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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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

In one scene, Newland says to May that she's almost 22 years-old. At the time of filming and its initial release (early September 1993) Winona Ryder fit exactly this description as her 22nd birthday was on October 29. See more »

Goofs

The painting, "Le Printemps" or "The Birth of Spring" by Bouguereau which hangs in the Beaufort's red drawing room was painted in 1886, while the film is set in the 1870s. See more »

Quotes

Ted Archer: The day before she died, she asked to see me alone, remember? She said she knew we were safe with you and always would be because once when she asked you to, you gave up the thing you wanted most.
Newland Archer: [after a long pause] She never asked. She never asked me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Gossip Girl: The Age of Dissonance (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Faust
(Opera)
Written by Charles Gounod
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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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I don't like May but I empathize with all of them daisystar
Why did May stay with Newland? Also the final scene and what if? WFone
What was Newland Archer thinking? Johnny____
Why so much anti-May? easol
Scorsese claims that TAoI is his best film? ChristofBronner
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