A Love Affair and 84 Charing Cross Road

Last night, I called time-out for myself and grabbed a stack of old magazines,
a pair of scissors, poured a glass of wine, lit my favourite candle and enjoyed watching 
'84 Charing Cross Road' ...all over again.

The story is based on a book by Helene Hannff written in 1970. 
It was made into a stage play, television play and the movie that I refer to here.  
It has a sterling cast,
Anthony Hopkins as Frank Doel a quiet and endearing Englishman.
Anne Bancroft as Helene Hannff a smart 'brassy' New Yorker.
Judi Dench as Nora Doel, a quiet soft spoke wife with an Irish lilt.
Ian McNeice as Bill Humphries, Frank's efficient co-worker.

Those of you who are followers of Doc Martin would recognise
 Ian McNeice, he plays the character Burt Large.

Roll back the years and there you have it...1949-1968,
Frank in an antiquarian bookshop, Marks & Co in London and 
Helene in Manhattan, New York. Letters are shared, books are posted 
across the pond, birthday gifts and Christmas packages soon follow....
there is joy, there is laughter and I admit the tissue box came out a few times too.

My Thursday evening, nothing too exciting....just what I needed.
For those of you who are new to '84 Charing Cross Road'... 
I recommend you read the book first. When you are done with both the book and the movie,
move on to The Duchess of Bloomsbury by Helene Hannff. :)

It makes for a great gift too!

I leave you with best wishes for the weekend and wondering
on friendships. I often explain to people who are not familiar
with blogging that is similar to 'pen pals'...we write back and forth,
we often share gifts...and if we are lucky, friendships are made. 
Are we that different from Helene and Frank?

top image: UK movieposte, book image via me, 
bottom image via You Tube as noted in movie clip.


  1. A nice analogy, Jeanne - participating in blogging is so like having a penpal, but having the luxury of selecting your own friends rather than being matched at school with Claudine from Nantes who is trés trés sporty and has nothing in common with oneself, nice though she is. I too like this gentle film.

  2. One of my very favourite books about books -- I haven't seen the movie in years, but I'll have to rent it now!

  3. Love this movie. In fact, I have a good friend in Nashville who has been looking for a CD version of this story for ages. I found one and mailed it to her before we left for Maine. She was over the moon to get it!

    Yes, I do believe we bloggers are the modern version of Helene and Frank. Wonderful comparison. I'm just happy you and I were able to meet!

  4. I love this movie! If anyone commenting here has not seen it, it is a must!

    The story of friendship over long distances and time is so timeless and beautiful.

    Jeanne, you are so right, blogging offers all us the oppoutinity to meet and become friends with people who are like us or like the same things we do and in addition allows us the opportunity to grown and learn from all of our bloggy friends. I hope that someday we have the opportunity to meet for a coffee, tea or cocoa in my case and share a few hours of conversation about books, travel and life.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    xo Elizabeth

  5. Re 84 Charing Cross Road, loved the book--haven't seen the movie. Highly recommend The Duchess of Bloomsbury. Enjoyed it immensely years ago on PBS television.

  6. Books that concern friendship are those that bring me back again and again, and so this one has now been added to my list. As do blogs that make wonderful book recommendations, thank you!

  7. I purchased this movie years ago...you back in the day of VHS!
    Love it still. Bancroft and Hopkins together were amazing.
    I never thought of reading the book, but i think I would love it - it's on my reading list now.
    I love the thought of bloggers having the same connection.

  8. What a sweet film so beautiful acted by Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins. If you would like a suggestion of another film that you can snuggle up and watch on the couch it would be Enchanted April. http://www.reelviews.net/movies/e/enchanted.html.

  9. I always think of my blogging friends the same way!:-)

    Love the two books and love the movie. Still so sad Anne Bancroft is not here anymore.

    BTW, suddenly realized that I completely forgot to get back to the post on the book club to write which book I would send off!

    Must find the post....

  10. Jeanne, I'm a bit slow....what happened to two of your blogs:-D?

  11. Thank you for this reminder, it's one of my favourite books and I always meant to get the movie, I will now!

  12. I've just added this moving to my Netflix list...loved it the first time round (yonks ago) and now the autumn weather has truly settle in (read chucking it down here), I look forward to curling up on the couch and watching this again.
    Thanks for the reminder Jeanne..you are wonderful as always!

  13. Good morning Jeanne.....I LOVED this movie...although the ending did make me a little weepy.



  14. What a heavvenly-sounding evening!I just watched this movie for the first time about a month ago and I absolutely fell in love with it. Such a sweet story and the character devlopment was wonderful. Can't wait to read the book now!

  15. Lovely post. I love all things English and enjoyed your ponderings.

    Have a wonderful weekend. ...Marsha

  16. Ma chère,
    Ce livre est un bijou !
    Sommes-nous dans un monde où tout ceci n’est plus possible ?
    Non ! il me semble que les mails peuvent efficacement se transformer en voyage épistolaire à travers le monde.
    J’ai acheté ce livre sur Internet – presque tous mes livres d’ailleurs – parce que je l’ai découvert par Internet.
    J’habite un petit village sur la Côte d’Azur, où il ne se passe jamais rien et où il n’y a absolument rien d’autre à faire que la sieste, la pétanque, le pastis et la plage !!!! Vraiment. Les gens ne viennent vivre ici que pour cela !
    Alors les livres ? les échanges ? les discussions ?
    En dehors de la télé point de salut !
    Vive la lecture et vive Internet.
    Fine Bessot
    P.S. Nous avons quelques affinités, merci d’être venue sur Facebook.

    My dear, this book is a gem!
    Are we in a world where all this is not possible?
    No! It seems to me that the mails can effectively transform into epistolary travel around the world.
    I bought this book on the Internet - almost all my books also - because I discovered via the Internet.
    I live in a small village on the Riviera, where it never nothing happens and where there is absolutely nothing else to do than napping, petanque, pastis and beach! Really.
    People do come to live here for this!
    Then books? exchanges? discussions? Outside of TV point of salvation!
    Vive has reading and vive Internet.
    Best wishes.
    Fine Bessot.
    P.S. We have some affinities, thank you for coming on Facebook

    I am sorry for the translation!

  17. Hello Jeanne.. we're connected.. kindred spirited..great blog friends, although we've never personally met, I know you x
    I posted a pic last night of a postage stamp on my Instagram (around the same time you were doing this post)..and lo and behold.. this morning I see in my inbox, your new blog posting with first pic.. jip.. with postage stamps..
    So.. cheers Jeanne across the miles.. from another Jean .. have a great weekend - and keep those blog posts rolling.. I look forward to each one of them. x