The Remains of the Day

1993

The Remains of the Day

Critics Consensus

Smart, elegant, and blessed with impeccable performances from Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, The Remains of the Day is a Merchant-Ivory classic.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 40
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Movie Info

Filmed with the usual meticulous attention to period and detail of films from Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, The Remains of the Day is based on a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. Anthony Hopkins plays Stevens, the "perfect" butler to a prosperous British household of the 1930s. He is so unswervingly devoted to serving his master, a well-meaning but callow British lord (James Fox), that he shuts himself off from all emotions and familial relationships. New housekeeper Miss Kenton (Emma Thompson) tries to warm him up and awaken his humanity. But when duty calls, Stevens won't even attend his own dying father's last moments on earth. The butler also refuses to acknowledge the fact that his master is showing signs of pro-Nazi sentiments. Disillusioned by Hitler's duplicity, the master dies an embittered man, and only then does Stevens come to realize how his own silence has helped bring about this sad situation. Years later, regretting his lost opportunities in life, he tries once more to make contact with Miss Kenton, the only person who'd ever cared enough to seek out the human being inside the butler's cold veneer. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Emma Thompson
as Miss Kenton
James Fox
as Lord Darlington
Hugh Grant
as Cardinal
Michael Lonsdale
as Dupont D'Ivry
John Haycraft
as Auctioneer
Caroline Hunt
as Landlady
Paula Jacobs
as Mrs. Mortimer the Cook
Ben Chaplin
as Charlie, Head Footman
Steve Dibben
as George,- 2nd Footman
Peter Cellier
as Sir Leonard Bax
Peter Halliday
as Canon Tufnell
Jeffrey Wickham
as Viscount Bigge
Hugh Sweetman
as Scullery Boy
Brigitte Kahn
as Baroness
John Savident
as Dr Meredith
Tony Aitken
as Postmaster
Rupert Vansittart
as Sir Geoffrey Wren
Christopher Brown
as Wren's Friend
Paul Copley
as Harry Smith
Ian Redford
as Publican
Jo Kendall
as Publican's Wife
Steven Beard
as Andrews
Pip Torrens
as Dr. Carlisle
Frank Shelley
as Prime Minister
Peter Eyre
as Lord Halifax
Jestyn Phillips
as Foreign Office Official
Wolf Kahler
as German Ambassador
Frank Holtje
as German Embassy Official
Andreas Tons
as German Embassy Official
Roger McKern
as Police Constable
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News & Interviews for The Remains of the Day

Critic Reviews for The Remains of the Day

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (9)

  • The actors keep this interesting, but as a story it drifts and rambles.

    Feb 11, 2008 | Full Review…
  • All the meticulousness, intelligence, taste and superior acting that one expects from Merchant Ivory productions have been brought to bear.

    Feb 11, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Who else but Merchant Ivory to give the big-screen treatment to Ishiguro's Booker Prize-winning novel about class, fascism and the stiff upper lip?

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Here's a film for adults. It's also about time to recognize that Mr. Ivory is one of our finest directors, something that critics tend to overlook because most of his films have been literary adaptations.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 5/5
  • What do you call filmmakers who make literary entertainment box office in the age of Beavis and Butt-bead? Try miracle workers.

    May 12, 2001 | Rating: 4.5/5
  • A subtle, thoughtful movie.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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