The Remains of the Day

  • U
  • James Ivory (1993)
  • UK / US
  • 128 min
The Remains of the Day
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

This impeccable adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's Booker Prize-winning novel stars Anthony Hopkins as the emotionally repressed butler and Emma Thompson as the housekeeper he possibly loves. Framed in flashbacks, the story is an English twist on Jean Renoir's classic La Règle du Jeu, a broad view of a narrow class of aristocrats on the verge of self-destruction. Co-starring James Fox as a fascistic English lord and Christopher Reeve as an American diplomat (the past and present owners of Darlington Hall), it is as much a study in power and politics as it is Hopkins's blinkered view of the world from behind the gleaming silver salvers. The 1930s and 40s settings are immaculately staged, and, unlike James Ivory's earlier dramatisations of EM Forster, this picture has real backbone: Ivory's direction is alive to every nuance and chink of the sherry glasses.

Plot Summary

A butler in a 1930s aristocratic household has dedicated himself to serving his master, putting duty above all else and repressing his affection for the housekeeper, who also happens to be in love with him. On the outbreak of war, the nobleman's Nazi sympathies come to light, marking a change of heart in the old servant, who looks back with misgivings about the loyalty that may have cost him dearly. Period drama, with Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson and James Fox.

Cast and crew

Cast

Stevens
Anthony Hopkins
Miss Kenton
Emma Thompson
Lord Darlington
James Fox
Lewis
Christopher Reeve
Father
Peter Vaughan
Cardinal
Hugh Grant
Dupont D'Ivry
Michel Lonsdale
Benn
Tim Pigott-Smith
Auctioneer
John Haycraft
Landlady
Caroline Hunt
Mrs Mortimer
Paula Jacobs
Charlie
Ben Chaplin
George
Steve Dibben
Housemaid
Abigail Harrison
Spencer
Patrick Godfrey
Sir Leonard Bax
Peter Cellier
Canon Tufnell
Peter Halliday
Trimmer
Terence Bayler
Viscount Biggs
Jeffry Wickham
Scullery boy
Hugh Sweetman
Baroness
Brigitte Kahn
Doctor Meredith
John Savident
Postmaster
Tony Aitken
Elsa
Emma Lewis
Irma
Joanna Joseph
Sir Geoffrey Wren
Rupert Vansittart
Wren's friend
Christopher M Brown
Lizzie
Lena Headey
Harry Smith
Paul Copley
Publican
Ian Redford
Publican's wife
Jo Kendall
Andrews
Steven Beard
Doctor Carlisle
Pip Torrens
Prime minister
Frank Shelley
Lord Halifax
Peter Eyre

Crew

Director
James Ivory

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Columbia Tri-Star Films (UK)
Guidance: 
Contains some swearing.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate U
Categories
Drama

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