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Age of Innocence (1993)

Daniel Day Lewis , Michelle Pfeiffer , Martin Scorsese  |  PG |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Daniel Day Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder, Richard E. Grant, Miriam Margolyes
  • Directors: Martin Scorsese
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
  • DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004499LWG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,060 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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  • Editorial Reviews

    Martin Scorsese, one of the great directors of our time, directs Oscar(r)-winner Daniel Day-Lewis (1989 Best Actor, My Left Foot), Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder in a brilliant adaptation of Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. A ravishing romance about three wealthy New Yorkers caught in a tragic love triangle, the ironically-titled story chronicles the grandeur and hypocrisy of high society in the 1870s. At the center of the film is Newland Archer (Day-Lewis), an upstanding attorney who secretly longs for a more passionate life. Engaged to the lovely but ordinary socialite May Welland (Ryder), Newland resigns himself to a life of quiet complacency. But when May's unconventional cousin returns to New York amid social and sexual scandal, Newland risks everything for a chance at true love. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE is a spellbinding portrait of hidden romance and regret.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    162 of 168 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Love, Loneliness and the Strictures of Society. June 7, 2004
    Format:DVD
    Imagine living in a world where life is governed by intricate rituals; a world "balanced so precariously that its harmony [can] be shattered by a whisper" (Wharton); a world ruled by self-declared experts on form, propriety and family history - read: scandal -; where everything is labeled and yet, people are not; where in order not to disturb society's smooth surface nothing is ever expressed or even thought of directly, and where communication occurs almost exclusively by way of symbols, which are unknown to the outsider and, like any secret code, by their very encryption guarantee his or her permanent exclusion.

    Such, in faithful imitation of Victorian England, was the society of late 19th century upper class New York. Into this society returns, after having grown up and lived all her adult life in Europe, American-born Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer), after leaving a cruel and uncaring husband. She already causes scandal by the mere manner of her return; but not knowing the secret rituals of the society she has entered, she quickly brings herself further into disrepute by receiving an unmarried man, by being seen in the company of a man only tolerated by virtue of his financial success and his marriage to the daughter of one of this society's most respected families, by arriving late to a dinner in which she has expressly been included to rectify a prior general snub, by leaving a drawing room conversation to instead join a gentleman sitting by himself - and worst of all, by openly contemplating divorce, which will most certainly open up a whole Pandora's box of "oddities" and "unpleasantness": the strongest terms ever used to express moral disapproval in this particular social context.
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    58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE May 18, 2000
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    Martin Scorsese has made a reputation of conveying the essence of the human spirit through images of toughness and violence. On the surface, The Age of Innocence seems about as far removed from films like Raging Bull and Goodfellas as east is from west. But look a little closer and you'll see that this is most definitely a Scorsese film. For it's the characters, and rightly so, that have always been Scorsese's "means to the end." In this movie, it is the characters and the potent tension building among them that takes center stage. The Age of Innocence could be compared to a sumptuous and lavish banquet. Elmer Bernstein's score is powerful and moves along in perfect counterpoint to cinematographer Michael Ballhaus's visuals and their vivid colors--the crimsons and yellows of voluptuous roses, the flashes of red and white that mark transition scenes, the full-course gourmet meals. The costumes and set design are so perfect that it's not hard to believe one has travelled back in time to nineteenth-century New York City. The Age of Innocence is an adaptation of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Edith Wharton. Set in New York City in the 1870s, America is, at that time, every bit as Victorian as England ever was and even a hint of immorality can bring ruin to a family. Enter Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer) who has lived most of her life in Europe and is now attempting to escape from a disatrous marriage. Her first meeting with Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is quiet and proper, yet smoulders with yet-to-be-spoken desires, for Archer is engaged to Ellen's cousin, May (Winona Ryder). Read more ›
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    67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A small masterpiece of smoldering unrequited passion November 2, 2001
    Format:VHS Tape
    This 1993 film, directed by Martin Scorsese, brings the Edith Wharton novel to life. Here it is -- all the social comment and smoldering unrequited passions originally intended by the author. And now it's in living color with academy award winning costume design reflecting New York society in the 1870s.
    Daniel-Day Lewis is cast as Newland Archer, the upper class young man in conflict between social convention and desire. Michelle Pfieffer plays the Countess Ellen Olenska, who has already defied convention by marrying a European and is further defying convention by leaving her husband and returning to New York. However, in spite of his attraction to the countess, Newland Archer marries the beautiful but seemingly simple May Welland, played by Wynona Ryder, whose outstanding performance won her an academy award nomination.
    The film is woven together by the excellent off-screen narration by Joanne Woodward, reading excerpts from the book describing the nuances of social behavior and unspoken thoughts of the characters. The entire package comes across as a small masterpiece. I loved the book, but there is nothing like actually seeing the ballrooms, the gowns, the dinnerware and the food. There is nothing like seeing how very subtle gestures of a glance, a raised eyebrow or a change in tone of voice can have so much meaning. And there is one scene in which Newland Archer struggles with the buttons of the Countess's glove that captures an erotic sensuality in a very special way.
    However, a book can be read over many days or weeks. It can be put down and thought about, the characters carried in the mind's eyes for a while. The subtleties and nuances have time to live with the reader. A film, however, must be watched all at once.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    3.0 out of 5 stars Sad Story
    The performances were good but the movie was kind of slow. It is a good example of the tragedy some people go through because of societal rules, regulations, preferences, and... Read more
    Published 8 days ago by JACK
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    One of the best movie!
    Published 10 days ago by Cheng Zhang
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    loved it
    Published 17 days ago by josh
    5.0 out of 5 stars Superb movie
    Although I watch 1-2 movies per month on DVD, I buy them very rarely -- about one every 10 years, but this gripping drama is so well made and acted, I wanted to have it always... Read more
    Published 17 days ago by Max Cottrell
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great casting, wonderfully lush visually
    Great casting, wonderfully lush visually, closely follows the novel. I especially enjoyed Joann Woodward as the narrator, a gentle but wise commentator on the social life of upper... Read more
    Published 19 days ago by Margaret A. Taylor
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Has the most beautiful and gorgeous HD picture and this is a great movie.
    Published 25 days ago by DH
    1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
    Blah. Had to watch the movie for a film studies class... Not good
    Published 27 days ago by Justin Loeffler
    5.0 out of 5 stars and a good part of the enjoyment is in just the extraordinary ...
    I've watched this movie three times, and a good part of the enjoyment is in just the extraordinary visual details the director has put into this movie - from the incredible jewels,... Read more
    Published 27 days ago by Kathleen M. Dwyer
    3.0 out of 5 stars Just glad all those old norms were not enforced in my ...
    Interesting and heartbreaking. Just glad all those old norms were not enforced in my generation.
    Published 29 days ago by Karen Labat
    5.0 out of 5 stars how beautiful the sets were
    I've watched this a dozen times and admire the performances, the story about the times the people lived in, how well the story was told,
    how beautiful the sets were. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Millicent Aynes
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    The Victorian Trading Company Could Have Catered to This Film
    I've tried purchasing from the Victorian Trading Company. Their customer service is absolutely terrible. I had a minor problem with my order and tried contacting them multiple times through email and over the phone to resolve it. I never was able to get a response over email, and they will... Read More
    Jan 11, 2012 by a customer |  See all 4 posts
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