IMDb > The Remains of the Day (1993)
The Remains of the Day
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The Remains of the Day (1993) More at IMDbPro »

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The Remains of the Day -- A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years post World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty has been.

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   39,516 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers (WGA):
Kazuo Ishiguro (novel)
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Remains of the Day on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 November 1993 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years post World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty has been. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 19 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Anthony Hopkins Brings Sheer Genius to the Role of Mr. Stevens See more (147 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
John Haycraft ... Auctioneer

Christopher Reeve ... Jack Lewis

Anthony Hopkins ... James Stevens

Emma Thompson ... Miss Kenton
Caroline Hunt ... Landlady

James Fox ... Lord Darlington

Peter Vaughan ... William Stevens
Paula Jacobs ... Mrs. Mortimer, the cook

Ben Chaplin ... Charlie, Head Footman

Steve Dibben ... George, Second Footman

Abigail Hopkins ... Housemaid (as Abigail Harrison)

Patrick Godfrey ... Spencer
Peter Cellier ... Sir Leonard Bax
Peter Halliday ... Canon Tufnell

Hugh Grant ... Reginald Cardinal

Terence Bayler ... Trimmer
Jeffry Wickham ... Viscount Bigge
Hugh Sweetman ... Scullery boy

Michael Lonsdale ... Dupont D'Ivry
Brigitte Kahn ... Baroness
John Savident ... Doctor Meredith
Tony Aitken ... Postmaster
Emma Lewis ... Elsa
Joanna Joseph ... Irma

Rupert Vansittart ... Sir Geoffrey Wren

Tim Pigott-Smith ... Thomas Benn
Christopher Brown ... Wren's friend

Lena Headey ... Lizzie

Paul Copley ... Harry Smith
Ian Redford ... Publican
Jo Kendall ... Publican's wife
Steven Beard ... Andrews

Pip Torrens ... Doctor Richard Carlisle
Frank Shelley ... Prime Minister
Peter Eyre ... Lord Halifax
Jestyn Phillips ... Foreign Office official
Wolf Kahler ... German ambassador
Frank Höltje ... German Embassy official
Andreas Töns ... German Embassy official
Roger McKern ... Police constable
Angela Newmarch ... Waitress
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Miles Richardson ... Craddock (uncredited)

Directed by
James Ivory 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Kazuo Ishiguro (novel)

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (screenplay)

Produced by
Paul Bradley .... executive producer
John Calley .... producer
Ismail Merchant .... producer
Mike Nichols .... producer
Donald Rosenfeld .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Richard Robbins 
 
Cinematography by
Tony Pierce-Roberts (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Andrew Marcus 
 
Casting by
Celestia Fox 
 
Production Design by
Luciana Arrighi 
 
Art Direction by
John Ralph 
 
Set Decoration by
Ian Whittaker 
 
Costume Design by
Jenny Beavan 
John Bright 
 
Makeup Department
Christine Beveridge .... chief makeup artist
Carol Hemming .... chief hair stylist
Paolo Mantini .... hair stylist
Norma Webb .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Joyce Herlihy .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bernard Bellew .... third assistant director
Simon Moseley .... second assistant director
Christopher Newman .... first assistant director (as Chris Newman)
 
Art Department
Simone Assanand .... art department assistant
Chris Browning .... stand-by props
Sveva Costa Sanservino .... art department assistant
Mark Fruin .... stand-by props
John Hedges .... construction manager
Sophia Müller .... art department assistant (as Sophia Müeller)
Jill Quertier .... production buyer
Dennis Simmonds .... dressing props
Arthur Wicks .... property master
Richard Roberts .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Chris Seddon .... drapes master (uncredited)
Mark White .... construction (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Aaron Anawalt .... on-set sound assistant
Brian Blamey .... foley editor
Geoff R. Brown .... assistant sound editor
Derek Holding .... dialogue editor
Dominic Lester .... assistant sound re-recordist
Colin Miller .... sound editor
Robin O'Donoghue .... sound re-recordist
David Stephenson .... sound recordist
Colin Wood .... boom operator
Russ Woolnough .... assistant sound editor
 
Special Effects by
Karin Hanson .... special effects hair (uncredited)
Garth Inns .... special effects supervisor (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Martin Body .... rostrum cameraman (uncredited)
David Smith .... optical cameraman (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Batten .... clapper loader
Damienne Caron .... camera apprentice
Tommy Finch .... gaffer
Rawdon Hayne .... focus puller
Malcolm Huse .... camera grip
Rod Marley .... camera trainee (as Roderick Marley)
Roger Pearce .... camera operator: second unit
Derrick Santini .... still photographer
Les Weighell .... best boy
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jill Avery .... wardrobe assistant
Victoria Harwood .... wardrobe assistant
Sue Honeybourne .... wardrobe mistress
Adrian Simmons .... wardrobe assistant (as Adrian Simmonds)
 
Editorial Department
Simon Cozens .... second assistant editor
Michelle Gorchow .... associate editor
Kerry Kohler .... assistant editor
Craig Mooney .... apprentice editor
John Dowdell .... telecine colorist (uncredited)
Tom Forletta .... colorist: final video (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Geoff Alexander .... music coordinator
Harry Rabinowitz .... conductor
Bill Sommerville-Large .... music recording engineer
Robert Stewart .... music arranger: orchestral arrangements
 
Transportation Department
Cengiz Asiliskender .... unit driver
Brian Baverstock .... unit driver (as Bryan Baverstock)
David Bennett .... unit driver
John Bower .... unit driver
 
