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Gosford Park (2001)

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The lives of upstairs guests and downstairs servants at a party in 1932 in a country house in England as they investigate a murder involving one of them.

Director:

Robert Altman

Writers:

Julian Fellowes, Robert Altman (based upon an idea by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,612 ( 418)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 34 wins & 73 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie Smith ... Constance Trentham
Michael Gambon ... William McCordle
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Sylvia McCordle
Camilla Rutherford ... Isobel McCordle
Charles Dance ... Raymond Stockbridge
Geraldine Somerville ... Louisa Stockbridge
Tom Hollander ... Anthony Meredith
Natasha Wightman ... Lavinia Meredith
Jeremy Northam ... Ivor Novello
Bob Balaban ... Morris Weissman
James Wilby ... Freddie Nesbitt
Claudie Blakley ... Mabel Nesbitt
Laurence Fox ... Rupert Standish
Trent Ford ... Jeremy Blond
Ryan Phillippe ... Henry Denton
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Storyline

Set in the 1930s, the story takes place in an old-fashioned English country house where a weekend shooting party is underway. The story centers on the McCordle family, particularly the man of the house, William McCordle. Getting on in years, William has become benefactor to many of his relatives and friends. As the weekend goes on, secrets are revealed, and it seems everyone, above stairs and below, wants a piece of William and his money, but how far will they go to get it? Written by Ashley <AMTOT@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Tea At Four. Dinner At Eight. Murder At Midnight.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 January 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gosford Park See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$395,162, 30 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$41,308,615, 6 June 2002

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$87,754,044, 6 June 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS (Digital DTS Sound)| Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The camera is always moving (if only slightly) in every shot as requested by Director Robert Altman. See more »

Goofs

When the cars met on the way to the country house, the rain was pouring down from one direction and the sky was a beautiful blue on the other side of the car. The rain was man made and not realistic in the least. See more »

Quotes

Lady Sylvia McCordle: Where's that wretched Mabel.
Constance, Countess of Trentham: Has anyone checked her outfit? She's probably in black velvet with a feather in her hair.
Lavinia Meredith: She's in the morning room looking perfectly normal. Don't be such a snob aunt Constance.
Constance, Countess of Trentham: Me? I haven't a snobish bone in my body.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Location filming at Syon House by kind permission of His Grace The Duke of Northumberland. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Beast (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

What a Duke Should Be
(1916)
Sung by Jeremy Northam
Music by Ivor Novello
Lyrics by Clifford Grey
© Ascherberg Hopwood & Crew Limited
By kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The mystery aspect slows the pace but the film is best during the class tension and interrelationships
2 May 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

In 1932, a group of socialites, landowners, Americans and their servants arrive at a country house for a shooting party over the weekend. As the relationships and tensions twist and weave upstairs, so too do the dynamics and relationships between the various house staff and valets below the stairs. Stories and characters play out but whenever a murder takes place, the police move in and everyone is a suspect.

My plot summary suggests that this is a sort of murder mystery and that this will act as the driving force behind the narrative, however this is not the case and in reality the film is much more about the characters and relationships than it is about the murder. To this end the film will annoy some people who are perhaps not used to the sort of film that Altman produces and will be looking for the mystery aspect to be the all. However, I found the rather free-wheeling ensemble approach to be very enjoyable and the first hour moved quickly by thanks to the natural interactions and relationships and it was actually the mystery aspect that didn't work as well because it required too sudden a change in pace – a change that the material seemed to resist and hamper. Despite this it does still work mainly because the Oscar winning writing brings out such convincing relationships and social politics, making it enjoyable and interesting throughout. The direction is great; the use of two cameras in group scenes means that the actors seem to flow around as naturally as their dialogue would suggest – few seem forced to act to a fixed point and seem more realistic.

Considering the talent on board, it is not surprising that nobody really upstages anyone in particular and the ensemble feel is strong. Smith, Gambon, Thomas, Dance, Northam, Balaban and others make the upstairs fizzle with snobbery and unspoken resentments. Meanwhile the downstairs staff are just as well drawn and delivered by Mirren, Owen, Jacobi, Watson, Bates, Grant, Atkins and others. Stephen Fry is fairly minor within the plot but he is delightfully comic, even if he doesn't quite fit into the film that well.

Overall this is a classy film very much in the Altman style – an ensemble piece of characters and relationships that we are left to drift within. Some viewers will find it frustrating that it takes so long to get to the point where the mystery kicks in but I actually found this to be the weaker aspect of the film and the most enjoyable parts were the well written characters and dialogue, which deservedly won Fellowes his Oscar.


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