Up 38,035 this week

Cotton Mary (1999)

R  |   |  Drama  |  17 December 1999 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.4/10 from 425 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 12 user | 28 critic | 18 from

A British family is trapped between culture, tradition, and the colonial sins of the past.


0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

TV Spotlight: The Top 10 Episodes of "The Walking Dead"

We've curated a list of the top 10 episodes of "The Walking Dead" according to the IMDb user ratings.

Read More

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1192 titles
created 01 Dec 2011
a list of 44 titles
created 27 Jul 2012
a list of 52 titles
created 02 Aug 2013
a list of 191 titles
created 18 Jul 2014

Related Items

Search for "Cotton Mary" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Cotton Mary (1999)

Cotton Mary (1999) on IMDb 5.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Cotton Mary.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In 1950s Trinidad, a frustrated writer supports himself as a masseur--and soon becomes a revered mystic and politico.

Director: Ismail Merchant
Stars: Om Puri, James Fox, Aasif Mandvi
Heat and Dust (1983)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Anne is investigating the life of her grand-aunt Olivia, whose destiny has always been shrouded with scandal. The search leads back to the early 1920s, when Olivia, recently married to ... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Julie Christie, Greta Scacchi, Christopher Cazenove
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

An expatriated French novelist (Jeanne Moreau) returns to Paris when she learns that her childhood home is being placed on the auction block. What she doesn't count on is that she has to ... See full summary »

Director: Ismail Merchant
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Sean Young, Sam Waterston
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This fictionalized story, based on the family life of writer James Jones, is an emotionless slice-of-life story. Jones here is portrayed as Bill Willis, a former war hero and now successful... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Leelee Sobieski, Kris Kristofferson, Barbara Hershey
In Custody (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An editor asks Deven, a teacher who loves Urdu poetry, to interview poet Nur Shahjehanabadi, an aging whale of a man. Deven goes to Bhopal from Mirpur to meet Nur, of whom he is in awe. He ... See full summary »

Director: Ismail Merchant
Stars: Shashi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Om Puri
Love & Rage (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

This film is based off of a true event that happened on the Achill Island which is off the West coast of Ireland in The Valley House.

Director: Cathal Black
Stars: Greta Scacchi, Daniel Craig, Stephen Dillane
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Director: James Ivory
Stars: James Mason, Madhur Jaffrey, Keith Varnier
The Europeans (1979)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

It's the mid-nineteenth century. Adult siblings Felix Young and Eugenia Munster were born and raised in Europe and have a somewhat bohemian lifestyle reflective of their travels throughout ... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Lee Remick, Robin Ellis, Wesley Addy
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Two teachers vie for the right to stage a play written by Jane Austen when she was twelve years old.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Anne Baxter, Robert Powell, Michael Wager
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old ... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Nick Nolte, Greta Scacchi, Gwyneth Paltrow
Quartet (1981)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Marya finds herself penniless after her art dealer husband, Stephan, is convicted of theft. Marya accepts the hospitality of a strange couple, H.J. and Lois Heidler, who lets her live in their house.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Alan Bates, Maggie Smith, Isabelle Adjani
Country Life (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Adaptation of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" set in rural Australia in the 1920's. Jack Dickens and his niece Sally run the family farm to support brother-in-law Alexander as a (supposedly ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Blakemore
Stars: Sam Neill, Greta Scacchi, John Hargreaves


Cast overview, first billed only:
Lily MacIntosh
Cotton Mary
John MacIntosh
Sarah Badel ...
Mrs Evans
Riju Bajaj ...
Gerson Da Cunha ...
Doctor Correa
Mrs Smythe
Neena Gupta ...
Blossom (Mary's sister)
Mrs Freda Davids
Firdausi Jussawalla ...
Mr. Panamal
Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal ...
Nadira ...
Prayag Raj ...
Abraham (as Prayag Raaj)
Captain Raju ...
Inspector Ramiji Raj


1954, the Malabar Coast. British and Anglo-Indian identities blur when an English-woman with a neglectful husband births a sickly baby. Cotton Mary, a hospital aide and moralizing Anglophile who claims her father was a British officer, takes over the infant's care and, without a word to the mother, takes the baby daily to her sister to nurse. Mary moves into the English household, taking over more and more duties as she plays on the mother's fatigue and lack of spousal counsel: in effect, Mary colonizes the English household while she pilfers its stores and tells tall tales to her own family. For how long can Mary sustain her rule before the Englishwoman stands on her own feet? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »


Official Sites:


| |


Release Date:

17 December 1999 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A házvezetőnő  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,680 (USA) (17 March 2000)


ESP 2,994,150 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


As Theresa is walking along with the procession she passes an Indian boy in the crowd who waves at the camera. See more »


Features Aar-Paar (1954) See more »


That's Amore
Written by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks
courtesy of Music Sales Corporation (ASCAP)
Four Jays Music Publishing Co.
Leosong Copyright Service Ltd
BMG Entertainment International
Famous Music Publishing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

30 November 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film suffers from the usual shortcomings of films about "The British Raj":it ignores the stories of a whole swathe of ordinary British and Anglo-Indians between the ruling Raj and the new Indians.I have the greatest respect for the two main actresses, Jaffrey and Scaatchi but it was a poor script and plot.The caricature of an Anglo-Indian woman was such a racial stereotype it is clear that Merchant/Ivory did little to acquaint themselves with the Anglo-Indian community either in India or in England.The idea that this community was such a self-hating hybrid of the British is short sighted in the extreme.Also the fact that the majority of Anglo-Indians didn't live in South India but in central India and the North which were "British India" is a glaring inaccuracy.Also another fact that by 1954 the majority of Anglo-Indians had emigrated to other parts of the old Empire including England to make a new life as they felt that they didn't have a future in an Independent India.Cotton Mary perpetuates an unpleasant stereotype projected on this community by British and Indians alike during the previous 200 years of Imperial rule.The film was eventually removed from circulation through the protests of Anglo-Indians worldwide.All in all this film was unworthy of Merchant/Ivory, a great disappointment.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The 'Abraham' half song...half dance aprovost-1
Discuss Cotton Mary (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: