.

Didn't 84 Charing Cross Road make you want to see Hopkins and Bancroft in a movie in which they were both onscreen together? (Or were they, maybe, in The Elephant Man? I can't recall.) She was so wonderful. If you've never seen it, also check out the movie Garbo Talks (1984). Like 84 Charing Cross Road, it is light-hearted and yet very touching.
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Re: 84 Charing Cross Road

Postby Samfan » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:57 pm

Thanks for the movie tips; I'll have to look for these. I do think that MK could have played the part of Frank very well. I also think that he could have done well in another Anthony Hopkins movie, Shadowlands, as C.S. Lewis.

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Re: 84 Charing Cross Road

Postby foylefan » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:19 pm

This is a fantastic movie! We had watched it several years ago, and I had forgotten about it; however I think I will have to put it back on my Netflix list. Thanks for reminding me!
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Re: 84 Charing Cross Road

Postby Englishfan » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:30 pm

Michael Kitchen would have been fabulous in Shadowlands. I have never thought of that.

Thank-you for the movie suggestions. I want to see the ones you mention and will check Netflix.

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Re: 84 Charing Cross Road

Postby djdenver » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:56 am

Agreed that MK would have been an excellent choice for the starring role in both movies. Perhaps we're all yearning for a more serious and worthy role after the rather disappointing reviews for Hacks.

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Re: 84 Charing Cross Road

Postby BookwormKate » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:58 pm

I really enjoyed this film and couldn't help thinking at the time that MK would have been quite suited to the role as well. I think my favourite line in the film is when Bancroft's character says something like, "does madam mean the same thing over there as it does here?" Good film suggestion!
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Re: 84 Charing Cross Road

Postby Samfan » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:56 am

I broke down and purchased this movie off of iTunes yesterday, and just got finished watching it (again). I think its going to be one of those movies that I just have to watch every once in awhile (like Shadowlands). Its just a nice movie (and, I admit, I like the glimpses into after-war rationing in England). I just watched Shadowlands again yesterday, and after watching that and 84 Charing Cross Road, I think that Debra Winger could have played Helene in that movie (but I don't think Anne Bancroft could have played Joy Gresham). Still think MK would have been good as Lewis and Doel.

I also think that before I watch Shadowlands again, I'm going to have to buy it on DVD or download it from iTunes, because my VHS copy is getting old; one of these days its going to break!

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Re: 84 Charing Cross Road

Postby Lynette » Tue May 08, 2012 2:36 pm

If you liked the movie version of 84, I'd recommend the book it's based on, as well as other by the author Helene Hanff The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street (sequel to 84) and especially Q's Legacy.
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Re: 84 Charing Cross Road

Postby Samfan » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:26 pm

Just watched 84 Charing Cross Road again. And again thinking MK would have done well as Doel, or CS Lewis in Shadowlands (now I'll have to go dig my VHS tape of that movie out and re-watch it).

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Re: 84 Charing Cross Road

Postby HarrietVane » Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:19 pm

Lynette wrote:If you liked the movie version of 84, I'd recommend the book it's based on, as well as other by the author Helene Hanff The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street (sequel to 84) and especially Q's Legacy.
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I also really enjoyed her memoir Underfoot in Show Business. Highly recommended if you enjoy the theater, especially mid-twentieth-century US theater!
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