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A Handful of Dust (1988)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  24 June 1988 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,365 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 13 critic

The wife's affair and a death in the family hasten the demise of an upper-class English marriage.

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Title: A Handful of Dust (1988)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tony Last
...
Brenda Last
Richard Beale ...
Ben
Jackson Kyle ...
John Andrew
Norman Lumsden ...
Ambrose
Jeanne Watts ...
Nanny
Kate Percival ...
Miss Ripon
Richard Leech ...
Doctor
Roger Milner ...
Vicar
Tristram Jellinek ...
Richard Last
...
Mrs. Rattery
...
John Beaver
...
Mrs. Beaver
...
Jock
...
Marjorie
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Storyline

We see the detritus of an abandoned camp in South America and a main character's hallucination. Then, the story beings. Tony and Brenda Last, lord and lady, live on his enormous estate with their young son. Tony's not much for parties, and Brenda joins London society, on the arm of a penniless man, John Beaver, a hanger-on at Tony's club. John is encouraged by his entrepreneurial mother, who sees a quid in Tony and Brenda. Brenda and John become lovers, Brenda spends more and more time in London, and Tony's without a clue. Then, bringing things to a head are tragedy, law suits, greed, and what should be a few-months' expedition to Brazil. We are each of us merely a handful of dust. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 June 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust  »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,560,700 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Rita Kempley of The Washington Post, the "...coda to the central story was derived from [Evelyn] Waugh's short story 'The Man Who Loved Dickens' which was adapted for the closing chapters of 'A Handful of Dust'." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Benchwarmers (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

King Of Love My Shepherd Is
(uncredited)
Traditional Irish melody
Words by Henry W. Baker (1868)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Haven't read the book
1 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A really good book cannot be entirely simulated adequately on screen. There is too much going on underneath, too many subplots, too much conversation and description to undertake in two hours. Choices made by production folk determine which direction the film will go, generally accenting one plot line of or other and allowing the rest to fall to the wayside. HOD does a fine job with the route it takes, darkly stating the consequences of empty lives which rely on artifice for sustenance. These creatures were not creating their lives so much as feeding their idea of existence without exploration. The result is tragedy but the tragedy was already in existence. The actions of the trapped subjects simply began to reflect their emptiness. This doesn't make for a happy movie but it is instructive if one chooses to see the lessons. And as art, the acting, direction and cinematography are quite fine.


4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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THE NEWS OF JOHN'S DEATH. national_bouton-1
Gosh I really hated Brenda Last , what a horrible human being FlorenceLawrence
Handful of Dust bebold
DVD Quality vexata
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Is the opening his suicide? kftweedy
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