6.8/10
1,438
26 user 13 critic

A Handful of Dust (1988)

PG | | Drama, Romance | 24 June 1988 (USA)
The wife's affair and a death in the family hasten the demise of an upper-class English marriage.

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $9.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After a rich Edwardian widow impulsively marries a handsome but poor Tuscan dentist and dies in childbirth, her English in-laws try to gain custody of the baby.

Director: Charles Sturridge
Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Rupert Graves
Tom & Viv (1994)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1915, T.S. (Tom) Eliot and Vivienne Haigh-Wood elope, but her longstanding gynecological and emotional problems disrupt their planned honeymoon. Her father is angry because Tom's poetry ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Gilbert
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Miranda Richardson, Rosemary Harris
Heat and Dust (1983)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Anne is investigating the life of her grand-aunt Olivia, whose destiny has always been shrouded with scandal. The search leads back to the early 1920s, when Olivia, recently married to ... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Julie Christie, Greta Scacchi, Christopher Cazenove
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In the 1800s a naturalist marries into a family of British country gentry.

Director: Philip Haas
Stars: Mark Rylance, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patsy Kensit
Maurice (1987)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After his lover rejects him, a young man trapped by the oppressiveness of Edwardian society tries to come to terms with and accept his sexuality.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: James Wilby, Rupert Graves, Hugh Grant
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

True story of a transatlantic business correspondence about used books that developed into a close friendship.

Director: David Hugh Jones
Stars: Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, Judi Dench
Being Julia (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Set in '30s London, the film involves stage actors and their experiences with love and revenge.

Director: István Szabó
Stars: Annette Bening, Michael Gambon, Maury Chaykin
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When Lucy Honeychurch and chaperone Charlotte Bartlett find themselves in Florence with rooms without views, fellow guests Mr Emerson and son George step in to remedy the situation. Meeting... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Denholm Elliott
Orlando (1992)
Biography | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Young nobleman Orlando is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young. Miraculously, he does just that. The film follows him as he moves through several centuries of British ... See full summary »

Director: Sally Potter
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Billy Zane, Quentin Crisp
The Dead (1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Gabriel Conroy and wife Greta attend an early January dinner with friends at the home of his spinster aunts, an evening which results in an epiphany for both of them.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Anjelica Huston, Donal McCann, Dan O'Herlihy
Agent trouble (1987)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Amanda Weber is a museum employee. Her nephew, Victorien, who feels that wild animals should not be kept in zoos, has been murdered, and she seeks to find out why and how. She knows that ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Mocky
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Richard Bohringer, Tom Novembre
The Cherry Orchard (TV Movie 1981)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Madame Ranevskaya is a spoiled aging aristocratic lady, who returns from a trip to Paris to face the loss of her magnificent Cherry Orchard estate after a default on the mortgage. In denial... See full summary »

Director: Richard Eyre
Stars: Judi Dench, Bill Paterson, Anton Lesser
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

An adaptation of the novel was considered as early as the 1960s, with David Niven and Judy Garland considered for roles in the proposed film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Benchwarmers (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Praise My Soul King Of Heaven
(uncredited)
Music by William Ringham
Words based on Psalm 103
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Classically English, if slightly untidy film
5 December 2007 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

The hammerblow of human cruelty dressed in the velvet glove of pre-war hoch-Englishness. It's distressing that terrible things happen to the pathetic yet likable protagonist Tony (James Wilby) - even more so that they are delivered in the slow drip of self-interested scheming rather than in galvanising dramatic confrontations.

Actually, Wilby is one of the two weak links of this film. He's not quite got the richness or range to suggest a redemptive development to his character. He's not sympathetic enough. The other might be Sturridge's peculiar, impressionistic direction that can fail to give the story enough propulsion.

What the film does have are a number of fine performances from a top-drawer supporting cast. One fears Alec Guiness may be a final-frame cameo, but his contribution is in fact at least as substantial as Brando's in Apocalypse Now. Kristin Scott Thomas is quite excellent, at once endearing and blindly self-interested. And I also liked very much Pip Torrens, a really sharp study of a new sort of British gent - modern and knowing, but no cad. 6/10


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Gosh I really hated Brenda Last , what a horrible human being FlorenceLawrence
THE NEWS OF JOHN'S DEATH. national_bouton-1
Handful of Dust bebold
DVD Quality vexata
Looking to contact Alan Bailey brooklynlz-1
Is the opening his suicide? kftweedy
Discuss A Handful of Dust (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?