The Info List - Turtle Diary

Turtle Diary
Turtle Diary
is a 1985 British film 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] The film contains elements of romance, comedy, and drama and has been described as a romantic comedy.[citation needed]


1 Synopsis 2 Main cast 3 Critical reception and analysis 4 Home video 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

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]

Glenda Jackson, as Neaera Duncan, a "Popular children's author … fearing her creative talents have evaporated, [who] escapes into the dreamy world of sea turtles seeking inspiration in their beauty and grace."[2] Ben Kingsley, as William Snow, "a humble assistant in a bookstore where he, too, dreams of the turtles."[2] Richard Johnson, as Mr. Johnson, a neighbor of Neaera Duncan Michael Gambon, as George Fairbairn, the zookeeper charged with caring for the turtles Jeroen Krabbé, as Mr. Sandor, a neighbor of William Snow Rosemary Leach, as Mrs. Charlie Inchcliff, another neighbor of Neaera Duncan Eleanor Bron, as Miss Neap, a neighbor of William Snow Harriet Walter, as Harriet Simms, a colleague of William Snow at the bookstore Nigel Hawthorne, as the Publisher of books by Neaera Snow

Harold Pinter
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
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
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
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]

^ a b David Castell (1985-12-01). "Review of Turtle Diary" (Web). Sunday Telegraph. HaroldPinter.org. Retrieved 2009-03-22.  ^ a b c d " Turtle Diary
Turtle Diary
(1985)(VHS): 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. 


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]

Turtle Diary
Turtle Diary
on IMDb Turtle Diary
Turtle Diary
at Rotten Tomatoes "Films by Harold Pinter: Turtle Diary, 1984" at HaroldPinter.org – The Official Website of International Playwright Harold Pinter (Includes production details and excerpt of film review by Castell.)baileylewis.

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Harold Pinter


The Room (1957) The Birthday Party (1957) The Dumb Waiter (1957) A Slight Ache (1958) The Hothouse (1958) The Caretaker
The Caretaker
(1959) A Night Out (1959) Night School (1960) The Dwarfs (1960) The Collection (1961) The Lover (1962) Tea Party (1964) The Homecoming
The Homecoming
(1964) The Basement (1966) Landscape (1967) Silence (1968) Old Times (1970) Monologue (1972) No Man's Land (1974) Betrayal (1978) Family Voices
Family Voices
(1980) A Kind of Alaska (1982) Victoria Station (1982) One for the Road (1984) Mountain Language
Mountain Language
(1988) The New World Order (1991) Party Time (1991) Moonlight (1993) Ashes to Ashes (1996) Celebration (1999) Remembrance of Things Past (2000)

Dramatic sketches

The Black and White (1959) Trouble in the Works (1959) Last to Go
Last to Go
(1959) Request Stop (1959) Special
Offer (1959) That's Your Trouble (1959) That's All (1959) Interview (1959) Applicant (1959) Dialogue for Three (1959) Umbrellas (1960) Night (1969) Precisely (1983) "God's District" (1997) Press Conference (2002) Apart From That (2006)


The Caretaker
The Caretaker
(1963) The Servant (1963) The Pumpkin Eater
The Pumpkin Eater
(1963) The Quiller Memorandum
The Quiller Memorandum
(1965) Accident (1966) The Birthday Party (1968) The Go-Between (1970) The Homecoming
The Homecoming
(1969) Langrishe, Go Down (1970) The Proust Screenplay (1972) The Last Tycoon (1974) The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) Betrayal (1982, 1983) Victory (1982) Turtle Diary
Turtle Diary
(1984) The Heat of the Day (1988) Reunion (1989) The Comfort of Strangers (1989) The Handmaid's Tale (1990) Party Time (1992) The Trial (1993) The Dreaming Child (1997) The Tragedy of King Lear (2000) Sleuth (2007)

Related articles

Works Bibliography Characteristics Honours and awards Relationship with academia The Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
Archive in the British Library Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
and politics Art, Truth and Politics Pinter's People

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Films directed by John Irvin

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) The Dogs of War (1980) Ghost Story (1981) Champions (1984) Turtle Diary
Turtle Diary
(1985) Raw Deal (1986) Hamburger Hill
Hamburger Hill
(1987) Next of Kin (1989) Eminent Domain (1990) Robin Hood (1991) Widows' Peak
Widows' Peak
(1994) Freefall (1994) A Month by the Lake (1995) Crazy Horse (1996) City of Industry (1997) When Trumpets Fade
When Trumpets Fade
(1998) Noah's Ark (1999) Shiner (2000) The Fourth Angel
The Fourth Angel
(2001) The Boys from County Clare
The Boys from County Clare
(2003) Dot.Kill
(2005) The Fine Art of Love (2005) The Moon and the Stars (2007) The Garden of Eden (2008) Mandela'