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The Age of Innocence (1993)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  1 October 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 33,908 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 149 user | 55 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Faye Farkas ...
Female Opera Singer
Michael Rees Davis ...
Male Opera Singer
Terry Cook ...
Male Opera Singer
Jon Garrison ...
Male Opera Singer
Howard Erskine ...
Beaufort Guest
John McLoughlin ...
Party Guest
Christopher Nilsson ...
Party Guest


Society scion Newland Archer is engaged to May Welland, but his well-ordered life is upset when he meets May's unconventional cousin, the Countess Olenska. At first, Newland becomes a defender of the Countess, whose separation from her abusive husband makes her a social outcast in the restrictive high society of late-19th Century New York, but he finds in her a companion spirit and they fall in love. Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In a world of tradition. In an age of innocence. They dared to break the rules.


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 October 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La edad de la inocencia  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)


$32,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


2 months after the October 1993 opening of The Age of Innocence, Michelle Pfeiffer left Daniel Day-Lewis behind to tempt another married man: Homer Simpson. In the Season 5 episode "The Last Temptation of Homer" (which aired December 9, 1993), she played Homer's new coworker Mindy, who had the same effect on him that she had on Newland Archer. See more »


At the dinner in Paris, May says, "When we were in London, we could only manage one day at the National," but her lips actually mouth the words "one day at the Tate." The original dialogue would have been anachronistic, as the story is set in the 1870s and the Tate Gallery did not open until 1897. See more »


Newland Archer: [Last lines] Just say I'm old-fashioned. That will be enough. Go on, now.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Columbia logo turns sepia to look like a 19th-century photograph. See more »


Referenced in Will & Grace: A Chorus Lie (2002) See more »


Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op 13
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

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User Reviews

So many great comments
11 February 2001 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

In a way I am disappointed after reading the comments because I thought I was alone in adoring this ravishing and masterful film, and I thought I would get to be the sole voice in the wind proudly proclaiming its brilliance.

Years ago, I ho-hummed my way through viewing it, and I was so unimpressed, I can't tell you today whether I saw it in a theater or rented it at home. It has been in rather heavy rotation on the movie channels for some reason of late, and I watched it again a few weeks ago.

It simply left me breathless. I must have watched it twelve times over the last few weeks, and am dying to buy the DVD if it ever comes out. Scorcese calls this his "most violent film", and after seeing it again, alone, watching intently, it struck me how completely right he was.

The comments before mine are mostly right on target...I am in awe of the filmmaking and can't say enough about the dramatic subtleties, the opulent production values and the overall magnificent way the entire project was handled. Even the normally atrocious Winona Ryder excelled in a role that was simply a tour-de-force for her...the vapid but yet not so vapid after all May Welland. A masterpiece. Please see it if you haven't already.

95 of 118 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why did May stay with Newland? Also the final scene and what if? WFone
I don't like May but I empathize with all of them daisystar
What was Newland Archer thinking? Johnny____
Why so much anti-May? easol
Scorsese claims that TAoI is his best film? ChristofBronner
Did Anyone Else Not Like It? packers56789
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