Jeremy Thomas
GBR 1998
112 min

Bobby is a sweet-natured but backward adolescent. When his mother dies, his stepfather De Winter takes responisibility for his upbringing. De Winter despises Bobby and thinks nothing of killing his pets. Unless Bobby signs away his rights to the family department store, De Winter threatens to have him institutionalised. Rather than give in to his stepfather, Bobby runs away. He ends up in Cornwall, where he comes across Mr Summers, an eccentric old man whose life work is protecting animals. He allows Bobby to join him and the two gradually become firm friends. Summers, who has a dark secret of his own, agrees to accompany Bobby back to London to confront the stepfather. Jeremy Thomas first read (and tried to option) Walker Hamilton’s “All the Little Animals” in the early 70’s. Only now, more than 20 years later, has he managed to bring this unlikely choice of material for his debut as a director to the screen. The story of a gauche, brain-damaged adolescent who takes to the woods, the film depends for its effect on capturing its protagonist’s sense of wonder at the natural world. Thomas’ challenge is to show Bobby’s naïve curiosity without lapsing into the kind of winsome sentimentality that so often blights tales about innocents abroad. (...) Thomas invests All the Little Animals with a strong enough sense of menace to prevent the film from becoming too soft-centred. Rather than picture-postcard imagery of the English countryside, the landscape here often seems unsettling. (...)All the Little Animals is a courageous debut. Thomas doesn’t hide behind cynical humour or irony but tells an emotive story in a direct and open way. (Geoffrey Macnab, “Sight & Sound”, 1998)

  • John Hurt - Mr. Summers
  • Christian Bale - Bobby
  • Daniel Benzali - De Winter
  • James Faulkner - Mr. Whiteside
  • John O’Toole - Lastwagenfahrer
  • Amanda Royle - Des
  • Amy Robbins - Bobbys Mutter
  • Eski Thomas nach dem Roman von Walker Hamilton
  • Mike Molloy
  • Ivan Sharrock
  • Chris Ackland
  • John Victor Smith
  • Richard Hartley
  • Andrew Sanders
  • Louise Stjernsward
Recorded Picture Company, British Screen, J&M Entertainment, BBC Films, Entertainment Film Distributors
Screen Media Films
Video (Digi Beta)
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