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Brideshead Revisited (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  15 August 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 9,450 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 92 user | 131 critic | 32 from

A poignant story of forbidden love and the loss of innocence set in England prior to the Second World War.


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Title: Brideshead Revisited (2008)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas Morrison ...
David Barrass ...
Ship's Barber
Anna Madeley ...
Lady Guest
Stephen Carlile ...
English Lord
Peter Barnes ...
American Professor
Richard Teverson ...
Roger Walker ...
Mark Edel-Hunt ...
Oxford Student


WWII. Charles Ryder, in his civilian life, rose out of his middle class London background, which includes being an atheist and having a distant relationship with his eccentric father, to become an up and coming artist. He is currently an army officer, who is stationed at a makeshift camp set up at Brideshead estate before imminently getting shipped into battle. The locale, which is not unfamiliar to him, makes him reminisce about what ended up being his doomed relationship with Brideshead's owners, the Flytes, an ostentatiously wealthy family. Charles first met Sebastian Flyte when they both were students at Oxford, where Sebastian surprisingly welcomed Charles into his circle of equally wealthy, somewhat stuck up and flamboyant friends. Charles ended up getting caught up in Sebastian's family struggles, where Sebastian used excessive alcohol to deal with the pain resulting from his family relationships. Although Charles and Sebastian were more than just friends, Charles ultimately ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every temptation has its price. See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



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Release Date:

15 August 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Regreso a Brideshead  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$339,616 (USA) (25 July 2008)


£874,658 (UK) (10 October 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Castle Howard, which 'plays' Brideshead in this film, was also used to represent the same location in Brideshead Revisited (1981). See more »


The water taxi that Charles, Sebastian and Julia take to Lord Marchmain's palazzo in Venice was built post-1960s. All Venetian water taxis before this were of solid wood construction, but the one used for filming is clearly of "cold-molded" construction, as one can readily see by the diagonal strips of veneer on the hull; something unknown before the advent of resin laid-up veneer hulls in the 1970s. See more »


Lady Marchmain: Happiness in this life is irrelevant. All that matters, the only thing of consequence, is the life hereafter.
See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 26 July 2008 (2008) See more »


With the Rumba Playing
Music & Lyrics by Terry Davies
Violin by Chris Garrick
Guitar by John Etheridge
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A sketchy remake
16 December 2008 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Is this film a worthy interpretation of "Brideshead Revisited"? Well, up to a point, Lord Copper, as another one of Evelyn Waugh's characters was wont to say.

First, scriptwriter Andrew Davies, a past master of adaptation of great and not-so great literary works, has put the focus on the Charles and Julia love story rather than the Charles and Sebastian 'romantic friendship' as Cara, Lord Marchmain's Italian mistress puts it. The religious aspect is dealt with almost incidentally.

Second, Lady Marchmain, as played by Emma Thompson, is a very grim person with total emotional control over her children and whose particular Christian beliefs means that she is indifferent to their suffering as to her this life is a mere precursor to the glorious afterlife – the same attitude as a 9/11 hi-jacker in fact. She has none of the sweetness that Claire Bloom brought to the 1981 TV series.

Third, some of the performances owe a good deal to those in the TV series, especially Matthew Goode as Charles who has an uncanny likeness to Jeremy Irons. And of course Castle Howard reprises its role as Brideshead. Some characters were reduced to ciphers; for example Bridey who played by Simon Jones stole several scenes in 1981 but the part is reduced to a non-entity here. Michael Gambon, a consummate actor, gives us a new take on Lord Marchmain to compare with Lawrence Olivier's earlier version.

Overall, though, I was left with the impression this film has not much to say which is new. Like the recent feature film version of "Pride and Prejudice", it gives a broad outline of the story but misses out much of the rich context provided by the minor characters. Oh, read the book instead.

41 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Sebastian Fylte superstu86
Is this catholic guilt thing for real? Arathel_ms
did charles have feelings for sebastian nab_20
Any recommendations for similar films TyrellUtani
Good Lord, the music is AWESOME! ChorusL106
I loved it more than the mini-series to be honest Dr_Funkmaster
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