Hearts in Atlantis (film)

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Hearts in Atlantis
Hearts in Atlantis film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byScott Hicks
Produced byKerry Heysen
Screenplay byWilliam Goldman
Based onHearts in Atlantis
by Stephen King
Music byMychael Danna
CinematographyPiotr Sobociński
Edited byPip Karmel
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • September 28, 2001 (2001-09-28)
Running time
101 minutes[1]
  • United States
  • Australia
Budget$31 million[2]
Box office$30.9 million[2]

Hearts in Atlantis is a 2001 mystery drama thriller film directed by Scott Hicks and starring Anthony Hopkins and Anton Yelchin. It is loosely adapted from Stephen King's Dark Tower tie-in Low Men in Yellow Coats, a novella in the 1999 collection Hearts in Atlantis after which the film was named.

The film is dedicated to cinematographer Piotr Sobociński, who died of a heart attack a few months before the release.


Middle-aged photographer and businessman Robert "Bobby" Garfield returns to his old hometown upon learning that his best friend, decorated soldier John "Sully" Sullivan has died in a traffic accident and begins recollecting his past when he visits an abandoned house where he used to live. During a summer in the 1960s, an eleven-year old Bobby lives with his widowed mother, self-centered Liz Garfield, and has two friends, Carol Gerber and Sully. They experienced many things together, the most mysterious of which was meeting an older gentleman named Ted Brautigan, whom Liz takes in as a boarder.

Ted takes the lonely Bobby under his wing, while his mother is busy with her job . The two form a paternal father-son bond, and it slowly becomes evident that Ted has some psychic and telekinetic powers. These same powers are the reason that Brautigan has come to this sleepy town. In due course Ted entrusts Bobby with the knowledge that he has escaped the grasp of the "Low Men", strange people who would stop at nothing to get him back in their control.

After reading Bobby's mind and realizing that the boy dreams of owning a bicycle; Ted kindly offers Bobby $1 a week in exchange for his reading a newspaper out loud. Bobby quickly figures out that Ted has some other purpose in mind. Mysteriously, Ted asks Bobby to keep an eye on the neighborhood looking for any signs of the "low men", like announcements about missing pets. Bobby sees one, but does not tell Ted, afraid to lose his new friend.

Bobby, Carol and John have frequent conflicts with the local town bully, Harry Doolin, whom Ted is able to scare away by looking into his mind and finding out that his violence is used to cover up the fact that he is secretly a cross-dresser. However, at one point, Harry harasses and injures Carol, and when Ted manipulates her dislocated shoulder into place, Liz arrives, after being raped by her boss, and mistakenly believes that Ted is a child molester. She is confronted by Ted's ability to tell her the truth about what she has been through, and how her behavior is affecting her relationship with her son, providing another reason that Ted must leave. That and the "low men" are closing in on him.

Ted is eventually captured with the help of a tip from Liz. As some form of closure, Ted yells to Bobby as he is being driven away that he wouldn't have missed a moment "not for all the world", and later Bobby mirrors the same feelings. Bobby is later confronted by Harry but Bobby grabs the latter's baseball bat and beats him with it. Liz later finds a new job in Boston and moves the family there. Before he leaves, Bobby and Carol say their goodbyes and share a final kiss.

Returning to the present, Bobby turns to leave his old home wherein he meets a young girl named Molly. The two strike up a conversation wherein Molly reveals that she is Carol's daughter and that Carol died in recent years. Bobby gives Molly a photograph of a young Carol and the two become friends.



Box office[edit]

The film opened at #3 raking in $9,021,494 in its opening weekend at the U.S. box office.[3] The film would eventually gross a domestic total of $24,185,781, somewhat short of its $31 million budget, but with an international $6,733,634, it would total $30,919,415.[2]


The film received mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an approval rating of 49% based on reviews from 137 critics, with an average score of 5.8/10 and the consensus that the film "is well-acted and beautiful to look at, but the movie is nothing more than a mood piece".[4] According to Metacritic, which sampled the opinions of 30 critics and calculated a score of 55 out of 100, the film received "mixed or average reviews".[5]

Roger Ebert gave it 3.5 out of 4 stars.[6]


  1. ^ "Hearts in Atlantis (12)". British Board of Film Classification. October 17, 2001. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Hearts in Atlantis (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  3. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for September 28-30, 2001 - Box Office Mojo". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "Hearts in Atlantis (2001)" – via www.rottentomatoes.com.
  5. ^ "Hearts in Atlantis Reviews" – via www.metacritic.com.
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Hearts in Atlantis Movie Review (2001) - Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com.

External links[edit]