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Gosford Park (2001)

The lives of upstairs guests and downstairs servants at a party in 1932 in a country house in England as they investigate a murder involving one of them.

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, (based upon an idea by) | 1 more credit »
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ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 31 wins & 73 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

Set in the 1930s, the story takes place in an old-fashioned English country house where a weekend shooting party is underway. The story centers on the McCordle family, particularly the man of the house, William McCordle. Getting on in years, William has become benefactor to many of his relatives and friends. As the weekend goes on, secrets are revealed, and it seems everyone, above stairs and below, wants a piece of William and his money, but how far will they go to get it? Written by Ashley <AMTOT@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Tea At Four. Dinner At Eight. Murder At Midnight.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

18 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Assassinato em Gosford Park  »

Box Office

Budget:

$19,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,567,041 (USA) (4 January 2002)

Gross:

$41,300,105 (USA) (31 May 2002)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in November 1932. See more »

Goofs

When Lewis and Probert are listening to the music, the shadow of the camera is visible just before the cut. See more »

Quotes

Elsie: Why do we spend our time living through them? Look at poor old Lewis. If her own mother had a heart attack, she'd think it was less important than one of Lady Sylvia's farts.
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Crazy Credits

Location filming at Syon House by kind permission of His Grace The Duke of Northumberland. See more »

Connections

References Rebecca (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

What a Duke Should Be
(1916)
Sung by Jeremy Northam
Music by Ivor Novello
Lyrics by Clifford Grey
© Ascherberg Hopwood & Crew Limited
By kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Good Work, as usual...

When Robert Altman makes a new film, it's always a noteworthy event that gets the attention of critics and audiences alike: large productions with huge ensemble casts of major Hollywood movie stars, playing real people with full, fleshed out characters, each with their own subplots that intertwine only subtly, until the end when it all finally makes sense. In Gosford Park, Altman makes only two changes to this formula: Hollywood stars are replaced by Top British talent that may be unfamiliar to most American audiences, and a straightforward murder mystery supplants his traditionally complicated plot line. It is in these changes, however, where Altman charms his audiences in a new way. The story takes place in 1932 at a gathering of aristocrats and their servants for a hunting country weekend at the estate of Sir William McCordle. Some time after all the guests are settled in and whose affairs begin to intertwine, one of them is bumped off. While all the characters are well fleshed out, it's Mary, played by Kelly Macdonald, who is the focus of the drama. She's the maid of Maggie Smith's Countess Constance of Trentham, and is being groomed to follow a path to become head servant. After the murder takes place, emotions unfold and secrets from the past are revealed that help the characters - and the audience - solve the mystery. The drama is even more punctuated when Mary's innocence and naiveté is lost as she pieces together the deeper scandal, involving servant-master sexual relations and bastard children.

One of the best aspects of film is how it illustrates that fine line dividing the master-servant social structures, and how often that line is crossed, reminding us that life is just a game of costumes and masks, and we're all the same underneath. While the story was reminiscent of Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, where it's the mystery that captivates the audience, Altman goes beyond the mystery with Gosford Park by using the murder as a vehicle to draw attention to the human condition and class hierarchy.

On the downside, but to no surprise to fans of Altman's work, the movie is often hard to follow. His style of filmmaking involves entanglements of characters and subplots that don't appear to have much to do with one another at first blush, and Gosford Park takes this to the next level. Here, the murder takes place at the climax of this confusion, leaving you rather disoriented in the middle of the 2-hour-plus drama. Fortunately, the tone loosens up when a comedy-dim police inspector basically gets nowhere in his investigation, but the pieces start coming together through the other characters. The good news is that it all seems to come together in the end in a way that didn't require grasping every detail of every scene.

Despite its intricacies and confusing moments, there is so much more to Gosford Park that makes it interesting and enchanting. While it is clearly a sophisticated piece of film work with impeccable acting, directing and design, don't stress about not keeping up with it all the time. Sit back and take it in, and you'll feel satisfied in the end.


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