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Howards End (1992)



Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 36
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 3

A superbly-mounted adaptation of E.M. Forster's tale of British class tension, with exceptional performances all round, Howard's End ranks among the best of Merchant-Ivory's work.


Average Rating: 9.5/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 0

A superbly-mounted adaptation of E.M. Forster's tale of British class tension, with exceptional performances all round, Howard's End ranks among the best of Merchant-Ivory's work.



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 12,965

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Movie Info

One of the best Ismail Merchant/James Ivory films, this adaptation of E. M. Forster's classic 1910 novel shows in careful detail the injuriously rigid British class consciousness of the early 20th century. The film's catalyst is "poor relation" Margaret Schlegel (Emma Thompson), who inherits part of the estate of Ruth Wilcox (Vanessa Redgrave), an upper-class woman whom she had befriended. The film's principal characters are divided by caste: aristocratic industrial Henry Wilcox (Anthony


Drama, Romance, Art House & International

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Jun 18, 2001

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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All Critics (36) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (3) | DVD (13)

The performances are impeccable, but honours go to Thompson, who manages to make Margaret's saintliness actually seem seductive.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's time for legislation decreeing that no one be allowed to make a screen adaptation of a novel of any quality whatsoever if Ismail Merchant, James Ivory and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala are available, and if they elect to do the job.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film serves Forster by taking to heart the book's epigraph: "Only connect."

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Merchant and Ivory have regathered many of the cast and crew from their earlier films to work on this reproduction to exquisite effect.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A film seething with anger, passion, greed and emotional violence. That the characters are generally well-behaved says less about their manners than their inhibitions.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

British class conflict; ok for older teens.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Say "Merchant-Ivory" to most cinephiles and watch their eyelids sag.

November 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Comment (1)
Slant Magazine

The pairings of Margaret and Henry, and Helen and Leonard, attempt to cross fault lines widened by class, and the tragedy of Howards End is in the absolute necessity and absolute inefficacy of doing so at their moment in history. [Blu-ray]

October 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Along with Room With a View, this films represents the best of the Ismail-Merchant literary adaptations, one in which contents and style are congruent and harmonious.

October 27, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Comment (1)

Hopkins and Thompson are so perfect together it's hard not to buy them as a couple

February 22, 2005 Full Review Source:

The best of the countless Merchant Ivory productions - and arguably the most appreciated by those who don't even like Merchant Ivory movies.

February 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Marvellously well done like its predecessors, but here teetering toward prestige.

June 16, 2004
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Brilliantly written, directed and performed.

June 5, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

An exquisite screen version of E.M. Forster's 1910 novel.

July 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Freed from the subtending contexts that impugn its good name, Howards End is a worthy accomplishment: a portrait, and not an instance, of an England fueled by repressed guilts and dubious choices.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

Merchant-Ivory at their dullest.

December 1, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

At a time when the success of the abysmal Wayne's World may usher in a new wave of cretinous teen movies, Howards End seems like a glorious anachronism, the last remnant of a whole different mode of more civilized filmmaking.

January 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Movieline

Hopkins, as the Wilcox patriarch, is a combination of sensitivity and intractableness, turning in a modulated performance that dispels all lurid memories of Hannibal Lecter.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

The engaging cast could not possibly be better.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for Howards End

Howards End is so stunningly beautiful it's like looking at a 140-minute long postcard. It's also just as slow-paced, though. And quite talky. But watching these incredible characters talk, quarrel and love is what makes this film a pleasure. The cast is impeccable: Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Vanessa Redgrave, Samuel West, Nicola Duffett and Anthony Hopkins deliver top-notch performances.
July 4, 2011
Good movie with insights into different classes.
July 14, 2007
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

perfect for the anglophile
March 26, 2007
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

    1. Margaret Schlegel: Discussion keeps a house alive.
    – Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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Foreign Titles

  • Howard's End (DE)
  • Howard's End (UK)
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