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The lives of upstairs guest 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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2,076 ( 111)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 30 wins & 72 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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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:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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:

$178,641 (South Africa) (27 September 2002)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the DVD commentary, director Robert Altman states he included the F-word several times on purpose to get an R-rating because he didn't want kids to see the film - he thought kids wouldn't like the film so he wanted to keep them out (especially 14-year-old boys). See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, Lady Trentham taps on the window of the car. Mary, who is seated in the front, looks over her right shoulder. In the next shot she is looking over her left shoulder. See more »

Quotes

Elsie (Head Housemaid): [while serving at dinner and interrupting Lady Sylvia] That's not fair! Billy...
[Elsie exits quickly]
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits it says that the real Ivor Novello never took part in the fictional events portrayed in the film. See more »

Connections

References The Phantom Fiend (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

Glamorous Night
(1935)
Performed by Christopher Northam
Music by Ivor Novello
Lyrics by Christopher Hassall (as Christopher V. Hassall)
© Chappell/Music Limited
By kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The mystery aspect slows the pace but the film is best during the class tension and interrelationships
2 May 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In 1932, a group of socialites, landowners, Americans and their servants arrive at a country house for a shooting party over the weekend. As the relationships and tensions twist and weave upstairs, so too do the dynamics and relationships between the various house staff and valets below the stairs. Stories and characters play out but whenever a murder takes place, the police move in and everyone is a suspect.

My plot summary suggests that this is a sort of murder mystery and that this will act as the driving force behind the narrative, however this is not the case and in reality the film is much more about the characters and relationships than it is about the murder. To this end the film will annoy some people who are perhaps not used to the sort of film that Altman produces and will be looking for the mystery aspect to be the all. However, I found the rather free-wheeling ensemble approach to be very enjoyable and the first hour moved quickly by thanks to the natural interactions and relationships and it was actually the mystery aspect that didn't work as well because it required too sudden a change in pace – a change that the material seemed to resist and hamper. Despite this it does still work mainly because the Oscar winning writing brings out such convincing relationships and social politics, making it enjoyable and interesting throughout. The direction is great; the use of two cameras in group scenes means that the actors seem to flow around as naturally as their dialogue would suggest – few seem forced to act to a fixed point and seem more realistic.

Considering the talent on board, it is not surprising that nobody really upstages anyone in particular and the ensemble feel is strong. Smith, Gambon, Thomas, Dance, Northam, Balaban and others make the upstairs fizzle with snobbery and unspoken resentments. Meanwhile the downstairs staff are just as well drawn and delivered by Mirren, Owen, Jacobi, Watson, Bates, Grant, Atkins and others. Stephen Fry is fairly minor within the plot but he is delightfully comic, even if he doesn't quite fit into the film that well.

Overall this is a classy film very much in the Altman style – an ensemble piece of characters and relationships that we are left to drift within. Some viewers will find it frustrating that it takes so long to get to the point where the mystery kicks in but I actually found this to be the weaker aspect of the film and the most enjoyable parts were the well written characters and dialogue, which deservedly won Fellowes his Oscar.


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