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A Handful of Dust (1988)

PG | | Drama, Romance | 24 June 1988 (USA)
The wife's affair and a death in the family hasten the demise of an upper-class English marriage.

Director:

Charles Sturridge

Writers:

Evelyn Waugh (novel), Tim Sullivan (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Wilby ... Tony Last
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Brenda Last
Richard Beale Richard Beale ... Ben
Jackson Kyle Jackson Kyle ... John Andrew
Norman Lumsden Norman Lumsden ... Ambrose
Jeanne Watts Jeanne Watts ... Nanny
Kate Percival Kate Percival ... Miss Ripon
Richard Leech ... Doctor
Roger Milner Roger Milner ... Vicar
Tristram Jellinek Tristram Jellinek ... Richard Last
Anjelica Huston ... Mrs. Rattery
Rupert Graves ... John Beaver
Judi Dench ... Mrs. Beaver
Pip Torrens ... Jock
Beatie Edney ... Marjorie
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Storyline

We see the detritus of an abandoned camp in South America and a main character's hallucination. Then, the story beings. Tony and Brenda Last, lord and lady, live on his enormous estate with their young son. Tony's not much for parties, and Brenda joins London society, on the arm of a penniless man, John Beaver, a hanger-on at Tony's club. John is encouraged by his entrepreneurial mother, who sees a quid in Tony and Brenda. Brenda and John become lovers, Brenda spends more and more time in London, and Tony's without a clue. Then, bringing things to a head are tragedy, law suits, greed, and what should be a few-months' expedition to Brazil. We are each of us merely a handful of dust. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 June 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,560,700
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Rita Kempley of The Washington Post, the "coda to the central story was derived from (Evelyn) Waugh's short story 'The Man Who Loved Dickens', which was adapted for the closing chapters of 'A Handful of Dust'." See more »

Quotes

Dr. Messinger: Are you acquainted with a Nicaraguan who calls himself alternately Ponsonby or Fitzmaurice?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Benchwarmers (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Praise My Soul King Of Heaven
(uncredited)
Music by William Ringham
Words based on Psalm 103
See more »

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User Reviews

Weak in acting .. rich in background
29 December 1998 | by Barry-44See all my reviews

Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust is a masterpiece. Unfortunately, the actors in this movie doesn't give strong performances. I am not saying they are not fine actors in other movies, but I am saying that the roles each of them play in A Handful of Dust is unbelievable and weak. Even that little boy who plays the snotty son wasn't casted properly for his role. And, even when the actors smoked it looked liked they were merely acting.

It's a shame. The filming, background, clothes, speech, etc., etc., are all excellent. Too bad the acting wasn't as good.

I am sorry. I cannot recommend this movie. I don't think Evelyn Waugh would be too happy with the performances of the actors and actresses of his book.


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