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The Remains of the Day (1993)

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A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years leading up to World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty was to his lordly employer.

Director:

James Ivory

Writers:

Kazuo Ishiguro (novel), Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,970 ( 367)
Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Haycraft John Haycraft ... Auctioneer
Christopher Reeve ... Lewis
Anthony Hopkins ... Stevens
Emma Thompson ... Miss Kenton
Caroline Hunt Caroline Hunt ... Landlady
James Fox ... Lord Darlington
Peter Vaughan ... Father
Paula Jacobs Paula Jacobs ... Mrs. Mortimer, the Cook
Ben Chaplin ... Charlie, Head Footman
Steve Dibben ... George, Second Footman
Abigail Hopkins ... Housemaid (as Abigail Harrison)
Patrick Godfrey ... Spencer
Peter Cellier ... Sir Leonard Bax
Peter Halliday ... Canon Tufnell
Hugh Grant ... Cardinal
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Storyline

A rule bound head butler's world of manners and decorum in the household he maintains is tested by the arrival of a housekeeper who falls in love with him in pre-WWII Britain. The possibility of romance and his master's cultivation of ties with the Nazi cause challenge his carefully maintained veneer of servitude. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for themes | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

19 November 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lo que queda del día See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$22,954,968
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (35 mm prints)| SDDS (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

It was while shooting Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990) in Kansas City, that Remak Ramsay, who was reading "The Remains of the Day" (1989) novel, while playing a part in the film, gave the book to James Ivory to read, thinking that its subject and setting might intrigue Ivory. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where everyone is listening to the Baroness sing, Mr. Stevens pours Reginald Cardinal the same glass of wine twice in two continuous shots. See more »

Quotes

Stevens: I'm sorry sir, but I am unable to be of assistance in this matter.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Sei mir gegrüsst
Composed by Franz Schubert
Text by Friedrich Rückert
Sung by Ann Murray
Piano: Graham Johnson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Muted drama with excellent performances.
14 July 2003 | by jckruizeSee all my reviews

Impeccably cast and produced in typical Merchant-Ivory manner, this understated drama features superb performances by two of the finest actors in modern cinema, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. Both an acid indictment of the British class system and an unflinching portrayal of a man who in the end cannot transcend his largely self-imposed limitations, the film is both fascinating and agonizing to watch and its cumulative emotional impact will stay with you long after it's over.

There is an exquisite moment near the finale when Thompson's character bares only slightly a hint of the feelings she has for Hopkins, an allusion to what might have been between them. And Hopkins, in his consummate skill, maintains in both facial and vocal expressions the most non-committal of replies; his face a mask of bland affability but his eyes dark with the knowledge that he is a dead man who has wasted his life. With no outward show of emotion, the scene is devastating.

THE REMAINS OF THE DAY may not be a happy film, but it is a memorable and powerful one.


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