The Remains of the Day (1993)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  19 November 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 43,334 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 152 user | 57 critic | 11 from

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?


The character played by Christopher Reeve in the film is a composite of two different people: in Kazuo Ishiguro's novel, Stevens' new employer is an American by the name of Farraday, and has nothing to do with Mr. Lewis, the Senator. 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 »


James Stevens: If two members of staff have to fall in love and decide to get married, there's nothing one can say. But what I do find a major irritation are those persons who are simply going from post to post looking for romance.
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Referenced in I Want Candy (2007) See more »


Blue Moon
Composed by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
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User Reviews

What do you most look forward to, Mr. Stevens?
5 December 2003 | by (NAS Ream Field) – See all my reviews

The crowning achievement of the Ismail Merchant/James Ivory partnership and their entire production team who give their absolute best in original music, cinematography, editing, art and set direction, costumes, and, of course, screenplay by Merchant/Ivory regular Ruth Prawler Jhabvala. Add flawless performances from the all-star cast and the result is almost too perfect. But there is just enough humility to this sad tale of unrequited love to make it completely believable.

Anthony Hopkins excels as the impenetrable Mr. Stevens, Butler of a lordly country house in the final days of the British Empire, and Emma Thompson is superb as his foil, Housekeeper Miss Kenton. Both give wonderfully deep, sensitive portrayals of two complex lonely people who don't realize, until it's too late, that they belong together. Swirling around them is fascinating drama of life upstairs and downstairs and there are as many surprises and sub-plots to the story (based on a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro) as there are secret passages, nooks, and crannies in "Darlington House."

An all-round first-rate cinematic experience, "Remains of the Day" is one of those pictures that lingers in the mind long after the credits pass. A must see. One poignant note: this was the return to the big screen of actor Christopher Reeve, as American millionaire Congressman Lewis, whose life nicely frames the storyline. Two years later Reeve became paralyzed after being thrown from a horse.

40 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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