Turtle Diary (1985)



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Movie Info

Adapted by Harold Pinter from the novel by Russell Hoban, Turtle Diary stars Glenda Jackson as Neaera Duncan, a famed author/illustrator of children's books. In the midst of her success, Duncan suffers from writer's block. While casting about for new ideas, she makes several visits to the turtle tank at the local aquarium, where she becomes acquainted with shy bookstore clerk William Snow (Ben Kingsley). From this point on, nothing is in the least predictable. What can one say that's sensible about a plotline that climaxes with a turtle hijacking? Screenwriter Pinter has a cameo role as "Man in Bookshop." Turtle Diary was the maiden effort of United British Artists, a consortium consisting of Glenda Jackson, Harold Pinter, and producer Richard Johnson (who also appears in the film).


Glenda Jackson
as Neaera Duncan
Ben Kingsley
as William Snow
Michael Gambon
as Fairbairn
Rosemary Leach
as Mrs. Inchcliff
Eleanor Bron
as Miss Neap
Nigel Hawthorne
as Publisher
Michael Aldridge
as Mr. Meager
Pauline Letts
as Woman in bookshop
Tony Melody
as Garage Man
Harold Pinter
as Man in Bookshop
Gary Olsen
as Lorry Driver
Peter Capaldi
as Assistant Keeper
Barbara Rosenblat
as American Woman
Chuck Julian
as American Man
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Critic Reviews for Turtle Diary

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

What's left is not quite Delia Swallow for grown-ups; but the bland world this film inhabits is almost as quaint, complacent and parochial.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

A small, eccentric, exquisitely acted comedy that manages to be as eerie as it is funny. Though it eventually seems somewhat less than the sum of its parts, it's a most engaging shaggy-turtle story.

May 20, 2003

Ben Kingsley's smile, so warm and mysterious, is the sun that shines all through "Turtle Diary."

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

An intelligent, witty, offbeat, and somewhat eccentric comedy based on the novel by Russell Hoban.

Jul 3, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A film that deserves credit for its unpredictability as much as it does for its genuine warm-heartedness.

May 24, 2003 | Full Review…

Charming little film with great performances.

Dec 1, 2002 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Turtle Diary

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