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The Age of Innocence (1993)

PG | | Drama, Romance | 1 October 1993 (USA)
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A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin.

Director:

Martin Scorsese

Writers:

Edith Wharton (novel), Jay Cocks (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,304 ( 611)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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Stars: Harvey Keitel, Zina Bethune, Anne Collette
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Day-Lewis ... Newland Archer
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Ellen Olenska
Winona Ryder ... May Welland
Linda Faye Farkas Linda Faye Farkas ... Female Opera Singer
Michael Rees Davis Michael Rees Davis ... Male Opera Singer
Terry Cook Terry Cook ... Male Opera Singer
Jon Garrison Jon Garrison ... Male Opera Singer
Richard E. Grant ... Larry Lefferts
Alec McCowen ... Sillerton Jackson
Geraldine Chaplin ... Mrs. Welland
Mary Beth Hurt ... Regina Beaufort
Stuart Wilson ... Julius Beaufort
Howard Erskine Howard Erskine ... Beaufort Guest
John McLoughlin John McLoughlin ... Party Guest
Christopher Nilsson Christopher Nilsson ... Party Guest
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Storyline

Society scion Newland Archer is engaged to May Welland, but his well-ordered life is upset when he meets May's unconventional cousin, the Countess Olenska. At first, Newland becomes a defender of the Countess, whose separation from her abusive husband makes her a social outcast in the restrictive high society of late-19th Century New York, but he finds in her a kindred spirit and they fall in love. Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world of tradition. In an age of innocence. They dared to break the rules.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

1 October 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Age of Innocence See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$34,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,317,289, 19 September 1993

Gross USA:

$32,255,440

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,255,440
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo | SDDS (8 channels)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final Martin Scorsese picture to be edited on a Moviola. See more »

Goofs

On the park bench in Boston, Newland Archer sits down with Ellen Olenska. As he sits, his gloves are off, and we see his wedding ring. The camera cuts away and then back, and his gloves are on. He then removes them. See more »

Quotes

Newland Archer: Who has the right to make her life over, if she hasn't? Why should we bury a woman alive if her husband prefers to live with whores?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Columbia logo turns sepia to look like a 19th-century photograph. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The O.C.: The End of Innocence (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Marble Halls
Arranged by Enya, Roma Ryan and Nicky Ryan
Performed by Enya
Courtesy of Reprise Records and Warner Music U.K. Ltd.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

Tradition gives in to Modernity, and so is the end of the Age of Innocence.
26 October 1999 | by Shaun Yen MetcalfeSee all my reviews

Martin Scorsese's THE AGE OF INNOCENCE is a graceful film that balances deceit, forbidden love, scandal, passion and intrigue so astoundingly that multiple viewings enable one to revel in brilliance. Based on Edith Wharton's novel set in 1870s New York high society, the film wonderfully depicts the falling of tradition and the opening of modernity in the lives of 3 people and their vicious back-stabbing families. Lawyer Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is engaged to society maiden May Welland (Winona Ryder; who won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress) but all that is set off-course when May's cousin - the passionate, charming and scandal-clad Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer) - has returned to the USA, fleeing her cheating Polish husband, Count Olenska. Ellen sojourns at the estate of New York society matriach, Madame Mingott (Miriam Margolyes) while deciding on what to do with her life. Madame Mingott appoints Newland as Ellen's legal advisor. It is here their passion erupts. In an effort to keep reputation intact and to keep free of further scandal, the affair is unwillingly aborted...but at a cost to the lives of the 3 involved. Daniel Day-Lewis gives an affecting performance as Newland. So restrained, ruled by tradition and fuelled with the most passion in his life which leads to embitterment but quiet contentment with conscience on his side. A beautiful performance. Michelle Pfeiffer was perfectly-cast as the controversial Ellen Olenska. Before she makes her first appearance, we're aware the Countess is a dark lady with many affairs behind her. Once we spend more time with this character, we see she is only following her heart and is so mad at the world for restraining her and labelling everything she does. Ms Pfeiffer gives a brave performance worthy of much more kudos. Winona Ryder made a great transition when switching from the weird high school girls to well-bred and well-intentioned May Welland. However, Winona's most excellent scene is that where she asks to be with Newland a while, only to tell him she is pregnant and then stating she told Ellen 2 weeks before. Newland is surprised as he was certain he heard May say that she only knew that day. Through the sweet smile, we see the cunning eyes of deceit and the evidence that May used her pregnancy as a threat to prevent Ellen's further advances on Newland. May's transition from young lady to woman of the world is very well-executed by Winona Ryder who, like Michelle, deserves a lot more credit for this exceptional performance. Likewise to Martin Scorsese, perhaps the best director in America. This is another film in a long line of Sr. Scorsese masterpieces where he has invented new shots, clever techniques and wise plotting to show the fall of the traditional world. This film is intelligent and lush in emotional landscapes and in suggesting the imperial beauty and bitchery of the period. A stunning depiction of the decline of the old world; the end of the Age of Innocence.


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