When The Whales Came

  • 1989
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Drama

WHEN THE WHALES CAME tells a cautionary tale about human disharmonies--both with nature and with eccentrics who don't conform to social norms. Adapted by Michael Morpurgo from his own children's book and set in the Scilly Isles early in WW I, the story concerns a mysterious curse incurred by an island populace who once abused a group of narwhal whales;...read more

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WHEN THE WHALES CAME tells a cautionary tale about human disharmonies--both with nature and with eccentrics who don't conform to social norms. Adapted by Michael Morpurgo from his own children's book and set in the Scilly Isles early in WW I, the story concerns a mysterious curse incurred

by an island populace who once abused a group of narwhal whales; the friendship between two children and an deaf, kindly old outcast known as "The Birdman" (Paul Scofield); and the Birdman's humane mission to prevent the curse from being perpetuated. Unfortunately, the filmmakers seem more

interested in airing environmental concerns than in creating compelling drama: Scofield must deliver some undiluted sermons that hamper his otherwise creditable performance as the impossibly sweet old man, and a pair of subplots are mere filler, used to mark time until the whales arrive. Robert

Paynter's photography is beautiful, but audiences are likely to find WHEN THE WHALES CAME tough slogging.

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  • Released: 1989
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: WHEN THE WHALES CAME tells a cautionary tale about human disharmonies--both with nature and with eccentrics who don't conform to social norms. Adapted by Michael Morpurgo from his own children's book and set in the Scilly Isles early in WW I, the story con… (more)

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