The Remains of the Day (1993)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  19 November 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 43,350 users   Metascore: 84/100
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A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years leading up to World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty was to his lordly employer.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Haycraft ...
Jack Lewis
Caroline Hunt ...
Lord Darlington
William Stevens
Paula Jacobs ...
Mrs. Mortimer, the cook
Charlie, Head Footman
George, Second Footman
Housemaid (as Abigail Harrison)
Peter Cellier ...
Sir Leonard Bax
Peter Halliday ...
Canon Tufnell


A rule bound head butler's world of manners and decorum in the household he maintains is tested by the arrival of a housekeeper who falls in love with him in post-WWII Britain. The possibility of romance and his master's cultivation of ties with the Nazi cause challenge his carefully maintained veneer of servitude. Written by Keith Loh <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for themes | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

19 November 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lo que queda del día  »

Box Office


$11,500,000 (estimated)


$22,954,968 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Picked by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "50 Greatest Independent Films" in a special supplement devoted to independent films that was only distributed to subscribers in November 1997. See more »


At the beginning of the film, during Mr. Stevens voiceover, he recalls the day Miss Kenton arrived. It was, he says, the day of the Charlgrove Meet, which is a fox hunt. We see the hunt riding through the estate, the trees of which are covered in green leaves, making it summertime. Yet a hunt usually takes place in winter and in the next scene, Miss Kenton is being interviewed in Stevens office, the same day, but the calendar on the table reads Wednesday, 25th October. See more »


Lewis: You are, all of you, amateurs. And international affairs should never be run by gentlemen amateurs. Do you have any idea of what sort of place the world is becoming all around you? The days when you could just act out of your noble instincts, are over. Europe has become the arena of realpolitik, the politics of reality. If you like: real politics. What you need is not gentlemen politicians, but real ones. You need professionals to run your affairs, or you're headed for disaster!
See more »


Referenced in 3rd Rock from the Sun: Frozen Dick (1996) See more »


Roll Along Prairie Moon
Composed by Ted Fio Rito, Albert von Tilzer and Harry MacPherson
Performed by Gracie Fields
See more »

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User Reviews

An excellent adaptation
22 February 2004 | by (Taipei, Taiwan) – See all my reviews

In the WWII era, Mr Stevens (Anthony Hopkins) is a well experienced, dedicated butler who's loyal to his pro-Nazi master. He is always placid and graceful. Miss Kenton (Emma Thompson) is a new housekeeper and her liveliness and wit somehow touches Mr Stevens' very soul. But he conceals his feeling towards her, and she can never unlock that closed door of his heart.

Mr Stevens looks back on all this while on a road trip for meeting Miss Kenton after twenty years. He now serves a new master, Lewis (Christopher Reeve) who was once one of the guests of his formal master back in the 1940s. On the way his memory slowly flows back to him (and he also realises that his formal master was not an impeccable man after all)...when Mr Stevens and Miss Kenton bid farewell again, she looks into his eyes while her tears roll down her cheeks...a very sad scene.

'The Remains of the Day' is about love that is never that is never verbally of which you finally has to let go...having read the book (which is finely written), I realise that this film is a wonderfully successful adaptation. Anyone who's into love stories should watch this.

60 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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