The Shell Seekers

The Shell Seekers. 1989.

  • Director: Waris Hussein
  • Duration: 102 minutes
  • Genre: drama-en
Synopsis: Penelope Keeling, a woman close to her eighties, suffer a mild heart attack. During her ill health, she decides to assess her life and repair the troubled relationships she has with her children. But when they discover a painting by Penolope's father named 'Los buscadores de conchas', the reconciliation gets compromised. Even the painting has great emotional value for Penelope, her kids only see the economic profit that can be drawn from the sale of the painting.


The film was made for the British television and is based on the successful romantic novel by Rosamunde Pilcher, ‘The Shell Seekers’ (1987). The book has a part set in Ibiza and it achieved great sales.

In July 1989 the first television adaptation of the book was filmed. It was directed by veteran Indian director Waris Hussein and the film stars Angela Lansbury who is famous for her part as the writer in the detective novels Jessica Fletcher in “Murder, She Wrote” (1984-1994) series. ‘The Shell Seekers’ has pictures filmed in England and Ibiza. Different takes of the capital of the island can be found in the film, the airport of Es Codolar, Santa Agnes de Corona and several beaches. Rosamunde Pilcher’s novel, which has also been adapted to the theater, inspired another film for television, filmed in 2006 and starring Vanessa Redgrave and Maximilian Schell. This new version does not include images of Ibiza.

In 1993, the German TV channel ZDF made the film ‘Stürmische Begegnung’, based on another novel by Rosamunde Pilcher, ‘The Day of the Storm’ (1975), which like ‘The Shell Seekers’ also has some passages that happen in Ibiza. However, in the film adaptation of this book these scenes were filmed in Mallorca.

Commentary written by Enrique Villalonga, head of production studio Filmótica.



  • Producer Central Independent Television, Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions (England) y Marian Rees Associates (Unites States)
  • Director Waris Hussein
  • Photography Brian West
  • Art Direction Jane Martin
  • Edition Fred A. Chulack
  • Music James Di Pasquale
  • Sound designer Clive Winter
  • Casting Angela Lansbury, Irene Worth, Sam Wanamaker, Patricia Hodge, Anna Carteret, Sophie Ward, Denis Quilley, Serena Gordon, Michael Gough, Patrick Blackwell, Christopher Bowen, Tracey Childs, James Goodwin, Laura Goodwin, William Hope, Gemma Hubbard, Mark Lewis Jones, Andrew Keir, Cornelia Hayes O’Herlihy, John Rowe y David Simeon