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The House of Mirth (2000)

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A woman risks losing her chance of happiness with the only man she has ever loved.



Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 6 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Dorset
Sim Rosedale (as Anthony Lapaglia)
Pearce Quigley ...
Helen Coker ...
Mary MacLeod ...
Mrs. Haffen (as Mary Macleod)
Paul Venables ...
Serena Gordon ...


Terence Davies' The House of Mirth is a tragic love story set against a background of wealth and social hypocrisy in turn of the century New York. Lily Bart is a ravishing socialite at the height of her success who quickly discovers the precariousness of her position when her beauty and charm start attracting unwelcome interest and jealousy. Torn between her heart and her head, Lilly always seems to do the right thing at the wrong time. She seeks a wealthy husband and in trying to conform to social expectations, she misses her chance for real love with Lawrence Selden. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When a woman has the beauty men admire and women envy...it is wise to tread carefully.


Romance | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

7 March 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Glädjens hus  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£88,920 (UK) (13 October 2000)


$3,041,803 (USA) (6 July 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shooting angles for some outdoor scenes had to be changed because groups of The X-Files (1993) fans congregated in the background to see Gillian Anderson. See more »


The film, which takes place during 1905-07, depicts several characters attending a performance of the opera "Cosi fan tutte" - but that opera was first performed in New York in 1922. See more »


Lawrence Selden: Isn't marriage your vocation? Isn't it what you're all brought up for?
Lily Bart: You speak as if I should marry the first man who came along.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits the Kinowelt Medien AG is misspelled as "Kinowelt Median AG" See more »


References Some Like It Hot (1959) See more »


Shtiler Shtiler (Quiet Quiet)
Composed by Alexander Volkoviski Tamir
Words by Shmerke Kaczerginski & Avraham Shlonsky
Performed by Melanie Pappenheim
Courtesy of NMC Music
See more »

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User Reviews

A richly painted tapestry of early New York society, Anderson is terrific.
16 January 2001 | by (Boston. MA) – See all my reviews

House of Mirth is a richly painted tapestry of a piece of early American Society all but unrecognizable to most Americans. It's a great story and great looking, but the real surprise in Terence Davies' adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel is how deftly Gillian Anderson among others manages to gracefully convey the stilted rigors of the period language. The film is largely about the traps and deceits verbal gamesmanship and class one-upsmanship. It is a deadly and vicious internal warfare that goes on with the upper class bourgeois in New York City in the early 20th century. The price one pays – particularly that a woman pays – for straying too far from the unwritten laws of that society can be severe. Lillie Bart's flaw is not really in her indiscretions, but in her inability to compromise at the right time. Her timing is fatally flawed. That the film is so relentlessly tragic, really takes the viewer by surprise, partly because Anderson gives her character such spunk and vivaciousness that you find yourself surprised by the endless bad luck that she brings on herself. Anderson's remarkable beauty, poise as an actress, facility with the dialogue, in my mind, bring her to a whole new level as an actress.

It is also wonderfully cinematic. There are rich colors and textures, beautifully framed scenes, marvellous costumes. Though steeped in tragedy and melodrama, you'll find yourself so swept away in this world that it will seem centuries and not merely decades removed from our time. Perhaps this is why the titles at the beginning and at the end are `New York 1914' – you need this reminder by the end.

With a host of good performances and a rich sense of place you will get emotionally and imaginatively swept up in this world. Just be prepared for the landing.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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