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84 Charing Cross Road

317 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A story about love and the love of books, 84 Charing Cross Road features Academy Award(r) winners Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins in stellar performances. Helen Hanff (Bancroft), a feisty New York writer, mails a letter to a small London bookshop requesting some rare English classics. Frank Doel (Hopkins), the reserved English bookseller, answers her request, beginning a touching and humorous correspondence that spans two continents and two decades. Hanff's aloof British demeanor, but their mutual love of books forms a bond that deepens with each passing year. Their intimate, richly detailed letters draw us into their lives as Helen and Frank share theirdreams, hopes, sorrows and joys - and, in doing so, develop a lasting and extraordinary friendship.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, Judi Dench
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, English, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (317 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CX8N
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,553 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "84 Charing Cross Road" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Jenny on November 23, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I thanked the man at Central Park who introduced "84 Charing Cross Road" to Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks for help making it into a film. David Hugh Jones did a splendid directing. Marvellous adaptation of Helene Hanff's book which I cherish. Without this film I may never find such a terrific book. Great contribution to books-lovers and movie-goers.
I love this film.It's one of my all time favourite! Very literary unique with exquisite performances from Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins.
This bitter sweet true story is about lifelong letters correspondence between a struggling writer Helene Hanff(Bancroft) and a book dealer Frank Doel(Hopkins). It began when Helene, a New Yorker responded to an advertisement in the "Saturday Review of Literature". She wanted to mail order out of prints or cheaper edition old books from a London book shop which Frank worked as a book dealer. The book shop was located in 84 Charing Cross Road. At first everything were strictly business like. Helene was always interested and amazed by English Literature and cultures and Frank vice-versa,intrigue by this American. Eventually,they developed a special friendship,an unspoken love and care for each other without even seeing each other. They were like soul mates and that was extraordinary.
The cultural and social differences between London and New York during that period were vividly illustrated. It's so touching to see Helene finally going to London.Her love for english literature was sincere and remarkable. This made the movie so unforgettable and great. Beacause all these actually did happened and those people really existed.
Both Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins were astonishing in their roles. Also with great supporting casts like Judi Dench and Maurice Denham.
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96 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Kaplan on February 7, 2005
Format: DVD
Based on the charming true-life book by Helene Hanff, 84 Charing Cross Road is an absolute heart-tugging gem of a movie, and I cannot believe I never came across this 1987 sleeper before this time. Anne Bancroft is magnificent as brash New Yorker Helene Hanff, a book lover extraordinaire who comes across a British emporium of rare books, and begins an extraordinary correspondence (via paper, this was BEFORE e-mail and how charming it is!) with Frank Doel, played fabulously by a young Anthony Hopkins.

Somehow, in their 20 years of correspondence about books, their growing and deep friendship never had its denoument: Neither one was ever able to visit the other. And yet they were extraordinarily close in their mutual love of books, as Hanff's prolific reading habits and exacting demands for unabridged material complimented Doel's understated British desire to help her all he could.

I found myself in tears more than once; there are so many subtleties to this movie, especially in the bravira performance by Bancroft. This may be her finest role, unheralded though it was.

Something wonderful for any book lover. Order it and enjoy!
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175 of 184 people found the following review helpful By Brockeim on October 27, 2002
Format: DVD
In these days of e-books, and bland books constructed from franchised ideas and formulas, we are presented "84 Charing Cross Road," a story about a relationship begun because of a mutual love of old great books.

Hopkins and Bancroft share a film highlighting both of their genuine personas.

Like Hopkins in "Shadowlands" and "The Remains of the Day," we see him in full glory, as a quiet man of grace and sophistication.

He is the chief buyer at an English bookstore, and Bancroft's character mails him a request for a book. Correspondence and a relationship begins. Contently and confidently married, Hopkins responds as an older brother might, and the two grow to cherish each other despite the distance.

As they care for each other, and slowly, their local friends and family become aware, we see how love transcends the sea. Neither character has an agenda, and this left me feeling a little less cynical about the world around me.

Like so many of today's e-mail- and chatroom-only friendships, they learn to appreciate each other, though knowing only the other as they choose to describe themselves.

This isn't a story about books or bookstores, despite the honest representation of their demeanor and personality. Any booklover knows the search for a book, and the texture of a bookseller's knowledge and connection with his books.

This is a movie about the depth, trust, and love of one unexpected relationship. Book lovers will enjoy the context, and good friends will smile knowingly.

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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 10, 2003
Format: DVD
There are many people who come into our lives as a result of books. That common love of books can spark many a friendship.

Imagine living in the middle of a society so unaware of the books you crave. Imagine no Amazon. No free shipping! No forums dedicated to your favorite authors.

Finding a friend who shares your love of the newest self-published novel is rare enough. Imagine finding a soul mate who understands your love for books written a century ago. Imagine finding someone who shared your love of inexpensive rare editions and could find them for you for under $5.

Helene Hanff (Anne Bancroft) shows all the signs of being a hopeless bibliophile. She is an eccentric script reader who makes just enough money to survive and yet dreams of owning copies of old books from an antiquarian bookstore. She is quite the character with a delicious sense of humor and always speaks her mind.

"I never can get interested in things that didn't happen to people who never lived." -Helene

When she is told that readers in New York are not reading British books by British writers, she can't believe that English literature is not read in New York! She finds an English bookseller's address and writes a letter asking for a few books to be sent to her in New York.

She first contacts Frank Doel (Anthony Hopkins) on October 5th, 1949. Through the years Frank is able to find books she is dying to read and Helene shows her appreciation by sending small packages to his office for all the employees and for his family. She ships food to them they never see or only can obtain through the black market.

Some of Helene's letters are so hilarious. I think I laughed almost once every time she was writing.
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