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The Golden Bowl (2000)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  25 May 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 3,642 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 67 user | 55 critic | 30 from

A man marries an heiress for her money even though he is actually in love with her friend.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Madeleine Potter ...
Peter Eyre ...
Nickolas Grace ...
Robin Hart ...
Mr. Blint
Daniel Byam Shaw ...
Principino at Five Years
Francesco Giuffrida ...
Duke's Younger Son
Marta Paola Richeldi ...
The Duchess
Rossano Rubicondi ...
Duke's Older Son


Adam Verver, a US billionaire in London, dotes on daughter Maggie, an innocent abroad. An impecunious Italian, Prince Amerigo, marries her even though her best friend, Charlotte Stant, an alabaster beauty with brains, no money, and a practical and romantic nature, is his lover. She and Amerigo keep it secret from Maggie that they know each other, so Maggie interests her widowed father in Charlotte, who is happy with the match because she wants to be close to Amerigo. Charlotte desires him, the lovers risk discovery, Amerigo longs for Italy, Maggie wants to spare her father pain, and Adam wants to return to America to build a museum. Amidst lies and artifice, what fate awaits adulterers? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


| |


Release Date:

25 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La coupe d'or  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$90,170 (USA) (27 April 2001)


$3,037,579 (USA) (3 August 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to costume designer John Bright, Cosprop provided lace and sequined dresses for the principal actresses: 28 outfits for Uma Thurman, 15 for Anjelica Huston and 20 for Kate Beckinsale. See more »


When the merchant delivers the golden bowl to Charlotte, he examines two pictures on the table behind the sofa. As he sets them down, the one on the right (seen from behind it) is placed so that it scrunches up the cloth runner. After Charlotte arrives, and he is explaining the coincidence of the subject couple asking about the bowl, the picture is seen again (from the front) and the cloth runner is smooth, as if recently ironed. See more »


Amerigo: What is it you want from me?
Maggie: I want a happiness without a hole in it! I want the bowl without the crack!
See more »

Crazy Credits

grateful thanks to Lord Tollemache and family; Frances, Duchess of Rutland; The Duke of Northumberland See more »


Referenced in Reflections of Evil (2002) See more »


Sarabande, from 'Pour le Piano'
Music by Claude Debussy
See more »

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User Reviews

Jarvis and James and Ms. Houston's varying accent

I agree with Timer, and, frankly am tickled that someone else noticed the resemblance of the antique dealer Jarvis to Henry James himself. I have seen too many of James Ivory's films to feel that this was accidental. But I didn't really see the resemblance until Jarvis came to deliver the bowl. (His shop was rather dark, and he may not have been wearing his cut-away coat at work.) I also thought it interesting how at least twice Jarvis put his hands out to catch the bowl should someone drop it, thus calling our attention to its fragility. (This was crystal, not glass, and who knows whether it will break when dropped?)

The movie was over-long, of course. But it was a feast! There were many scenes that could have been edited down or eliminated, but the luxury of seeing the extra footage was wonderful. It reminded me of another favorite, wonderful(and long) movie, Mike Leigh's *Topsy-Turvey* (about the partnership of Gilbert and Sullivan).

And interestingly, there's the same continuity/accent problem in both. In *The Golden Bowl* Angelica Houston plays some scenes with a distinct American Southern accent and some without. In *Topsy Turvy*, Sullivan's lover is quite British in one scene, chatting on about young Winston, yet at a piano recital she speaks in an American Southern accent. Wouldn't you think someone would have noticed in both instances and just re-looped the audio?

Finally, the only reason I knew that Jarvis resembled Henry James is a book that my wife and I wrote for Harcourt. It's called *About the Author* and contains "juicy-bits profiles" of 125 favorite (living, dead, male, female, etc.) novelists. To put it another way, we assume that the reader has access to most of the boilerplate info on each author (Web searches, encyclopedia articles, textbooks, etc.). So we focus on the stuff you won't find in most of those sources.

As part of our research, we learned that James's novels were often inspired by conversations and stories he heard at the many dinner parties he attended in London. (Between 1878 and 1879, he dined out 140 times.) Shades of Truman Capote?

Although born in New York City in 1843, he became a British citizen in 1915. Henry James also attended Harvard Law School between 1862 and 1863. His father was a friend of Thoreau, Emerson, and Hawthorne. He himself, at age 26, arrived in London and soon met Darwin, George Eliot, Ruskin, Rossetti, William Morris, and others.

He felt that criticism was intellectually superior to creative writing and considered himself primarily a critic. At the time of his death in 1916 at age 72, his novels were all but unread. Only after the observance of his 100th birthday in 1943, when World War II had focused America's attention on Europe, did critics realize that he was one of the greatest novelists of the 19th century.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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