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A Handful of Dust (1988)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  24 June 1988 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,310 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 12 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)

A Handful of Dust (1988) on IMDb 6.8/10

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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
...
John Beaver
...
Mrs. Rattery
...
Mrs. Beaver
...
Mr. Todd
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
...
Jock
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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:

Egy marék por  »

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

The Duke of Norfolk let his home be used and appeared as the gardener touching his forelock respectfully to Mrs. Ratterby (Anjelica Huston). 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

 
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


3 of 3 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
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Is the opening his suicide? kftweedy
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