7.5/10
3,488
55 user 21 critic

The Whales of August (1987)

Not Rated | | Drama | 19 August 1987 (France)
It's August. Like they have most summers, elderly widowed sisters Libby Strong and Sarah Webber, who live in Philadelphia, are staying together in the family's summer cottage on an island ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Joshua Brackett
Frank Grimes ...
Mr. Beckwith
...
Young Libby
...
Young Tisha
...
Young Sarah
Frank Pitkin ...
Old Randall
Mike Bush ...
Young Randall
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Storyline

It's August. Like they have most summers, elderly widowed sisters Libby Strong and Sarah Webber, who live in Philadelphia, are staying together in the family's summer cottage on an island off the coast of Maine. The cottage, which now belongs to Sarah, has been in their family most of their lives, it which was the family's summer getaway from Philadelphia when they were younger. There are a few people who have been half-century friends or acquaintances on the island, including the outspoken Tisha Doughty who is like a bossy third sister, and Joshua Brackett, who has long done any of the handy work around the cottage. Someone relatively new at least to Sarah's social circle is Mr. Maranov, a former Russian aristocrat for who chivalry is just a way of life. His stay on the island is however threatened when his landlady, Hilda Partridge, passes away. Sarah and Libby have come to the realization that they are in the respective twilight of their lives, largely regarding issues directly ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Screen's Immortals... A movie you'll never forget. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

19 August 1987 (France)  »

Also Known As:

As Baleias de Agosto  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,338,198 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(flashbacks)| (TVC)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The nick-name for sea perch fish was "cunners". The dictionary definition for a cunner is "an edible greenish-grey wrasse (fish) which lives along the Atlantic coast of North America". See more »

Goofs

Joshua gets in the house for the second time and stays up, with his both arms by his sides. The subsequent shot shows him with the arms leaned on his hips. See more »

Quotes

Libby Strong: What are you doing?
Sarah Webber: I'm dusting.
Libby Strong: Busy, busy, busy. Always busy. I wish we were in my house in Philadelphia.
Sarah Webber: Oh, but it's so hot in Philadelphia now.
Libby Strong: I like the heat. It keeps you from being so busy.
Sarah Webber: Well, dear, this is Maine... and this is my house... and somebody has to keep it tidy.
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Connections

Featured in All About Bette (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Roses of Picardy
(uncredited)
Music by Haydn Wood
Lyrics by Frederick Edward Weatherly
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Lost Breed of Movie
16 August 2002 | by (Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

I'm 22 years old and yet this movie about two elderly sisters and their friends touched my heart deeply.

I must admit before I begin that I am a fan of Bette Davis and Vincent Price, and that Miss Lillian Gish is my all time favorite actress, so my view of this film may be skewed. However, I must admit and admire the sheer artistry of these actors (including the unsung Ann Sothern) and their ability to take a simple story and turn it into an engaging, emotional tour de force film of power and majesty.

Miss Gish was in the twilight of her life in this, her last film, but you could still see the same actress who touched audiences in 1919's "Broken Blossoms"...the same powerful skills which are on display in 1928's "The Wind", and the same quiet dignity portrayed in 1959's "The Night of the Hunter". Her scenes are by far the finest of the movie.

I must respectfully disagree with my fellow reviewers in their dismissal of Bette Davis's performance. Her character was supposed to be hard-headed, mean, and in bad health (why else keep harking on dying?). Bette is all of these things. I could really feel that she WAS Libby. Although her constant yelling of "SAY-rah" was a little annoying, but that's Ms. Davis for you.

Vincent Price was a revelation for those of us who have only seen him as a schlockmiester. His role as the Count, warm, friendly, scared and courtly, was probably the most sympathetic character in the film.

All in all, a touching, beautiful tribute to the legends of the screen and to the movies themselves. A lost breed of film.


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