Is Anybody There? (2008)

Is Anybody There 2008tt1130088.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Is Anybody There? (2008)
  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 2,662 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 1 May 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 94 min
  • Filming Location: Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
  • Gross: $2,024,225(USA)(12 July 2009)
  • Director: John Crowley
  • Stars: Michael Caine, Bill Milner and Anne-Marie Duff
  • Original Music By: Joby Talbot   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Magician | Retirement Home | Senility | Palsey | Sexual Harassment

Writing Credits By:

  • Peter Harness (written by)

Known Trivia

  • The last film of Elizabeth Spriggs. She died during post production.

Goofs: Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Some think the father's mustache at the party is a continuity error as he shaved it off that morning. However, it is a fancy dress party and the father is clearly wearing a fake mustache to go with his costume.

Plot: Set in 1980s seaside England, this is the story of Edward, an unusual ten year old boy growing up in an old people's home run by his parents… See more »  »

Story: Set in 1980s seaside England, this is the story of Edward, an unusual ten year old boy growing up in an old people's home run by his parents. Whilst his mother struggles to keep the family business afloat, and his father copes with the onset of mid-life crisis, Edward is busy tape-recording the elderly residents to try and discover what happens when they die. Increasingly obsessed with ghosts and the afterlife, Edward's is a rather lonely existence until he meets Clarence, the latest recruit to the home, a retired magician with a liberating streak of anarchy. Is There Anybody There? tells the story of this odd couple – a boy and an old man – facing life together, with Edward learning to live in the moment and Clarence coming to terms with the past.Written by Anonymous  


Synopsis: Growing up and growing old never played so poignantly as it does in John Crowley’s Is Anybody There? The film grapples with the sad truths of getting older and losing loved ones, all the while maintaining a sardonic wit and sincere warmth. Coming of age in a family-run rest home, the reclusive, death-obsessed Edward (Bill Milner, Son of Rambow) wiles away his days tormenting his parents elderly residents and secretly tape-recording them in search of answers about the afterlife. Edward finds a kindred spirit in Clarence (Michael Caine), the curmudgeonly, retired magician who begrudgingly takes up residence at the guest home. The two strike up an unlikely friendship that helps Clarence come to terms with losing his wife, and Edward finds a way out of his shell. Milner holds his own alongside veteran Caine with a biting yet charming performance. Anne-Marie Duff (Notes on a Scandal) and David Morrissey (Basic Instinct 2) offer up moving support as Edwards working-class parents, who struggle to hold onto their marriage while making ends meet. The colorful cast of senior citizens, which includes seasoned actors Rosemary Harris (Aunt May from the Spiderman films) and Karl Johnson (Hot Fuzz, Rome), provides some of the film’s most melancholy and comic moments. Along with stellar performances from the impressive ensemble, Is Anybody There? is well-scripted and beautifully shot. Though it deals with some of lifes toughest moments, this is a film that is sure to appeal to audiences of all ages.

Ten-year-old Edward lives in his family-run retirement home. While his mother struggles to keep the family business afloat and his father copes with the onset of a mid-life crisis, Edward leads an increasingly lonely existence until he meets Clarence, a retired magician and grieving widower who refuses to give in gracefully to old age. The two strike up an unlikely friendship that helps them both remember what magic is possible when life is lived to its fullest.

{tab=FullCast & Crew}

Produced By:

  • Rosie Alison known as co-producer
  • David Heyman known as producer
  • Mark Hubbard known as line producer
  • Christine Langan known as executive producer
  • Peter Saraf known as producer
  • David M. Thompson known as executive producer
  • Marc Turtletaub known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Bill Milner known as Edward
  • Anne-Marie Duff known as Mum
  • Ralph Riach known as Clive
  • Linzey Cocker known as Tanya
  • Elizabeth Spriggs known as Prudence
  • Leslie Phillips known as Reg
  • Sylvia Syms known as Lilian
  • Rosemary Harris known as Elsie
  • David Morrissey known as Dad
  • Thelma Barlow known as Ena
  • Peter Vaughan known as Bob
  • Carl McCrystal known as Undertaker 1
  • Andrew Turner known as Undertaker 2
  • Michael Caine known as Clarence
  • Oliver Leach known as Barry
  • Ralph Ineson known as Mr. Kelly
  • David Rintoul known as Harry Price
  • Tommy Baxendale known as Tanya's Boyfriend Mike
  • Adam Drinkall known as Stuart
  • Edward Lees known as Ben
  • Larry David known as Fireman
  • Kevin Locke known as Entertainer
  • Jennifer Hennessy known as School Mother
  • Jamie Gilbert known as Tanya's New Boyfriend
  • Angie Inwards known as Mavis (as Angie Inward)
  • Garrick Hagon known as Douglas
  • Miles Jupp known as Vicar
  • Peter Harness known as Cameo as Cashier
  • Sue Wallace known as Mrs. Hitler
  • William Ilkley known as Barry's Dad
  • Myles Keogh known as Paramedic (as Michael Keogh)
  • Keith Hargreaves known as Bus driver
  • Charli Janeway known as Guy Who Walks (uncredited)
  • Karl Johnson known as Arthur (uncredited)
  • Karol Steele known as Passer-by (uncredited)

