Date watched: Thursday 26th January 2017
Year released: 1998
First time watching?: No
From IMDb: “A shy and quiet World War II evacuee is housed by a disgruntled old man, and they soon develop a close bond.”
Anyone who knows me knows that when I read a book that has a film based upon it, the first thing I say upon finishing it is, ‘I need to watch the movie now’ and the same can be said for the other way around. I wrote a blog post a few months back for the book of “Goodnight, Mr. Tom” and of course upon finishing the book I decided I’d try and find time to sit and watch the movie again at some point.
John Thaw makes a fantastic Mr.Tom in the TV adaptation, gruff but all the same still kind hearted and generous. The young Nick Robinson is fabulous as Willie Beech, and it’s only upon the viewing that I’ve really noticed his skills with his accent in the movie. Annabelle Apsion is also truly terrifying the few short scenes she has as Will’s abusive mother.
For a TV movie the standard here is amazing, especially now that it’s almost twenty years old. It’s been a few years since I’ve watched the movie, and i truly is standing the test of time. I can remember watching it for the first time on ITV with my parents as a ten year old after I’d read the book for a school assignment and it’s just as wonderful and impacting now as it was back then.
This adaptation is incredibly true to the book, and a few things such as the abuse Willie suffers are all the more horrendous for being presented visually rather than in black and white. The movie packs just as emotional a punch as the book does with certain crucial events to the storyline, and in fact I’d argue that the movie is more likely to bring a tear to your eye than the book would.
When I was rereading the book, I posted a photo of it on Instagram, and the comments that came in from friends were all referring towards their memories of watching the movie on TV as kids. It’s definitely, while only a movie made for TV, the kind of film that’s going to stand the test of time and catch audiences attention for generations to come.
My rating: 7.5/10