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Dean Spanley as a Sample Model for Unknown Planet [Sep. 12th, 2017|12:22 am]
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One of the best films in the 21st century.

"Декан Спэнли" как образец для сериала НП Unknown Planet=Неизвестная Планета.

Dean Spanley is a 2008 British comedy drama film, with fantastic elements, from Miramax, Atlantic Film Group (UK) and General Film Corporation (NZ), directed by Fijian New Zealander Toa Fraser.

Set in Edwardian England (1904), the film is based on an Alan Sharp adaptation of Irish author Lord Dunsany's 1936 novella My Talks with Dean Spanley. It stars Sam Neill as the Dean, Jeremy Northam as Fisk Junior and Peter O'Toole as Fisk Senior respectively and Bryan Brown as Wrather.

Peter O'Toole (1932-2013) in the "Dean Spanley", 2008 Питер О'Тул и


The narrative is called "a surreal period comedic tale of canine reincarnation exploring the relationships between father and son and master and dog".[1] Peter O'Toole said that the film's use of comedy to explore the relationship between a father and son was part of the attraction for him: "All of us have had these difficult familial relationships and I think it's a film for all of us who understand the relationship between a father and son.

It's been interesting watching how various members of the crew have been looking at the monitors during scenes, because they come up to me and say, 'I had the same thing with my father.'"


Англия, 1904 год. Хенслав Фиск и его престарелый отец Горацио (О'Тул) решают пойти на лекцию по реинкарнации, про «Переселение Душ». Там они встречают декана - священника - Спэнли ("спаниэль"). Позже, сталкиваясь с ним в клубе своего отца, а затем у входа в собор, молодой Фиск расценивает это как знак, больше, чем совпадение, и решает пригласить его на обед, соблазняя обещанием угостить его любимым Токайским вином. Настоящим имперским от Габсбургов.

В закромах в поисках Токайского чтения реинкарнаций ради

На обеде, после вина — декан начинает рассказывать странные воспоминания своей прошлой жизни, когда он был собакой в доме отца Фиска (Питера О'Тула). На одном из сеансов воспоминаний и сам отец-Фиск - Питер О'Тул - признает, что всё так и было: декан Спэнли когда-то был его любимой собакой, сбежавшей из его дома.

А теперь он и его сын угощает свою бывшую любимую собаку, перевоплотившуюся в декана, Токайским вином у себя дома.



In the very early 1900s, Henslowe Fisk lives beholden to his father, the difficult Horatio Fisk. The Fisk family has suffered first the loss of its younger son, Harrington Fisk (Xavier Horan), killed in the Second Anglo-Boer War, shortly followed by the death of Horatio's wife.

Fisk Senior is looked after by his housekeeper Mrs Brimley (Judy Parfitt) who has lost her husband. Fisk Junior reluctantly visits his father every Thursday.

Memorising realities

One day, trying to entertain his father, Fisk Junior takes him to a lecture by a visiting swami (Art Malik) about the transmigration of souls. The lecture is also attended by the new local clergyman, Dean Spanley (Sam Neill).

Later the same day Fisk Junior encounters the Dean at his father's club. A chance third meeting leads to an introduction. Fisk Junior, initially intrigued by the Dean's oddly open-minded views on reincarnation, is prompted to look beyond the Dean's appearance (that of an affable, rather bland clergyman) by his weakness for certain peculiar sensations produced by Hungarian Imperial Tokay wine, which leads him into a dreamlike state.

Now the Dean of the God, previously a Dog

Working with his clever friend Wrather (Bryan Brown), an Australian "conveyancer", Fisk secures a batch of Tokay and the two entertain the Dean, who acts ever more strangely, starting to reveal memories of his previous life — as a Welsh Spaniel.

These memories are acute and convincing, including rich feelings around food and communication with other canines, a deep distaste for cats and pigs, and the joy of serving his master.

Father and Son, Отец и Сын

As the story unfolds, Fisk Junior comes to understand his father's background better and the two draw closer. There is a sub-plot concerning Fisk Senior's childhood that receives an unexpected resolution forming the climax of the story.


Jeremy Northam as Fisk Junior (Henslowe)
Sam Neill as Dean Spanley
Bryan Brown as J.J. Wrather
Peter O'Toole as Fisk Senior (Horatio)
Judy Parfitt as Mrs Brimley
Art Malik as Swami Nala Prash
Ramon Tikaram as the Nawab of Ranjiput


The adapted screenplay was written by Alan Sharp, with clearance from the Dunsany Literary Estate. Trevor Johnston has written, "If you read the original story before seeing the film ..., then see the film, what’s striking is that Sharp has not so much effected an adaptation as a reinvention."


Principal filming began at Wisbech in Cambridgeshire in 2007, continuing for some weeks and taking in the heritage area of the Crescent, the Castle and the museum.

It continued at Holkham Hall in Norfolk and Elveden Hall in Suffolk, once home to and remodelled for the last Maharajah of Punjab in the years just before the film's setting. Elm Hill in Norwich and the cloisters at Norwich Cathedral were also used. Further filming took place in New Zealand.


The movie was shot on 16 mm film and digitally, in 1:1.85 ratio, using Arri 416 and D-20 cameras, with digital intermediate post-production by Lipsync Productions.

England - 1904 after Anglo Boer War (1899-1902) Англия после войны с бурами


An original soundtrack was composed by New Zealand composer Don McGlashan.

The novella, out of print for some years, was re-issued from HarperCollins in 2008. It included the film screenplay, set photos, publicity stills and interviews and comments from the cast, director, producers and crew members.

Critical response

Receiving a standing ovation at the gala premiere, initial commentary was positive (per reviews at IMDb.com and elsewhere), with particular praise for O'Toole's performance and the final "act".

Reviews were generally positive, Rotten Tomatoes website gives the film a rating of 85% "fresh" based on 26 reviews. The critical consensus describes the film as "Offbeat, whimsical, period-set shaggy dog story with daffy performances from Sam Neill and Peter O’Toole."

Dean Spanley was longlisted for the 2009 British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards for Adapted Screenplay (Alan Sharp) and Supporting Actor (Peter O'Toole)