7.9/10
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The Remains of the Day (1993)

A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years leading up to World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty was to his lordly employer.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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4,438 ( 637)

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Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Haycraft ...
Auctioneer
...
Jack Lewis
...
...
Caroline Hunt ...
Landlady
...
Lord Darlington
...
William Stevens
Paula Jacobs ...
Mrs. Mortimer, the Cook
...
Charlie, Head Footman
...
George, Second Footman
...
Housemaid (as Abigail Harrison)
...
Spencer
Peter Cellier ...
Sir Leonard Bax
...
Canon Tufnell
...
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Storyline

A rule bound head butler's world of manners and decorum in the household he maintains is tested by the arrival of a housekeeper who falls in love with him in pre-WWII Britain. The possibility of romance and his master's cultivation of ties with the Nazi cause challenge his carefully maintained veneer of servitude. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for themes | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

19 November 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lo que queda del día  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$22,954,968 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is one of two feature film collaborations between actress Emma Thompson and Merchant Ivory Productions. The first was Howards End (1992). See more »

Goofs

We see a dozen bottles of Graham's Port being delivered for the banquet - but the port would have been cellared for at least six months before being decanted - vintage port is undrinkable immediately after being transported; and later Stevens takes (and breaks) a bottle of Dow 1913 vintage port- but no producers declared a vintage in that year. 1912 was a vintage year, and the next one was 1917. See more »

Quotes

Miss Kenton: Look at it! Is that or is it not the wrong chinaman?
Stevens: Miss Kenton, I'm very busy. I am surprised that you have nothing better to do than stand around all day...
Miss Kenton: Mr. Stevens, look at that chinaman and tell me the truth!
Stevens: Miss Kenton, I would ask you to keep your voice down. What would the other servants think to hear us shouting at the top of our voices about... chinamen?
Miss Kenton: And I would ask you, Mr. Stevens, to turn around and look at the chinaman.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Downton Abbey: Episode #2.1 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Roll Along Prairie Moon
Composed by Ted Fio Rito, Albert von Tilzer and Harry MacPherson
Performed by Gracie Fields
See more »

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User Reviews

Compelling, moving and practically flawless
12 September 2003 | by (India) – See all my reviews

I can only repeat what most previous commentators have said. This is a beautiful film in every way.

Anthony Hopkins performance is awe-inspiring and difficult to describe. Stevens the butler never shows any emotion so his face is always suitably deadpan. The dialogue is spare. Then just how is it that we are able to follow the emotional undercurrents? Emma Thompson is also brilliant as the energetic housekeeper who does display and express her feelings without ever stating them directly. But all the actors are excellent, even in the most minor parts. Hugh Grant has a small part and plays it perfectly. Sadly his talent is too often misused and misapplied. James Fox was a revelation as prior to this I had only seen him in very light roles. Here he played an essentially decent man who is not too bright but has been born into wealth and influence. His sentiments and suggestibility lead him to misguided positions and tragedy.

Among the many great scenes there is a hilarious laugh-out-loud sequence with Hopkins and Grant.

I have seen "A Room With a View", another effort from the Merchant-Ivory-Jhabwala team. It is adapted from a lovely book but I disliked the film. I thought it failed to set the mood and put across the emotions. But in "The Remains of the Day" everything works. It is sad, actually heart-rending, but not gloomy. The period details are wonderfully executed and you are impressed by the order and efficiency in the running of the stately home. Everything in the film looks good- clean, bright and sharp. You are swept in at the beginning and stay rapt till the end. And the magic does not decrease with repeated viewing. I have seen it a number of times, it remains absorbing and fresh.


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