Ann Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins in 84 Charring Cross Road is my most watched movie. I first saw it about 1985 and I decided then that Anthony Hopkins (in that particular role) was the sort of man I wanted in my life. I hung onto every word in that movie.
My first marriage had broken up at about the same time. It was a period in my life where I was redefining who I was (and who I wasn’t). I was tired of the “ocker” image of the Aussie male and completely taken in with the conservative and withdrawn Hopkins!
If you are not familiar with the story here is a link to fill you in:
Anne Bancroft plays the role of Helene Hanff while Anthony Hopkins plays the part of Frank Doel. The story is about a friendship that develops between Hanff and Doel over many years. Frank Doel is the chief buyer for Marks and Co. – a London bookshop and Helene Hanff is chasing obscure classical pieces of literature.
This is not an English Literature essay so I won’t try to analyse or re-tell the story. It had an incredible impact on me at the time and every time I have watched it since then.
Interestingly the most recent time I watched this movie (1-2 years ago) I saw it in a completely different light. Prior to this I had always thought it romantic that Helene and Frank had such an intimate relationship (even though they had never met) and Frank seemed to have a very cold relationship with his wife.
This time I saw it differently – this time I saw Frank as the cold fish and his wife as being faithful and long-suffering. These perceptions of the movie may be mine alone. We find what we are looking for most often. In the 1980’s I hungered after romance but these days I cherish faithfulness and loyalty above all else (then some romance as well :-))
cheers for now
- Helene Hanff Does It Old School (themalaysianreader.com)