Other crew
Elizabeth Aldrich .... choreographer
Bobby Blues .... production accountant (as Bob Blues)
Cyril Dickman .... technical advisor
Diana Dill .... script supervisor
Lorraine Fennell .... production coordinator
David Field .... stand-in
Joe Friedman .... location scout
Peter Giblin .... runner: director
Robert Hamilton .... assistant technical advisor
Jacky Holding .... production accountant
William James .... crowd marshall
Sunil Kirparam .... production accountant
Fay Efrosini Lellios .... project creative assistant
Annie Livings .... stand-in
Kathryn Martin .... assistant to producer
Christian McWilliams .... location manager
Colin Plenty .... location assistant
 
Thanks
The Duke of Beaufort .... thanks
The Earl of Devon .... thanks
The Lord Methuen .... thanks
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG for themes
Runtime:
134 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby SR (35 mm prints) | SDDS (35 mm prints)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Hugh Grant stated that it is the best film he have ever done.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: The road markings at the junction outside the George Inn in Norton St Philip are modern; dashed double white lines were not around in the 1950s.See more »
Quotes:
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.See more »
Soundtrack:
Blue MoonSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
28 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
Anthony Hopkins Brings Sheer Genius to the Role of Mr. Stevens, 3 September 2006
Author: writerasfilmcritic from western US

Anthony Hopkin's interpretation of the single-minded English butler, Mr. Stevens, has to be one of the most fully realized roles ever to appear on film. His interaction with the lovely and intelligent housekeeper, Miss Kenton, is so realistic that it is painful to watch. Despite his growing love and admiration for her, he keeps his feelings firmly under control, determined that they will not destabilize his carefully crafted existence. Always expecting Stevens to make the first move, Miss Kenton tries everything in her power to get under his skin or to make him jealous, but she only succeeds in torturing them both all the more. The emotional turning point of the movie takes place in Mr. Steven's private room, where he has fallen asleep in his chair while reading a novel. Enter Miss Kenton in a playful mood carrying another bunch of flowers to brighten up his quarters. Curious about his reading material, she tries to get the book away from him because he refuses to tell her what it is. She moves in close, as close as they ever will be, and as she struggles for the volume, Stevens longingly admires her lovely countenance, her soft hair, and no doubt gets a good strong whiff of her sweet fragrance, wishing he could gently kiss her and take her in his arms, but that would lead to ... what? Finally, he allows her to pull the book from his grasp and Miss Kenton finds that it is far from what she had expected, being just some sentimental old love story. This is, of course, a poignant revelation. She looks up at him, her love as obvious as their proximity, and they gaze into one another's eyes for a few brief seconds. Then Stevens simply tells her to please respect his privacy and to leave him alone. Callously rebuffed, she does just that, for the rest of his earthly days. It is the biggest mistake that Mr. Stevens has ever made, and for a very competent and exacting man, it is all too apparent that he must have made many such extremely serious errors. On her next evening off, he watches helplessly from the window as Miss Kenton rides her bicycle into town, knowing that on that very day, he has somehow all but lost her for good. The pain and anxiety on his face are palpable, if brilliantly underplayed. Stevens gets one final chance to forestall the inevitable, her impending marriage to Tom Bent, but as per usual, does nothing to stop it because duty calls.

Nearing the conclusion of the movie, when they are reunited after a generation has passed, Stevens is crestfallen to learn that Miss Kenton has changed her mind at the last minute and, following her divorce, will not be returning with him to resume her duties as housekeeper at Darlington Hall. Instead, she has chosen to remain "in the west country" in order to help bring up her granddaughter. Of course, poor sad Stevens couldn't even consider seeking employment in that locale in order to eke out a few years of bliss with Sara in what remains of his sad, lonely life. When they part company for the last time, he holds onto her hand for as long as he can, then as she tearfully rides away in the bus, he lifts his hat to the only woman he has ever loved and who has ever loved him. As if on autopilot, Stevens climbs back into the Daimler and turns over the engine. The hollow, utterly defeated look on his face belies the fact that the only thing left for him now is to face his inevitable death in a few short years. The camera does a closeup on the car's headlight and he starts back for his comfortable old rut of a life.

Stevens was the consummate professional whereas his rival, Bent, placed strict limits on what he would tolerate from his employer, one of Lord Darlingon's aristocratic and bigoted colleagues. As such, he simply resigned from "service" in order to live life on his own terms. He doesn't squander his second chance to marry Miss Kenton and easily takes her away from Stevens, who obstinately and pridefully clings to his all-consuming job as far more important than affairs of the heart. Why? Perhaps because he is very skilled at the former and extremely inept at the latter. Instead of experiencing all the tenderness that the admiring Miss Kenton wanted to give him, he chose instead the importance of his position at Darlington Hall, a world stage where matters of serious consequence were considered in the midst of vast and lush grounds set in the beautiful English countryside. At the conclusion of the movie, we follow a trapped pigeon that is released from the confines of the mansion. It flies heavenward, and as the moving score builds to crescendo, we are treated to a bird's eye view of the magnificent estate for which Stevens has given up everything to be a part. What exactly does the pigeon represent? We can only guess, but one thing is certain. "The Remains of the Day" is a beautiful and poignant movie, wonderfully acted by the two principals and effectively supported by the rest of the cast. Further, the writing, cinematography, score, and directing are nearly flawless. This has to be one of the best movies of the last several decades.

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