Up 2,829 this week

I Capture the Castle (2003)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  8 August 2003 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 5,385 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 65 user | 58 critic | 29 from

A love story set in 1930s England that follows 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain, and the fortunes of her eccentric family, struggling to survive in a decaying English castle.



(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 29 Sep 2011
a list of 48 titles
created 09 May 2013
a list of 33 titles
created 15 Sep 2013
a list of 46 titles
created 7 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: I Capture the Castle (2003)

I Capture the Castle (2003) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of I Capture the Castle.
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Daniel Deronda (TV Mini-Series 2002)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Set in Victorian London, Gwendolen Harleth is drawn to Daniel Deronda, a selfless and intelligent gentleman of unknown parentage, but her own desperate need for financial security may destroy her chance at happiness.

Stars: Hugh Dancy, Romola Garai, Hugh Bonneville
The Crimson Petal and the White (TV Mini-Series 2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Set in 1870s London, a young prostitute finds potential power and status after becoming the mistress of a powerful patriarch.

Stars: Romola Garai, Chris O'Dowd, Amanda Hale
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young woman is transported to the New South Wales penal colony in 1788.

Stars: Jack Davenport, Alex O'Loughlin, Sam Neill
Angel (2007)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The rise and fall of a young eccentric British writer, in the early 20th century.

Director: François Ozon
Stars: Romola Garai, Sam Neill, Lucy Russell
Glorious 39 (2009)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The adopted daughter of a privileged British politician uncovers a family secret in the weeks leading up to World War II.

Director: Stephen Poliakoff
Stars: Romola Garai, Eddie Redmayne, Juno Temple
Emma (TV Mini-Series 2009)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Emma Woodhouse seems to be perfectly content, a loving father whom she cares for, friends, and a home. But Emma has a terrible habit - matchmaking. She cannot resist finding suitors for her... See full summary »

Stars: Romola Garai, Michael Gambon, Jonny Lee Miller
Amazing Grace (2006)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The idealist William Wilberforce maneuvers his way through Parliament, endeavoring to end the British transatlantic slave trade.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Ioan Gruffudd, Albert Finney, Michael Gambon
Laguna (2001)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Exiled to the United States after his parents died in an attack orchestrated by the mafia, Thomas, now an adult, returns to live in Italy. There, while his tortured past and the death of ... See full summary »

Director: Dennis Berry
Stars: Joe Mantegna, Henry Cavill, Sergio Castellitto
Under the Greenwood Tree (TV Movie 2005)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In this lighthearted romance from Victorian novelist Thomas Hardy, the beautiful new village school teacher is pursued by three suitors: a working-class man, a landowner, and the vicar.

Director: Nicholas Laughland
Stars: Keeley Hawes, James Murray, Terry Mortimer
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At 10, Fanny Price, a poor relation, goes to live at Mansfield Park, the estate of her aunt's husband, Sir Thomas. Clever, studious, and a writer with an ironic imagination and fine moral ... See full summary »

Director: Patricia Rozema
Stars: Frances O'Connor, Jonny Lee Miller, Alessandro Nivola
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (TV Mini-Series 1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Based on a little known 1848 novel by Anne Bronte, Tara Fitzgerald stars as an enigmatic young woman who moves to 19th Century Yorkshire with a young son. Distancing herself from everyone ... See full summary »

Stars: Toby Stephens, Tara Fitzgerald, Rupert Graves
Middlemarch (TV Mini-Series 1994)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

This Masterpiece Theatre production, set at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, chronicles the life, loves, foibles and politics of the fictional English town of Middlemarch. Adapted ... See full summary »

Stars: Juliet Aubrey, Douglas Hodge, Robert Hardy


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sophie Stuckey ...
Cassandra - aged 7
Helena Little ...
Florence Jones ...
Rose (aged 10)
Harrison Ward ...
Topaz Mortmain
Joe Sowerbutts ...
Aubrey Fox-Cotton
Sarah Woodward ...
Leda Fox-Cotton


