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Mrs Dalloway (1997)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 20 February 1998 (USA)
In 1923 London, socialite Clarissa Dalloway's well-planned party is overshadowed by the return of an old suitor she had known 33 years earlier.



(screenplay), (novel)

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Badel ...
Richard Dalloway
Young Richard
Hugh Whitbread
Hal Cruttenden ...
Young Hugh
Lady Bruton
Sir William Bradshaw


London, summer 1923. Clarissa, MP Richard Dalloway's wife, sets out on a beautiful morning; she's shopping for flowers for her party that evening. At the same time Septimus Warren Smith, a young man who survived the battlefields of Europe, is suffering from a nightmarish delayed-onset form of shell-shock. Clarissa's nearly-grown daughter is distant, and preoccupied. In the course of one day, Peter, Clarissa's passionate old suitor, returns from India and is invited to her party; Septimus commits suicide; Clarissa relives a day in her youth (and her reasons for her choice of a life with the reliable Richard Dalloway). Written by Eileen Berdon <eberdon@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

party | flowers | suicide | england | maid | See All (116) »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for emotional elements and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

20 February 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$90,127 (USA) (20 February 1998)


$3,263,672 (USA) (19 June 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lena Headey is seen naked when her character Sally runs down a corridor as a dare. See more »


In the flashback scenes with the younger actors, Peter is slightly taller than Clarissa. When they dance together at the party, he is considerably shorter than her. See more »


[first lines]
Septimus Warren Smith: [shouting] Edwards! Don't come!
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Just a Song at Twilight
Composed by J.L. Molloy (as James Molloy)
Lyrics by G. Clifton Bingham (as Clifton Bingham)
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User Reviews

This is an superb character study, beautifully acted and directed.
27 July 1999 | by (Brooklyn, New York) – See all my reviews

Kudos go to all who participated in making this wonderful film. Vanessa Redgrave, as usual, is perfect as an aging dowager who settled for the "safe" path in life instead of seeking adventure and taking risks. When her old flame reappears, she reevaluates her choices and second-guesses the paths that she chose. The film also has a sub-plot about a shell-shocked World War I veteran who is in emotional torment and is inconsolable. The film works on two levels. It shows the interaction between proper British people who speak politely to one another, but the viewer senses that there are fierce and passionate undercurrents and important thoughts that seems to be unspoken. In addition, the film is a clear indictment of the stuffy and snobby British society of Post World War I England, in which a party could be of such importance that a person's reputation could hinge on its success. There is also a feminist slant in the movie. Can a woman who spends her time at home making parties and pleasing her husband ever feel fulfilled? Did Mrs. Dalloway make the right decision in "playing it safe" in life? That is up to the viewer to decide. Meanwhile, revel in the fabulous nuanced performances, the witty dialogue and the beautiful cinematography. This film is a triumph.

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