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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
3,030 ( 127)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

La edad de la inocencia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$32,200,000
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

So far, this is the only movie Martin Scorsese has directed that was adapted from a novel that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for literature. See more »

Goofs

At the dinner in Paris, May says, "When we were in London, we could only manage one day at the National," but her lips actually mouth the words "one day at the Tate." The original dialogue would have been anachronistic, as the story is set in the 1870s and the Tate Gallery did not open until 1897. See more »

Quotes

Newland Archer: All the older women like and admire you. They want to help.
Ellen Olenska: I know. I know, as long as they don't hear anything unpleasant. Does no one here want to know - want to know the truth, Mr. Archer? The real loneliness is living among all these kind people who only asks you to pretend.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Version of The Age of Innocence (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Quintet In B Flat Op 87, 3rd Movement
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Performed by Academy Chamber Ensemble courtesy of Philips Classics
By Arrangement with PolyGram Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Underrated masterpiece from the top director of our times.
7 February 2000 | by Woody-82See all my reviews

For those who wonder what is Mr. Scorsese looking for in a film like "The Age of Innocence", (probably more suitable to a director such as James Ivory), the man himself gives the answer: "This film deals with the same matters that can be found in my work in the last 25 years. There is guilt, desire, obsessed passion and the weakness to satisfy that passion".

The story takes place in New York, around 1880. Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) must choose between his current fiancee May Welland (Winona Ryder) and her cousin who has just arrived from Poland and is recently divorced, Helen Ollenska (Michelle Pfeiffer). May is the symbol of a world he's familiar with, and Helen represents the world he's dreaming of.

Living in a conservative world full of compromises, Newland is as much trapped by his social circle as the Italian-American heroes of Mean Streets and GoodFellas. However, the Mafia here is called New York aristocracy and kills with words, with a gesture or with a look of contempt and rejection, instead of using guns. Scorsese fans who expect to see psychotic characters, violence or De Niro-style performances, will be disappointed. Everything in this movie is based on the observation and recording of the social behaviour codes, the unexpressed feelings and of things which are not not said but implied. Scorsese portrayed with absolute preciseness, almost paragraph to paragraph, Edith Wharton's classic novel. However, he managed to give the film his own unique personal view, proving his gigantic talent and that he's capable of creating masterpieces, whatever the heroes, the story or the genre of the film. Winona Ryder should definitely have won the Oscar for her wonderful performance, but Lewis and Pfeiffer are marvellous as well. What's left to say? The Age of Innocence is an un-excusably underrated all time classic.


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