The House of Mirth (2000)

PG  |   |  Romance, Drama  |  7 March 2001 (France)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 6,235 users   Metascore: 78/100
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A woman risks losing her chance of happiness with the only man she has ever loved.



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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 27 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 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?


Director Terence Davies whenever possible used actual period dresses - some so fragile with age that they ripped off of the actresses during scenes - and period corsets, which caused some of the actresses great pain but made them understand better the constraints put on women of the period. 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 »


[to Grace at the opera house]
Mrs. Peniston: Thank you for telling me, Grace. But I must say this unwelcome information has completely ruined the Mozart for me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to the staff of Kelvingrove Museum, the Lord Provost and staff at Glasgow City Chambers, residents of Kersland Street, all the staff at the Arthouse Hotel, Glasgow, and the Earls of Wemyss and March and Lady Wemyss. See more »


Version of The House of Mirth (1981) See more »


Rothko Chapel: Movement 4
Composed by Morton Feldman
Soprano: Melanie Pappenheim
Viola: Paul Silverthorne
Percussion: Steve Henderson
Courtesy of Universal Edition (London Ltd)
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User Reviews

A Period Drama For A Modern Audience
2 May 2001 | by (Manchester, England) – See all my reviews

Along with Scorsese's, The Age of Innocence and Iain Softley's, The Wings of the Dove, Terence Davies' The House of Mirth forms a triumvirate of modern period drama for a discerning audience. Davies is not interested chiefly in either scenery or costume - that is, in history as a heritage theme-park - but in the story, its themes and characters, and in teasing out good performances from his cast. The modest budget of this film works in its favour. Most of the best scenes and shots are framed in intimacy, not lost amidst panoramas of superficial grandeur or the shallow aesthetics of Merchant-Ivory-style film making.

At the heart of Davies' film is Gillian Anderson's brilliant performance as Lilly Bart. Since she is on screen almost all of the time the film really stands or falls by her performance. She sheds her "X-Files" persona in moments and conveys an enormous range of subtle emotions as her character vacillates between an almost involuntary avarice and moral scruples, foolishness, charm, fortune and tragedy. The affect of Anderson's performance is lasting and deep. Indeed, this film lives on long in the memory and continued to trouble me for weeks after I had seen it.

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