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Time Out says

David Jones' film of Helene Hanff's book, recording the bizarre transatlantic relationship between a New York bibilophile and a London bookseller, comes as a pleasant surprise. Though inevitably literary in tone - the letters between Hanff and the Marks employees structure the narrative - it is never less than intelligent, touching, humorous. Central to this success is the subtle contrast between the austerity of postwar London and the comparatively bright affluence of Hanff's New York; also rewarding is the way images wittily counterpoint and comment on the lovingly intoned letters. And the film somehow manages to convey Hanff's almost sensual passion for pages bound in leather and still resounding with the pleasurable reactions of previous readers. None of which qualities would be evident were it not for the performances: Hopkins as the staid, shy family man Frank P Doel, and the marvellous Bancroft, relishing the vagaries of English pronunciation, as the headstrong Ms Hanff. Thankfully, the film has nothing to do with easy nostalgia; it's about real, credible people, and as such finally becomes very moving.
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Release details

UK release:

1986

Duration:

99 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

David Jones

Cast:

Maurice Denham, Jean De Baer, Judi Dench, Anthony Hopkins, Anne Bancroft, Eleanor David

Music:

George Fenton

Production Designer:

Edward Pisoni, Eileen Diss

Editor:

Chris Wimble

Cinematography:

Brian West

Screenwriter:

Hugh Whitemore

Producer:

Geoffrey Helman

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