The Remains of the Day

November 19th, 1993


The Remains of the Day

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A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years post World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty has been.

Release Year: 1993

Rating: 7.9/10 (26,618 voted)

Critic's Score: 84/100

Director: James Ivory

Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, John Haycraft

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 post-WWI Britain. The possibility of romance and his master's cultivation of ties with the Nazi cause challenge his carefully maintained veneer of servitude.

Writers: Kazuo Ishiguro, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

John Haycraft - Auctioneer
Christopher Reeve - Jack Lewis
Anthony Hopkins - James Stevens
Emma Thompson - Miss Kenton
Caroline Hunt - Landlady
James Fox - Lord Darlington
Peter Vaughan - William Stevens
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 - Reginald Cardinal

Release Date: 19 November 1993

Filming Locations: Badminton House, Gloucestershire, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $11,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $1,500,000 (USA)

Gross: $22,954,968 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Hugh Grant stated that it is the best film he have ever done.

Anachronisms: The road markings at the junction outside the George Inn in Norton St Philip are modern; dashed double white lines were not around in the 1950s.

Miss Kenton: Look at it! Is that or is it not the wrong chinaman?
Stevens: Miss Kenton, I'm very busy. I am surprised that you have nothing better to do than stand around all day...
Miss Kenton: Mr. Stevens, look at that chinaman and tell me the truth!
Stevens: Miss Kenton, I would ask you to keep your voice down. What would the other servants think to hear us shouting at the top of our voices about... chinamen?
Miss Kenton: And I would ask you, Mr. Stevens, to turn around and look at the chinaman.

User Review

Yes, They Can Still Make 'Em Like They Used To

Rating: 10/10

Wow, what a wonderful movie this turned out to be!

I didn't check this movie out until the fall of 2004 after reading a number of positive reviews, enough to pique my curiosity. I was glad I did. In fact, I was so impressed with this film that a week later I went out and bought the book, which is even better.

First of all, the film is a tremendous visual treat. There are some great interior scenes of the Darlington mansion, and great colors inside and in the surrounding outside scenery. This is simply a beautiful film.

Second, the acting of Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson was spectacular. They were riveting. The way they deliver dialog and the expressions of their faces.....magnificent acting. Thompson's sad look in the back of the bus near the end of the movie is the saddest, most haunting look on a person's face I have ever seen in 50 years of movie watching.

Hopkins, one of the best actors of this generation, provides a tremendous character study of a man who has been taught that to be the best in his profession, he must suppress all emotion. In doing so, he never learns to think for himself and he misses out on what could have been the love of his life. In that regards, this is a very frustrating story.

However, this isn't just a tragic romantic story. Hopkins' character is wonderful example, too, of unselfish devotion and dignified servitude in the face of any kind of circumstance.

This is an extremely beautiful, intelligent and sensitive film. If when people tell you, "They don't make 'em like they used to," show them this film.


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