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The Borrowers is a 1997 British film based on the children's novel of the same name by author Mary Norton. In 1998 it was nominated for the title of Best British Film in the BAFTA awards, but lost to Gary Oldman's Nil by Mouth. The film also picked up another two nominations and one win in awards.


The movie starts with young Pete Lender setting up traps around his house, explaining to his parents that things in their house are being stolen. The humans leave and a family of tiny people ("Borrowers"), Pod Clock, Arrietty Clock and Peagreen Clock make their way through the kitchen to "borrow" the radio's battery. Arrietty, while treating herself with some ice cream in the freezer, is accidentally shut inside just as the Lenders return. Meanwhile, the will of Mrs. Lender's aunt, Mrs. Allabaster, is the only proof that the house rightfully belongs to the family, yet their lawyer, Ocious P. Potter cannot find it, and has already made plans to demolish their house in order to build condominiums on the land; they have until Saturday to move.

Arietty wanders off and is trapped by Peter, who is actually astonished to discover the Borrowers and offers his help in moving them to their new house. Pod reluctantly agrees, but during the journey, Arrietty and Peagreen fall out of the moving truck and make their way back to the old house, where they find the new house on a map. However, Potter turns up and finds the will hidden in a safe inside the wall (Mrs. Allabaster had stated that she did not trust banks and preferred to keep the will in the house, something Potter conveniently omitted to tell his clients), but as he tries to burn it, Arrietty and Peagreen steal the will, determined to save the house. Potter, seeing the Clocks' underground home, calls the local exterminator, Jeff, but they manage to escape, with Jeff accidentally burning Potter's face and mustache, with expanding foam, in the process. Potter and Jeff give chase by having Jeff's bloodhound, Mr. Smelly, sniff Peagreen's jacket and follow the scent to a milk factory. Along the way, they occasionally bump into a local policeman, Officer Steady, who questions their actions. Peagreen becomes trapped in an empty milk bottle and taken into the factory with Arrietty unable to save him, but another Borrower, Spud Spiller, an "Outie" (an outdoor borrower), shows up and offers help. Together they manage to make their way through the factory and locate Peagreen and force their way past Potter, dousing him in a shower of liquid cheese in the process.


  • John Goodman - Ocious P. Potter
  • Bradley Pierce - Pete Lender
  • Jim Broadbent - Pod Clock
  • Celia Imrie - Homily Clock
  • Flora Newbigin - Arrietty Clock
  • Tom Felton - Peagreen Clock
  • Mark Williams - Exterminator Jeff
  • Raymond Pickard - Spud Spiller
  • Hugh Laurie - Officer Oliver Steady
  • Ruby Wax - Town Hall Clerk
  • Aden Gillett - Joe Lender
  • Bob Goody - Minty Branch