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 <email@example.com>
John Cleese was offered the role of butler James Stevens and loved Kazuo Ishiguro's novel. However, he said he withdrew after Harold Pinter (who wrote the original screenplay) took the humor out and made it - in Cleese's words - "relentlessly down". At one point, Anjelica Huston was being courted for the part of the housekeeper. Jeremy Irons had also been considered for a part in the film. See more »
In one kitchen scene, in preparing for the banquet, we see a meat cleaver beheading a pheasant. However, when the head is thrown away, it is obvious that the head was previously severed, as the cleaver rests on a non-severed part of the pheasant's neck. See more »
Excellent film that was overlooked in 1993 due to the dominance of "Schindler's List", "The Remains of the Day" is an exquisite film which examines the relationship between two servants in England (Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, both Oscar-nominated). They both definitely have feelings for each other, but both seem to be bound by duty, honor, and society. Hopkins is not the type of person who shares his inner-most feelings with anyone and Thompson wants to share her hidden love for Hopkins, but is frightened for various reasons. The fact that the film is told during flashbacks which took place just before the involvement of England in World War II just makes everything that much more interesting and heart-wrenching. During the present-day of the movie it appears that Hopkins and Thompson will finally proclaim their love for one another, but in the end that is not even a real certainty. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's adaptation of the novel is exceptional and James Ivory's direction has rarely been better or more focused. With all this said, it is Hopkins and Thompson that dominate the action and make "The Remains of the Day" one of the best films of the 1990s. 5 stars out of 5.
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