From Time to Time

Time and worlds collide and merge in this suspenseful British film based on the 1958 children’s book “The Chimneys of Green Knowe” by Lucy M. Boston. An old family manor, Green Knowe, which has survived two centuries, a devastating fire, and a loss in fortune, begins to give up its dead and its long-buried secrets.Thirteen-year-old Tolly Oldknowe (Alex Etel), whose father is missing in action in the last days of World War II, is sent to stay with his grandmother in the venerable Oldknowe manor. He hasn’t seen Mrs. Oldknowe (Maggie Smith), since he was a small child. Relationships between her and her son David’s family have been strained for years.

Though their renewed acquaintance is awkward at first, both grandmother and grandson display a similar characteristic. They both speak their minds in a plain and straightforward manner. Taking their measure of each other, they begin to like what they see and find many things in common, not least of which is their love for the son and the father who is missing. Though the adults, which include the housekeeper, Mrs. Tweedle (Pauline Collins), and groundskeeper, Boggis (Timothy Spall), have prepared themselves for the worst, young Tolly refuses to even entertain the idea that his father might be dead. He is adamant that his father is a prisoner of war and will be released as soon as the conflict is over.

Another common ground for grandmother and grandson, is love for the old family home, which his father has spoken of so often, and for its history. As Tolly begins to explore the sprawling old manor, he finds that the spirits of those whose lives were entwined with Green Knowe still haunt its halls. Its past is buried in its stones, mortared there with greed, pride, and violent passions, as well as love and selflessness. And somewhere within those stones lies the key to the mystery of the missing family assets — the silver, jewels, and a valuable painting.

This film explores complex family relationships, life, love, conflict, loss, and death, tied together by one tangible and enduring object — their home — Oldknowe manor.


16 thoughts on “From Time to Time

  1. I will watch ANYTHING that includes Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville. Pauline Collins and Timothy Spall are always great, too. It’s almost a mini-reunion of “Downton Abbey” cast members. Where can I find this….TV, DVD, movie theater? You watched “Downton Abbey” surely, didn’t you?

    • Mike and I have watched some of Downton Abbey and loved it. We didn’t get in on the first of the series and want to go back and do that.

      This film is free on Netflix. I discovered it a few months ago and have since watched it several times with different family members. I watched it last this afternoon with Katie and still screamed at the first “appearance”. It is not only a suspenseful movie, it is delightful and charming.

      • Oh yes, you must watch the earlier episodes of Downton Abbey. They’re wonderful.

        I don’t have Netflix streaming, but I have put the DVD in my queue. I prefer to get the DVDs because you don’t get any of the bonus features with their streaming service. And I LOVE the bonus material.

      • I think we can stream Downton Abbey and now that so many shows have finished their seasons it is a good time to do it. I’m not a big bonus feature watcher. I guess that’s why you know so much more details about stuff than I do.

      • Oh yes! I’m an avid bonus features watcher. Many times I even watch them before I watch the movie so I know about things to look for and/or how certain things were done. The “making-of” documentaries are always interesting. I’m crushed when I get a DVD from Netflix that doesn’t have any bonus material. 😥 The best one ever is the Blu-ray of “Les Miserables.” The bonus material is longer than the movie, by far.

  2. Netflix has this. I just added it to my queue. I guess it’s not a mini-reunion of DA cast members though because it was made before DA. How did this movie come to your attention?

      • Apparently.

        I am thrilled that Candice won Idol. I saw her on Jay Leno last night and she was relaxed, articulate….a terrific talk show guest. She sang her single “I Am Beautiful.” That results show was abour 1:30 too long. I fast forwarded through everything except Adam/Angie and Angie/Jesse J., Keith Urban, and Mariah (I like her singing, just not her judging.) All those group numbers were a bore.

      • I never watched the last couple of shows. I’m glad your favorite won. And, I agree, she was better than Kree. But I doubt any of the top girls will be hurting for money or contracts for a quite a while. I did read that Keith will be coming back next year. Or was that you who told me? Anyway, I got the message. I just hope they bring back Harry Connick. I loved that guy.

        Oh, by the way, the library called. I’ll probably pick up the last book in the Clifton Chronicles tomorrow.

  3. Yes, I told you in an email about Keith Urban coming back. I saw Harry Connick, Jr. on one of the late night shows and he as much as said that if he were asked to be a judge, he’d do it.

    I also told you that CeeLo and Christina will be back as judges next season on The Voice, BUT I just learned that Shakira and Usher will be back the season after that. Yay! Adam and Blake will be back for both seasons.

    • That’s great news about Harry and if Idol doesn’t jump on it they might as well fall on their sword. Yes. I remember you told me CeeLo and Christina will be back. Not ever my favorites. Shakira and Usher have gotten some rave reviews this season from what I’ve read.

      • Oh yes, all the viewers seem to like them better than CeeLo and Xtina. And I agree….the Idol producers would be fools to not go after Harry.

  4. Speaking of your library, see if they have the “Call the Midwife” trilogy by Jennifer Worth. The BBC series of the same name is based on them. She was a nurse/midwife affiliated with a convent in the poorest section of London during the 1950s. The stories are fascinating and many are heartbreaking. I could NOT put the books down. I read all three in five days. AND if you haven’t seen it, the BBC shows are EXCELLENT. You can catch both seasons at I VERY highly recommend both the books and the TV program.


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