IMDb > A Handful of Dust (1988)
A Handful of Dust
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A Handful of Dust (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 41% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Tim Sullivan (writer)
Derek Granger (writer)
View company contact information for A Handful of Dust on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 June 1988 (USA) See more »
The wife's affair and a death in the family hasten the demise of an upper-class English marriage. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Extremely good and faithful version of Waugh's classic satire See more (25 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Wilby ... Tony Last

Kristin Scott Thomas ... Brenda Last

Rupert Graves ... John Beaver

Anjelica Huston ... Mrs. Rattery

Judi Dench ... Mrs. Beaver

Alec Guinness ... 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

Pip Torrens ... Jock

Beatie Edney ... Marjorie

Stephen Fry ... Reggie

Graham Crowden ... Mr. Graceful
John Quentin ... Brenda's Solicitor
Timothy Bateson ... MacDougal
Moyra Fraser ... Mrs. Northcote

Marsha Fitzalan ... Polly Cockpurse
Annabel Brooks ... Daisy
Tamsin Olivier ... Veronica
Maureen Bennett ... Marjorie's Maid
Hugh Simon ... Travel Agent
Alan Hay ... Club Porter
Matthew Ryan ... Club Page
Cathryn Harrison ... Milly
Alice Dawnay ... Winnie
John Junkin ... Blenkinsop
Peggy Aitchison ... Waitress (as Peggy Atchison)
Christopher Godwin ... Dr. Messinger
Jeannette Baillie ... Rosa
Julian Infante ... Indian Spokesman
Wiliam Gonzalez ... Indian Singer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Giles Bickford ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles Sturridge 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Derek Granger  writer
Charles Sturridge  writer
Tim Sullivan  writer
Evelyn Waugh  novel

Produced by
Nick Elliott .... executive producer
Derek Granger .... producer
Jeffrey Taylor .... executive producer
Kent Walwin .... executive producer
David Wimbury .... associate producer
Original Music by
George Fenton 
Cinematography by
Peter Hannan 
Film Editing by
Peter Coulson 
Casting by
Celestia Fox 
Production Design by
Eileen Diss 
Chris Townsend 
Costume Design by
Jane Robinson 
Makeup Department
Miri Ben-Schlomo .... assistant makeup artist (as Miri Ben Schlomo)
Sally Harrison .... assistant hair stylist
Sandy Jelamby .... make-up: Venezuela (as Sandy Jelambi)
Patricia Kirkman .... hair stylist
Tirso Mohamad .... make-up assistant: Venezuela
Efren Salazar .... make-up assistant: Venezuela
Sally Sutton .... makeup artist
Production Management
Matthew Binns .... unit production manager
Nicolás Di Blasi .... production manager: Venezuela (as Nicholas Di Blasi)
Richard Izarra .... production supervisor: Venzuela
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tony Aherne .... assistant director
Peter Kohn .... assistant director
Melvin Lind .... assistant director
Isabel Pares-Reyna .... second assistant director: Venezuela
Art Department
Alan Bailey .... property master
John Bailey .... dressing props
Simon Basketter .... property creator
Gordon Billings .... standby
Brian Blues .... construction
Abraham Bucce .... set decorator: Venzuela
Stephen Challenor .... standby (as Steve Challenor)
Frederick Crawford .... construction
Robert Harper .... construction
John Hedger .... construction
Ron Higgins .... standby
Alan Hooper .... construction
Richard Hornsby .... assistant art director
Reginald Keywood .... construction (as Reg Keywood)
Richard Law .... construction
Kevin Lloyd .... standby
Leocadio Lopez .... property master: Venezuela
Bill Lowe .... construction
George Malin .... dressing props
Stephenie McMillan .... set dresser
Peter Mounsey .... standby (as Peter Moundsey)
John O'Connor .... construction
Alan Perez .... standby
Brian Read .... prop buyer
David Smith .... construction
Gerry Stewart .... construction (as Gerald Stewart)
Ted Stickley .... dressing props
Dennis Wilson .... construction (as Denis Wilson)
Sound Department
Peter Bond .... footsteps editor
Ron Butcher .... sound maintenance
John Ireland .... sound editor
Angelica Landry .... assistant
Simon Manley .... assistant editor
Robin O'Donoghue .... sound re-recording mixer
Michael Parkinson .... assembly editor (as Mike Parkinson)
John Salter .... boom operator
Peter Sutton .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
Jorge Morillo .... special effects: Venzuela
Oswaldo Perez .... special effects: Venzuela
Camera and Electrical Department
Argenis Acosta .... grip: Venzuela
Francisco J. Arraiz .... electrician: Venezuela
Alexander Barroeta .... electrician: Venezuela (as Alexander Berroeta)
Angel Belfort .... electrician: Venezuela
Miguel Berzares .... grip: Venzuela
Roger Bustamante .... loader: Venzuela
Murray Close .... still photographer
Adam Cooper .... loader
Argenis Gonzalez .... electrician: Venezuela
Pedro Gonzalez .... grip: Venzuela
Alan Grosch .... electrician
Brian Martin .... best boy
Ron Maton .... electrician
Reg Parsons .... gaffer
Luke Quigley .... grip
Carlos Rosales .... electrician: Venezuela
Uwe Schult .... focus: Venezuela
Bob Smith .... camera operator
Stefan Stankowski .... first assistant camera
Angel Suarez .... grip: Venzuela
Antonio Subero .... key grip: Venzuela (as Antonio Suveros)
Brian Sullivan .... electrician
John Turner .... electrician
Alfonso Vera .... gaffer: Venezuela
Danilo Vucenovic .... still photographer: Venezuela
Paul Woods .... electrician
Casting Department
Teresa Topolski .... casting assistant (as Tessa Topolski)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bill Coleson .... wardrobe assistant
Jenny Hawkins .... wardrobe assistant
Michael Jeffery .... wardrobe supervisor
Joy Kleiner .... associate costume designer
Tania Perez .... wardrobe: Venezuela
Gustavo Rodriguez .... wardrobe assistant: Venezuela
Editorial Department
Angelica Landry .... assistant editor
Music Department
George Fenton .... conductor
George Fenton .... orchestrator
Keith Grant .... music engineered by
Gerry O'Riordan .... assistant music engineer
John Warren .... additional orchestrator
John Warren .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Transportation Department
John Coleman .... transport
Luis Garcia .... transportation: Venezuela
Steve Hill .... transport
Maurice Newsome .... transport
Johny Rodriguez .... transportation: Venezuela
Other crew
Chris Allies .... title designer
Aracelys M. Alviarez .... adminstration: Venezuela
Nicky Kentish Barnes .... assistant to the producers
Gillian Bates .... production co-ordinator
Maria E. Gil Beroes .... production secretary: Venezuela
Simon Brito .... runner: Venzuela
Paul Cadiou .... production accountant
Saundra Chapman .... assistant accountant
Stephanie Clark .... production assistant
William Figuera .... adminstration: Venezuela
Toby Ford .... production runner
Gustavo Garcia .... adminstration: Venezuela (as Dr. Gustavo Garcia)
Roland G. Haiek Wuff .... producer for 5247 Producciones (as Roland G. Haiek)
Martin Horton .... assistant to the producers
Ovidio Jimenez .... runner: Venzuela
Christopher Knowles .... location manager
Lynda Levy .... unit publicist
Rolando Loewenstein .... producer for 5247 Producciones
Jane Moscrop .... production co-ordinator
Bob Nadkarni .... location research
Esther M. Ochoa .... ethnic consultant
Ana Maria Bartoli Pearse .... production assistant: Venezuela
David Ranegar .... adminstration: Venezuela
Francisco Sotillo .... adminstration: Venezuela
Liliana Velez .... production assistant: Venezuela
Ene Watts .... script supervisor (as Ene Vanaveski Watts)
Edward Fitzalan-Howard .... thanks (as His Grace the Duke of Norfolk)
Martin Fitzalan-Howard .... thanks (as Lord Martin Fitzalan Howard)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:118 min
Color (Fujicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

James Wilby and Rupert Graves play love rivals in A Handful of Dust (1988), but in Maurice (1987) they played lovers.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Benchwarmers (2006)See more »
Praise My Soul King Of HeavenSee more »


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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Extremely good and faithful version of Waugh's classic satire, 24 October 2009
Author: patrick powell from United Kingdom

An 18th-century English writer, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, once wrote (putting Alexander Pope in his place): "Satire should, like a polished razor keen, wound with a touch that's scarcely felt or seen". This is exactly what Evelyn Waugh's novel A Handful Of Dust does and the film, in my view, fully does the novel justice. Waugh's satire here is very underplayed, very understated and very funny, but none the less utterly lethal for all that. Charles Sturridge and his fellow screenwriter's have, as far as I can see, stuck extremely close to the novel, which is no bad thing as Waugh was an extremely economical writer and there would be little point in trying to gild the lily. Although Waugh wrote his novel as a young man, his thorough dislike of modernity - which he regarded as insincere cant - in every shape or form is already apparent and he mercilessly sends up its more vicious aspects. But Waugh was too intelligent just to hate for hate's sake: it was the loss of admirable qualities in favour of 'progress' which upset him. So in the novel and film Tony Last behaves well to everyone despite a great many people, not least his 'modern' wife Brenda, treating him appallingly badly. He is loyal, values tradition, honest, accommodating and indulgent and in return loses everything. Brenda is conventionally sweet but is simply a self-centred monster who lives without a thought for anyone, and always gains what she wants. One reviewer here complained that 'nothing' happens in the film. Not a bit of it. A great deal happens but everyone is so polite and well-brought up that no one, not even Tony, questions the huge injustice of it all. If you are reading these reviews while considering whether to see this film, bear in mind the quotation with which I started my contribution: Satire that's 'scarcely felt or seen'. That will give you the key to enjoying a very good film indeed. (NB The full quotation putting down Pope runs: "Satire should, like a polished razor keen, wound with a touch that's scarcely felt or seen. Thine is an oyster knife, that hacks and hews, the rage but not the talent to abuse.")

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for A Handful of Dust (1988)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Gosh I really hated Brenda Last , what a horrible human being FlorenceLawrence
Question about Brenda's ending -spoilers- circus14
Is the opening his suicide? kftweedy
THE NEWS OF JOHN'S DEATH. national_bouton-1
DVD Quality vexata
Poor show (mild spoiler). roo1
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