The exiled royal physician to King Charles II devotes himself to helping Londoners suffering from the plague, and in the process falls in love with an equally poor woman.

Director:

Michael Hoffman

Writers:

Rose Tremain (novel), Rupert Walters (screenplay)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Downey Jr. ... Merivel
Sam Neill ... The King
David Thewlis ... Pearce
Polly Walker ... Celia
Meg Ryan ... Katharine
Ian McKellen ... Will Gates
Hugh Grant ... Finn
Ian McDiarmid ... Ambrose
Mary MacLeod ... Midwife
Mark Letheren Mark Letheren ... Daniel
Sandy McDade ... Hannah
Rosalind Bennett ... Eleanor
Willie Ross Willie Ross ... Man with Visible Heart
David Gant ... Chiffinch
Benjamin Whitrow ... Merivel's Father
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Storyline

An aspiring young physician, Robert Merivel found himself in the service of King Charles II and saves the life of a spaniel dear to the King. Merivel joins the King's court and lives the high life provided to someone of his position. Merivel is ordered to marry one of the King's mistresses in order to divert the suspicions of another one of his mistresses. He is given one order by the king and that is not to fall in love. The situation worsens when Merivel finds himself in love with his new wife. Eventually, the King finds out and relieves Merivel of his position and wealth. His fall from grace leaves Merivel where he first started. And through his travels and reunites with an old friend, he rediscovers his love for true medicine and what it really means to be a physician. Written by P. Wong <pwong@nt.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world of seduction and power, temptation has its price.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Ian McKellen and Robert Downey, Jr. became friends during the shoot, and McKellen was struck by Downey's talent and attitude compared to some of the British cast members. McKellen offered Downey a part in Richard III (1995), stating that casting an American actor would help fund that movie. When the release of this movie was delayed by eighteen months, owing to story concerns and re-shoots, Richard III (1995) was released in theaters before this movie. See more »

Goofs

At a very early point in the film, the King says something along the lines of "....and these are your playmates." In the background is a horde of 17th-century ladies boating on the Achille Duchenne water parterre at Blenheim Palace. The palace was not built until the late 18th century, and the parterre was not designed until 1925. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Opening Title Card: In 1660 Charles II was restored to the English Throne ending 11 years of Oliver Cromwell's bleak Puritan rule. Thus began the age of Restoration. It was an era of scientific discovery, artistic exploration and luxurious sensuality.
Opening Title Card: It was also a time of natural disasters and archaic medical practices. Science was pitted against superstition. This is the story of one man's journey through the light and dark of those times.
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Soundtracks

Newcastle
(uncredited)
Traditional
From John Playford's 'The English Dancing Master', First Edition (1651)
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User Reviews

 
An over-looked jewel, artful period piece with redemption.
6 March 1999 | by shp-2See all my reviews

"Restoration" is an overlooked jewel of a movie, a fascinating and atmospheric journey to another time and place. Robert Downey, Jr. is outstanding as a young physician who develops depth and compassion. The music, costumes and settings are full of rich detail. While Meg Ryan's character as an insane Irish girl was perhaps a bit overwrought, I found little to fault in the movie. I have seen it three times and enjoy it thoroughly each time. I'm sorry I missed it on the big screen. Interesting scenes portraying 17th century medical practice, the plague, the Great Fire of London. Not for the squeamish, but not overly violent either.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

2 February 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Restoration See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$75,514, 1 January 1996

Gross USA:

$4,005,941

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,005,941
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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