..{tab=Supporting Department}Makeup Department:

  • Fae Hammond known as makeup designer
  • Gemma Richards known as makeup artist
  • Gemma Richardson known as hair stylist: crowd dailies
  • Gemma Richardson known as makeup artist: crowd dailies

Art Department:

  • Paul Bowring known as construction manager
  • Garry Dawson known as stand-by props
  • Kevin Day known as stand-by props
  • Gavin Grant known as props
  • Douglas Ingram known as storyboard artist
  • Dean Lee known as trainee props (2008)
  • Loretta Lipworth known as art department trainee
  • Chris Lunney known as graphic designer
  • James Mannell known as props
  • Steve Register known as property master
  • Oliver Roberts known as stand-by art director
  • Dorothy Sullivan known as assistant set decorator


Production Companies:

  • BBC Films
  • Big Beach Films
  • Heyday Films

Other Companies:

  • Premier PR  publicity (UK)
  • Arion Facilities  dailies telecine transfers
  • Audiolink Radio Communications  walkie talkies
  • Bluff Hampton Company, The  visual effects by
  • Casting Collective  extras casting
  • Chiltern Railways  thanks
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • Film London  thanks
  • Fuji Photo Film  motion picture film supplied by
  • Hastings Film Office  thanks
  • Kent Film Office  thanks
  • Little Chalfont Golf Club  thanks
  • London Session Orchestra, The  orchestra (uncredited)
  • Martin Next & Family  thanks
  • Panalux  grip and lighting equipment
  • Production Copier Company  production equipment and services
  • Rye Harbour Nature Reserve  thanks
  • Sapex Scripts  post-production script services
  • Screen East  thanks
  • Screen South  special thanks
  • South Eastern Trains  thanks
  • Take 2 Film Services  camera equipment provided by
  • Teachers, Pupils & Parents at St. peter CEP School, Folkstone  thanks


  • Maximum Film Distribution (2008) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Optimum Releasing (2009) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Stony Island Entertainment (2009) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Hopscotch Entertainment (2009) (New Zealand) (all media)
  • Magnolia Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Optimum Home Entertainment (2009) (UK) (DVD)
  • Roadshow Entertainment (2009) (Australia) (all media)

..{tab=Other Stuff}

Special Effects:

  • Foreign Office (titles)
  • Fugitive Studios (digital end roller)
  • Vine Post Production

Visual Effects by:

  • Matthew Bristowe known as digital lab producer: MPC
  • Kelly Bruce known as compositor
  • James Cundill known as online editor
  • Charley Henley known as visual effects supervisor
  • Jeremy Hey known as digital compositor
  • Max Horton known as digital colourist
  • Michael Illingworth known as visual effects artist
  • Begoña Lopez known as digital lab producer: MPC
  • Sona Pak known as visual effects producer
  • Chris Shaw known as visual effects set supervisor
  • Giuseppe Tagliavini known as digital compositor: MPC
  • Pat Wintersgill known as on-line editor

Release Date:

  • Canada 7 September 2008 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • Germany 5 February 2009 (European Film Market)
  • UK 15 February 2009 (Glasgow Film Festival)
  • USA 8 April 2009 (Phoenix Film Festival)
  • USA 17 April 2009 (limited)
  • Ireland 1 May 2009
  • UK 1 May 2009
  • USA 1 May 2009
  • Canada 15 May 2009 (limited)
  • Australia 4 June 2009
  • New Zealand 10 September 2009
  • Poland 22 August 2011 (TV premiere)

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for language including sexual references, and some disturbing images


Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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