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The Governess (1998)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  31 July 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 2,485 users   Metascore: 60/100
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When the father of privileged Rosina da Silva violently dies, she decides to pass herself off as a gentile and finds employment with a family in faraway Scotland. Soon she and the family ... See full summary »


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Title: The Governess (1998)

The Governess (1998) on IMDb 6.2/10

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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Florence Hoath ...
Clementina Cavendish
Henry Cavendish
Mrs. Cavendish
Arlene Cockburn ...
Lily Milk, the Maid
Emma Bird ...
Countess Koulinskyi ...
Aunt Sofka (as The Countess Koulinskyi)
Bruce Myers ...
Rosina's Father
Diana Brooks ...
Rosina's Mother
Raymond Brody ...
Olga ...
Cyril Shaps ...
Kendal Cramer ...
Young Rosina


When the father of privileged Rosina da Silva violently dies, she decides to pass herself off as a gentile and finds employment with a family in faraway Scotland. Soon she and the family father, Charles, start a passionate secret affair. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

31 July 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nevelőnő  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$57,799 (USA) (31 July 1998)


$3,900,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film is set around 1840. In the first scene in which the two main characters become intimate, you hear a zipper as Mr. Cavendish begins to undress. The zipper was not invented until 1891. See more »


Mary Blackchurch: You ask a lot of questions.
Henry Cavendish: Then you ask me one. Anything you like.
Mary Blackchurch: Why are you really back from Oxford?
Henry Cavendish: I was found in an opium den in Spitalfield with a whore.
[both laugh]
Henry Cavendish: You don't believe me and you're not surprised.
Mary Blackchurch: No.
See more »

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User Reviews

beautiful, stunning film
9 January 2001 | by See all my reviews

Gorgeous, stunning film! Minnie Driver shines in this film, as do several of her co-stars. Fascinating, unusual story as well. Most of these period films end in tragedy; no if, and, or buts about it. The "rise and fall" of the protagonist is the norm, as many Merchant-Ivory films portray. However, one of the pleasing aspects of this film was that the ending was mixed, and not as simple as "heroine tries for the moon; fails and is punished". In addition, I can't remember the last time I saw Sephardic Jews portrayed in a film. The vast majority of time, only Ashkenaz Jews are pictured (Jews from northern Europe and Russia). Quite refreshing to see something new. A beautiful film overall!

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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Was the father murdered? rinkdink2
wow DrPaigeMarshall
Charles question (spoliers) CrazyMaryT
Totally in love with Minnie Driver's character higgs_boson
JRM foxytaxi85
This household could have benefitted with Freud's expertise. karusichan
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