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The Age of Innocence (1993)

PG | | Drama, Romance | 1 October 1993 (USA)
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.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 October 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La edad de la inocencia  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$32,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The opera which is supposedly performed in the opening scene is Gounod's "Faust", written in French. However, what is actually sung is a scene from Boito's version of the same story, "Mefistofele", written in Italian. At the end of the scene, as we see the carriages outside the opera house, the music has reverted to Gounod's "Faust", sung in French. See more »

Quotes

Ted Archer: What will I tell her?
Newland Archer: Don't you always have something to say?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Best Films of 1993 (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Artist's Life
Written by Johann Strauss
Performed by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonie
Courtesy of Sony Classical
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Scorsese's Ignored Masterpiece
14 November 2003 | by (New Mexico) – See all my reviews

I actually saw this movie when it was released in 1993, and honestly it was pretty dull then. Of course I was 22, and the workings of that late-1800's New York society really didn't make much sense or have much relevance.

I think the film may have been ignored at its release because of the slew of other "period pieces" which were so popular (an eventually common) in the late 80's/early 90's... But watching it again 10 years later, this film is anything but common.

The true intensity is Scorcese's detached presentation of a hypocritical & hateful society which holds its members as prisoners.

Not to mention impeccable art direction & beautiful cinematography by the legendary Michael Ballhaus. The film looks as impressionistic as the paintings that line the walls of the characters' homes.

Scorsese is always acute in his casting decisions, and this is one of the films many virtues:

Lewis is perfect as a man who's struggle between his passion & his duty are constantly on the verge of devouring him (yet somehow he thrives on his torture).

Ryder is the seemingly innocent & naive girl who is completely manipulative & cunning underneath her exterior (gee, who would have thought?!) -- notice the arching scene.

In a sense, this was one of Pfeiffer's defining roles. Pfeiffer herself (in a sense) is an "outcast" who has never truly been accepted as a "serious" actress by her peers in the acting community. Watching this film again, it amazes me how this role somehow reflects her personal position in the current social structure of Hollywood, similar to her character existing in 1800's New York society.

Wow...

What an amazing pic. I completely "missed it" the first time around. Great observance of "high society." Many of those codes are strangely applicable today.

Not recommended for those who like fast paced movies, or those who are looking for the "usual Scorcese." I would couple this with "Last Temptation of Christ" as Scorsese's most brave, artistic, demanding & abstract films to date.


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