Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Irvin|
|Produced by||Richard Johnson|
Bernard Sofronski (Executive Producer)
|Written by||Russell Hoban (novel)|
Harold Pinter (screenplay)
|Music by||Geoffrey Burgon|
|Edited by||Peter Tanner|
|Distributed by||The Samuel Goldwyn Company|
Turtle Diary is a 1985 British film directed by John Irvin and starring Glenda Jackson, Ben Kingsley, and Michael Gambon. Based on a screenplay adapted by Harold Pinter from Russell Hoban's novel Turtle Diary, the film is about "people rediscovering the joys of life and love". The film contains elements of romance, comedy, and drama and has been described as a romantic comedy.
Two lonely Londoners - Neaera Duncan, a children's author (Glenda Jackson), and William Snow, a bookstore assistant (Ben Kingsley) - find common ground when visiting the sea turtles at London Zoo. Independently, each perceives that the turtles are unnaturally confined, and they hatch a plan with the assistance of zookeeper George Fairbairn (Michael Gambon) to smuggle them out and release them into the sea.
Their release of the turtles is a metaphor for their escape from their inhibitions.
In his 1985 Sunday Telegraph review of the film, Castell observes that Pinter's screenplay concentrates on developing dialogue and plot, leaving clues for the actors to convey their characters' subtle emotional and psychological development: "It is hard to think of two actors better matched to play Pinter than Glenda Jackson and Ben Kingsley. They milk every nuance, point up every missed beat and relish each irony and repetition in the script. ... Turtle Diary is a fine film that charts movingly the unnoticed despair of everyday lives, the sufferings of those who endure loneliness in silence."
The film grossed $2.2 million in its U.S. theatrical release.
The film was released on videocassette in 1986 by Vestron Video. The film has not yet been released on DVD.
Critically hailed as a mini-masterpiece, TURTLE DIARY is the enchanting film of people rediscovering the joys of life and love. ... Outside of their chance meetings at the aquarium, they have little in common, but an inspiration to free the captive turtles starts a bond that gives their lives a new outlook. The 'turtlenappers' are about to set their own spirits free.