Dean Spanley (My Talks with Dean Spanley) (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dean Spanley (My Talks with Dean Spanley) (2008)




Critic Consensus: Offbeat, whimsical, period-set shaggy dog story with daffy performances from Sam Neill and Peter O'Toole.

Dean Spanley (My Talks with Dean Spanley) Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Multiple Oscar nominee Peter O'Toole adds yet another offbeat role to his long resume with the mystical comedy-drama Dean Spanley. Adapted from Lord Dunsany's popular novella My Talks with Dean Spanley and helmed by Toa Fraser, the film stars O'Toole as Horatio Fisk, an irascible, cantankerous septuagenarian living out his final days at the turn of the 20th Century. Despite his distant and slightly strained relationship with his son Henslowe (Jeremy Northam), Horatio willfully joins the young man on regular outings; the tedium and monotony of these routines eventually grow so overwhelming, however, that the two decide to attend a lecture on the Transmigration of Souls by a visiting Hindu Swami. At the meeting, their paths intersect with the eccentric Dean Spanley (Sam Neill), and a friendship blossoms between Spanley and Henslowe. When Spanley joins Henslowe for a private dinner, and accepts his invitation to sample a rare Hungarian wine known as the Imperial Tokay, Spanley instinctively brings forth reminiscences of a prior life lived out as a canine - and his recollections hold a rather bizarre connection to Horatio's familial past. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovimore
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Alan Sharp
In Theaters:
Icon Film Distribution Ltd. - Official Site


Jeremy Northam
as Young Fisk
Sam Neill
as Dean Spanley
Peter O'Toole
as Fisk Senior
Bryan Brown
as Wrather
Judy Parfitt
as Mrs. Brimley
Art Malik
as Swami Presh
Charlotte Graham
as Woman in Park
Jenna Pollard
as Housemaid
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Dean Spanley (My Talks with Dean Spanley)

Critic Reviews for Dean Spanley (My Talks with Dean Spanley)

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (3)

This nicely acted drama, in quietly intimating the quirky familial relations and peculiar fascinations of the era - not least with the transmigration of souls, mysticism and the supernatural - delivers a highly pleasurable if modest experience.

Full Review… | December 12, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

A witty and watchable period drama, but in danger of being remembered more for its service to O'Toole than for the impression it leaves on audiences.

Full Review… | March 24, 2011
What Culture

A delightful period piece about reincarnation, friendship and dogs with a wonderful collection of performances from its four main characters.

Full Review… | March 20, 2009

I loved it.

Full Review… | March 6, 2009
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Truly original and very moving, with a hypnotic and elliptical quality all its own.

Full Review… | March 6, 2009
FILMINK (Australia)

Fraser and Sharp have structured the film, and the cast interpret it, so that comedy and poignancy are intertwined to the last; even as all is revealed, a sense of wonder remains.

Full Review… | March 6, 2009
The Age (Australia)

Audience Reviews for Dean Spanley (My Talks with Dean Spanley)

i did really want to love this movie but i can only say i liked this movie!
I tried watchng it 3 times and i still didnt get to the end as it really is my sort of movie!!
i liked it because the story is original and it is sweet and like the story but it was just a litltle boring for me!
It is funny in plces and sam neill is gorgouse as ever!!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Peter O'Toole adds to his legacy by boring us to death in Dean Spanley

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Lesley N

Super Reviewer

Dean Spanley (My Talks with Dean Spanley) Quotes

Wrather: These little things were meant to try us, as the man said of the pigmi judge.
– Submitted by Frances H (3 years ago)
Wrather: It has been a great pleasure, sir.
Fisk Senior: You're very easily pleased.
– Submitted by Frances H (3 years ago)
Fisk Senior: Very handy, a Thursday, it keeps Wednesday and Friday from colliding.
– Submitted by Frances H (3 years ago)
Dean Spanley: Loved it, maybe not for main stream audiences but very enjoyable all the same.
– Submitted by Liz V (4 years ago)

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