Turtle Diary (1985)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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).
PG (adult situations/language)
Comedy , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Vestron Video


Glenda Jackson
as Neaera Duncan
Ben Kingsley
as William Snow
Michael Gambon
as Fairbairn
Rosemary Leach
as Mrs. Inchcliff
Eleanor Bron
as Miss Neap
Harriet Walter
as Harriet
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.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
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.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | July 3, 2015
TV Guide

No excerpt available.

June 29, 2005

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

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for Turtle Diary


Glenda Jackson and Ben Kingsley liberate turtles from an aquarium and return them to the sea in this charming, quirky comedy populated with peculiar people.

Russell Herdman
Russell Herdman

[i]I am prejudiced, I like Ben Kingsley. Saw this movie a year ago, and[/i] [i]I want to see it again. There are relatively few movies in this film genre.[/i] [i]"Turtle Diary" has a good environmental theme and a pretty good love[/i] [i]story. Shows a great love for animals, in a logical format.[/i] [i]////[/i]

David Southerland
David Southerland

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