7.8/10
62,885
197 user 66 critic

The Remains of the Day (1993)

Trailer
2:40 | Trailer
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)
Reviews
Popularity
2,208 ( 213)
Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Howards End (1992)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A businessman thwarts his wife's bequest of an estate to another woman.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In a Florence pensione circa 1900 with English guests, George Emerson (Julian Sands) and his dad (Denholm Elliott) offer their rooms with views to Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) and her chaperone, Charlotte Bartlett (Dame Maggie Smith). Lucy and George get acquainted, but Lucy returns to England. George and Lucy meet again, but now she's engaged.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Denholm Elliott
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the title opposites.

Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, James Fleet
Shadowlands (1993)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

C.S. Lewis, a world-renowned Christian theologian, writer and professor, leads a passionless life until he meets spirited poet Joy Gresham from the U.S.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, Julian Fellowes
Out of Africa (1985)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 20th-century colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness/plantation owner has a passionate love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A scheming widow and her manipulative ex-lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer
Maurice (1987)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After his lover rejects him, a young man trapped by the oppressiveness of Edwardian society tries to come to terms with and accept his sexuality.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: James Wilby, Rupert Graves, Hugh Grant
Easy Rider (1969)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two bikers head from L.A. to New Orleans through the open country and desert lands, and along the way they meet a man who bridges a counter-culture gap they are unaware of.

Director: Dennis Hopper
Stars: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In the early 1900s, three brothers and their father living in the remote wilderness of Montana are affected by betrayal, history, love, nature, and war.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn
Nixon (1995)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A biographical story of former U.S. President Richard Nixon, from his days as a young boy, to his eventual Presidency, which ended in shame.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, Powers Boothe
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Death, who takes the form of a young man, asks a media mogul to act as a guide to teach him about life on Earth, and in the process, he falls in love with his guide's daughter.

Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani
Edit

Storyline

Rule bound head butler Stevens' (Sir Anthony Hopkins') world of manners and decorum in the household he maintains is tested by the arrival of housekeeper Miss Kenton (Dame Emma Thompson), who falls in love with him in pre-World War II 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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Principal photography wrapped on December 1, 1992, at Badminton House, Gloucestershire, England. 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 was too busy serving to listen to the speeches.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in QI: Film (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Moon
Composed by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
See more »

User Reviews

Touching, tragic tale of one man's duty
4 February 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Ishiguro's story of duty finds career butler Mr Stevens preparing to meet Miss Kenton, once the head maid in his household. They have not seen each other for 15 years and once had an unspoken love. As he journeys down to meet her he remembers a lifetime spent in quiet, honourable service.

I don't like period pieces. Merchant-Ivory stuff usually feels very false and stifled to me. Here I didn't know what to expect but I was blown away from start to finish. To say the story is about a romance isn't the whole picture, to say it's about British-German politics pre-WW2 is not the full story. In fact the film is about it all - but the focus is Mr Stevens. He serves dinner while his father dies in an upstairs room, he puts his own opinions so far back that he doesn't have any, he is so focused on the proper way to serve that he never finds his own life. To describe in like this makes it sound very dull, and to some people it may be, but trust me - the story is beautifully observed and has so much going on in the background that it'll keep you interested. The main reason it works is a faultless central performance by Hopkins.

Hopkins drives the whole film. His face and his speech reveal more about his inner feelings than anything else. It can be frustrating to see him always put on a brave face and bury his emotions, but once you get his character (a man of quiet honour, dignity and respect - any wonder he seems otherworldly by modern standards) it's fine. He is fantastic - I cannot say it enough. His lot in life is moving, but what is incredibly moving is that he seems content to let his life slide by. The scene where Thompson's Miss Kenton confronts him about the book he is quietly reading is beautiful, truly beautiful - revealing their closeness and the depth of Stevens' heart. Thompson is also excellent in her role but doesn't have as much screen time as Hopkins. Fox, Reeves and Chaplin are all excellent in their roles.

If the film has a weakness it is that it doesn't judge the rich - even the Nazi sympathisers. It almost seems to revere the elite - I know they are not the focus but Merchant-Ivory always seems to be obsessed with how the other half live (or maybe they are part of the other half!). The ending is also a little disappointing because it's quite low-key, but it's very, very touching.

Overall this is excellent - I didn't think it would be that good, but it totally blew me away. Sit down and let this story unfold before you, let the characters develop and ensnare you. I guarantee you will be deeply moved by Hopkins. The rather crude message of `seize the day' is beautifully told in a rich tapestry of one man's life.


57 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 197 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

19 November 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Remains of the Day See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,528,982, 7 November 1993

Gross USA:

$23,237,911

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,237,911
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 »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed