Brideshead Revisited (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  15 August 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 9,568 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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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?


After Charles "betrays" Sebastian in Venice, there is a shot of an altarpiece in an Italian church, with a depiction of the "Martyrdom of St. Sebastian." You can identify him by the arrows protruding from his body. See more »


In Lord Marchmain's deathbed scene, Fr. Mackay imparts absolution while Charles Ryder and members of the family are in attendance. Absolution is never imparted in public in this way. The others would have been asked to step out. Moreover, the Latin form of the absolution given, although it is the correct traditional one, is badly mispronounced and contains several errors in the details of the Latin text. See more »


Lady Marchmain: I act only as God directs.
Charles Ryder: Rubbish. God's your best invention. Whatever you want, he does.
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

An Unbiased Review of Brideshead
22 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have never read the book or seen the miniseries, so my experience wasn't clouded by already existing expectations and assumptions of the characters. Instead I was awaiting a first, and therefore unbiased look into the world of Brideshead.

As a film, it is okay bordering on good and solid. The performances are strong enough to keep the audience interested, but they do not keep us enthralled. The leads are savvy and sexy in their own rights, but they lack true appeal as performers. They can come off as rather dull in certain scenes, but in others they pull out a subtle presence that is called for in intimate, or more emotion scenes. This inconsistence was bothersome and hindered the overall telling of the story. The one presence that is felt, but is far too short is that of Emma Thompson. As the matriarchal head of the family, she is brutal and works well with the one dimensional writing she was given. If they had focused more on her, we would have been able to understand the tortured minds of Julia and Sebastian better. Instead they have Julia and Sebastian describe her to the audience, which keeps us from getting close enough to realize what deformed her mind to begin with.

Charles is, at times to weak and unsure to be accepted as someone we want to see happy. We end up being unsure of his character's intention, and not in a mysterious, purposeful way, but in a, "the film-making is too unclear" way. Is Charles just a social climber whose dreams are dashed by his wants and Atheist ways? Or is he a moral soul lost in the pull of Brideshead's condemning Catholic trappings? This is the major flaw to the film, Charles is never exposed.

Small framing problems and out-of-style shots hampered the visual appeal, but with that aside, the visuals are very lush and the score complements some well placed montages to give the viewer a true sense of the desired never-ending summer Charles and Sebastian so desperately dream after.

If you like British tales of class and religion, or period films, this one is not a letdown. It is nothing new, but nothing terrible either. I recommend it if this is your sort of thing, I was not disappointed, but I wasn't blown away.

53 of 75 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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