Dean Spanley

Watch Dean Spanley

  • PG
  • 2008
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 7.2  (3,792)

Dean Spanley is a British film from 2008 that tells the story of an estranged father and son who have lost touch with one another. The father, Horatio Fisk, played by Peter O'Toole, is an elderly man who has grown bitter and disillusioned with life. His son, Henslowe Fisk, played by Jeremy Northam, is a successful young man who has become disconnected from his roots.

The movie opens with Henslowe reluctantly attending a lecture on the transmigration of souls. The lecture is given by an eccentric man named Dean Spanley, played by Sam Neill, who claims to have experienced past lives as a dog. Henslowe is skeptical of Spanley's claims and finds him to be annoying and off-putting. However, after a chance encounter at a wine merchant, Henslowe begins to develop a friendship with Spanley.

As the story unfolds, we learn that Horatio's bitterness is rooted in the loss of his son, an event that he has never been able to come to terms with. Henslowe begrudgingly agrees to accompany his father to a series of dinners that he is invited to attend by his friends, Colonel Blount (Bryan Brown) and Wrather (Richard Roxburgh). At these dinners, Horatio consumes an unusual dessert wine that seems to have a profound effect on him. He becomes more open and communicative, expressing a deep appreciation for his son that he has never displayed before.

Henslowe is intrigued by the wine and discovers that it is the same wine that he purchased from the merchant who introduced him to Dean Spanley. He tracks Spanley down and they share a bottle of the dessert wine, which leads to an extraordinary revelation. Spanley enters into a trance-like state and begins to speak about his life as a dog, recounting stories of his adventures and experiences that he claims to have had in a past life. Henslowe is astounded by what he hears and becomes convinced that there is more to Spanley's claims than mere fantasy.

The story takes an unexpected turn when Henslowe begins to explore the concept of transmigration with his father. Horatio is dismissive of the idea at first, but becomes increasingly intrigued as Henslowe shares the details of his encounters with Dean Spanley. The two men embark on a journey of self-discovery that brings them closer together and helps them to reconcile their differences.

Overall, Dean Spanley is a beautifully crafted film that explores the themes of loss, family, and the possibility of eternal life. The performances of the lead actors are exceptional, with Peter O'Toole and Sam Neill delivering standout performances that are both poignant and humorous. The movie is a blend of drama and whimsy that will appeal to anyone who enjoys thought-provoking storytelling. Highly recommended.

Dean Spanley is a 2008 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2.

Dean Spanley
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (3,792)