7.9/10
48,703
165 user 60 critic

The Remains of the Day (1993)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,696 ( 263)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Howards End (1992)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A businessman thwarts his wife's bequest of an estate to another woman.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When Lucy Honeychurch and chaperone Charlotte Bartlett find themselves in Florence with rooms without views, fellow guests Mr Emerson and son George step in to remedy the situation. Meeting... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Denholm Elliott
Shadowlands (1993)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

C.S. Lewis, a world-renowned Christian theologian, writer and professor, leads a passionless life until he meets a spirited poet from the U.S.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, Julian Fellowes
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the titular opposites.

Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, James Fleet
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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 pre-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 <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for themes | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

19 November 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lo que queda del día  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$22,954,968 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Hugh Grant once stated that this picture was the best film that he has ever made. See more »

Goofs

(or possibly just character error) At the very beginning Miss Kenton mentions a conference "back in 1936". At the very end of the film, Lewis asks, "Isn't this the same room where we all attended that banquet back in 1935?" See more »

Quotes

[after telling Stevens she intends to accept Benn's marriage proposal]
Miss Kenton: Mister Stevens! Am I to take it that after all the years I have been in this house you have nothing else to say to me?
Stevens: You have my warmest congratulations.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Downton Abbey: Episode #2.1 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Moon
Composed by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The best story of unrequited love in cinema history.
30 July 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

This is, in my opinion, the finest film in the Merchant Ivory canon. And to hail it as such is to grossly undersell it. It is not only that but also the best story of unrequited love in cinema history, and a masterpiece of understated emotion. It also boasts some of the finest performances ever put on film, most notably from the peerless Anthony Hopkins.

Then again, understatement is the key to this film. Writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and Director James Ivory adapt Kazuo Ishiguro's poignant novel with such delicacy that it gets under ones skin in a deeply profound way difficult to express in a few words.

The plot opens in the 1950's as meticulous and emotionally repressed butler Stevens (Anthony Hopkins) reviews a lifetime of service in Darlington Hall. The story flashes back to the 1930's where Stevens formed a close friendship with housekeeper Miss Kenton (Emma Thompson). This relationship grew slowly over several years and ultimately the pair developed romantic feelings for one another, although neither admitted it. Whilst all this was happening, Steven's employer Lord Darlington (Edward Fox) gradually became a misguided Nazi sympathiser in pre-war Europe. Unfortunately, loyalty to his master caused Stevens to reject the delicate advances of Miss Kenton. History took its inevitable course, and Darlington's involvement in appeasement contributed to the outbreak of World War II. Now Stevens realises he made a mistake and wants to make amends.

To describe Anthony Hopkins as brilliant is completely redundant. His turn here goes way beyond mere acting, and it was criminal he was denied the Oscar at the 1994 Academy awards. Stevens absurdly repressed personality gently takes the audience from laughter to tears in the most emotionally devastating finale I have ever seen. Hopkin's mesmerising performance is matched by a career-best turn from Emma Thompson. The supporting cast is uniformly superb, including a pre-Four Weddings Hugh Grant and Christopher Reeve in one of his last roles before the accident that paralysed him.

Needless to say, the cinematography, music, editing and art direction are immaculate. The understated beauty of the English countryside that was so important to the book translates brilliantly to film here.

This is a lovely, melancholic film, which effortlessly embraces complex themes such as misguided loyalty, dignity, pride, wasted lives, and unrequited love. It would be all too much to bear if it weren't for the film's genuine good-humoured understanding of English culture (all the more remarkable for having been initially penned by a Japanese author). In fact, humour is an important element in the film. There are many laugh-out-loud moments, which make the tragic part of the story all the more real and poignant. All in all, The Remains of the Day is a milestone film – an unforgettable tragedy of a man who pays the terrible price of denying his own feelings.


136 of 151 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?