The film follows 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain, and the fortunes of her eccentric family, struggling to survive in a decaying English castle. Her father is desperate to repeat the spectacular success of his first novel, but hasn't written a word for 12 years; her exquisite sister Rose can only rail against their fate, and their Bohemian step-mother Topaz is a nudist and no help at all. Salvation comes in the form of their American landlord Simon Cotton and his brother Neil. Although initially repelled by Simon, Rose is determined to make him fall in love with her and succeeds. A wedding is arranged and Cassandra is left on the sidelines as everyone around her is drawn into a maelstrom of interconnected relationships. But events spiral out of control, and before the summer ends she will experience frustrated desire, first love, and a broken heart. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You can't choose who you fall in love with. See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

8 August 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aihmaloti kardia  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£138,142 (UK) (9 May 2003)


$1,174,139 (USA) (26 September 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie is supposedly set in Suffolk; Henry Cavill later starred as the Duke of Suffolk in The Tudors. See more »


The cooked ham Simon gives to Rose is a prop, judging by the ease with which Simon lifts it, the sound it makes when he puts it in Rose's arms, and the fact that no juice or grease drips on Rose's arms or dress. See more »


[first lines]
Cassandra: I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.
See more »


References Pride and Prejudice (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Weird Family, Devilish Comedy, Roiling Drama

How many viewers of "I Capture the Castle" have a legal background and understand the humor underlying the family name of the central characters, "Mortmain?" Literally, "mortmain" means "Dead Hand" and in law it denotes the attempt of a person to control his property postmortem. The humor here is that the paterfamilias, James Mortmain (well played by Bill Nighy) is a dried up author who hasn't penned a word since a successful novel of twelve years past. He claims to be working on a new book, an assertion that may be face-saving but is of dubious credibility. James has a past that the family neither wishes to remember nor can face seeing its reappearance (can't reveal what that is, can I?).

When still at the top of his game Mortmain and his then wife (who later dies, no foul play here) and his two little girls stumbled upon a rodent infested castle which he leased.

Jump quite a bit ahead to a now remarried Mortmain who lives in the still unrestored castle with his new, young, artist wife, Topaz (the beautiful, funny and accomplished Tara Fitzgerald) and his two teenage daughters, an appropriately mischievous little son and a sort of retainer in farm clothes, young Stephen.

The family is now, as the English say, "on their uppers."

Rose (Rose Byrne) is a gorgeous redhead solely obsessed with marrying out of the castle into the squirearchy or at least the solvent. Younger sister Cassandra (Ronola Garai) is engagingly wise, funny and bewildered at the changes that overtake her family when two young Americans succeed to the ownership of a manor that encompasses the castle (for which rent is long overdue). The sisters' close, interdependent relationship is warmly portrayed.

So Rose pursues one of the Americans, Cassandra deals with first love, spurning one suitor while secretly pining for another. An interweaved subplot has Topaz and then Cassandra desperately acting as James's muse, seeking to ignite what may well be the drenched sparks of a one-novel author.

As would be expected of a drama set in England in the 1930s before the hideousness of war returned are the inevitable class clashes, both economic and trans-Atlantic. What would a film like this be without a formal dining room scene replete with persiflage and the ominous threat of words said that can not be retracted?

"I Capture the Castle" has a strong cast but Cassandra is the centerpiece as she shows developing resolve and growth. Her appeal is irresistible. She's the younger sister many have fantasized but few have had. Ms. Garai is marvelously believable.

Yes, the film is in the Merchant/Ivory and Masterpiece Theatre vein but what's wrong with that? I liked most of the characters and rooted for calm but troubled Cassandra and frenetic but basically good Rose.


41 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why is this movie rated 'R' in the US?! ...and opinion. JackMercy
Why did they all love Rose?! ohellsbellso
Soundtrack? Melissa24
How big is Henry Cavill's role? BellatrixB
Some comments on the novel and film. lola-lola
was anyone else... masha_xo
Discuss I Capture the Castle (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: