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The Remains of the Day (1993)

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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:

James Ivory

Writers:

Kazuo Ishiguro (novel), Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,047 ( 568)
Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Haycraft John Haycraft ... Auctioneer
Christopher Reeve ... Lewis
Anthony Hopkins ... Stevens
Emma Thompson ... Miss Kenton
Caroline Hunt Caroline Hunt ... Landlady
James Fox ... Lord Darlington
Peter Vaughan ... Father
Paula Jacobs Paula Jacobs ... Mrs. Mortimer, the Cook
Ben Chaplin ... Charlie, Head Footman
Steve Dibben ... George, Second Footman
Abigail Hopkins ... Housemaid (as Abigail Harrison)
Patrick Godfrey ... Spencer
Peter Cellier ... Sir Leonard Bax
Peter Halliday ... Canon Tufnell
Hugh Grant ... Cardinal
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Storyline

Rule bound head butler Stevens' (Sir Anthony Hopkins') world of manners and decorum in the household he maintains is tested by the arrival of housekeeper Miss Kenton (Dame Emma Thompson), who falls in love with him in pre-World War II 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

19 November 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Remains of the Day See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,528,982, 7 November 1993

Gross USA:

$23,237,911

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,237,911
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (35 mm prints)| SDDS (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Much of the interior action of Darlington Hall was shot at Powderham Castle, near Exeter, for six hundred years the seat of the Courtenays, Earls of Devon. Several key scenes take place in the staircase hall, a spectacular interior of the 1750s with virtuoso rococo plasterwork, the molding picked out in buff against a background of luminous aquamarine. Other interiors which were featured in the film include the Music Room, a masterpiece of Neoclassical design by the celebrated architect James Wyatt; the Library, an elegant twin-room apartment dating from the Regency period; the Ante Room, furnished with magnificent Baroque bookcases of the 1740s; and the State Bedroom, containing a giltwood four-poster bed with crimson velvet drapes, the tester surmounted by an Earl's coronet. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, the now elderly Stevens sets down a rack of toast on the breakfast table for Congressman Lewis, who is now the master of the house. Lewis is seen reading the paper and talking with Stevens. He doesn't take a slice of toast from the rack. The camera cuts to Stevens, who is bringing a cup of tea to the table. When he arrives at the table, Lewis is halfway into eating a now buttered slice of toast. See more »

Quotes

Reginald Cardinal: You remember that American, Stevens, calling Lord Darlington an Amateur? Well he was right, Stevens. He was damn right.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chillerama (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Moon
Composed by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
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User Reviews

 
Diamond in the Rough
27 August 2003 | by glgioiaSee all my reviews

Very deliberate but marvelous study of a lifetime butler in an English noble household. The film does a wonderful parallel examination of the man's life set against the tumult of the 1930s that effectively did away with the British Empire and made him and others like him, as people curiously obsolete.

An extremely rare example of sanity when dealing with the subject of War. Most films as we know too well, concentrate on the futility and bottom line cost in humanity, which is to be expected since generally speaking, an artist will always present this point of view. However in most cases, it's an incomplete and wildly immature handling of the topic. This film addresses if you can believe it, the folly of avoiding War thru appeasement, and hammers home what might have been avoided if the British had called Hitler to the carpet early on, instead of playing chess with him. This is the backdrop; the main story is that of the butler, Stevens, an ostensibly simple character played with unimaginable complexity, by Hopkins. The fascinating examination of one man's sense of duty, a devotion that transcends all other obligations and aspirations in his life has never been so poignantly or expertly presented to an audience. Everything about the film, the supporting cast in particular is a rousing triumph. I cannot overly recommend this.


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