Posts Tagged ‘Judi Dench’

Sometimes when you think about what you might write down on a list of your favorite movies there are some that evade your memory until you see it again and, like a desert flower, blooms again in your mind.

Such is the case with 84 Charing Cross Road.

It was on TCM last night and we flipped it on just to glimpse a few moments and ended up watching the whole thing.  I was immediately reminded of how much I like the film.

From 1987, it’s a movie about books and the written letter.  Hardly an action-filled two hours.  It’s the true story of writer Helene Hanff and her 20 year correspondence with a London bookshop, Marks and Co., located at 84 Charing Cross Road.  In 1949, Hanff an aspiring and struggling NY playwright responded a small classified ad from the bookseller.  She was seeking obscure British literature and was unable to locate her desired works in shops.  The movie follows the correspondence between Hanff over the next 20 years with the staff of the shop and how they effected each other’s lives with small acts of kindness and humor.  Hanff never made the trip to London until after the manager she primarily corresponded with had died and the shop had closed.

It’s a small quiet film that celebrates two things that are racing to obscurity- books and the posted letter.  Just a lovely and charming film.

The great Anne Bancroft stars in the film as Hanff and as usual, is wonderful.  I have had a longtime crush on Anne Bancroft to the point that when I think of Mel Brooks I don’t think of his great movies but instead find myself thinking what a lucky bastard he was to have married Anne Bancroft.   It also stars Anthony Hopkins as Frank Doel, the main man at the bookshop and Judi Dench as his wife.

If you love the feel of an old book and still get excited when you receive a hand-written note,  you most likely will enjoy this film.  It remains one of my sometimes forgotten favorites.

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