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Gosford Park

758 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Academy Award winner for Best Original Screenplay, Gosford Park is a whodunit as only director Robert Altman could do it. As a hunting party gathers at the country estate, no one is aware that before the weekend is over, someone will be murdered - twice! The police are baffled but the all-seeing, all-hearing servants know that almost everyone had a motive. This critically-acclaimed murder mystery features a who's who of celebrated actors. With a diverse cast of characters - all with something to hide - it'll keep you guessing right to the surprising end. Gosford Park proves that murder can be such an inconvenience.

Gosford Park finds director Robert Altman in sumptuously fine form indeed. From the opening shots, as the camera peers through the trees at an opulent English country estate, Altman exploits the 1930s period setting and whodunit formula of the film expertly. Aristocrats gather together for a weekend shooting party with their dutiful servants in tow, and the upstairs/downstairs division of the classes is perfectly tailored to Altman's method (as employed in Nashville and Short Cuts) of overlapping bits of dialogue and numerous subplots in order to betray underlying motives and the sins that propel them. Greed, vengeance, snobbery, and lust stir comic unrest as the near dizzying effect of brisk script turns is allayed by perhaps Altman's strongest ensemble to date. First and foremost, Maggie Smith is marvelous as Constance, a dependent countess with a quip for every occasion; Michael Gambon, as the ill-fated host, Sir William McCordle, is one of the most palpably salacious characters ever on screen; Kristin Scott Thomas is perfectly cold yet sexy as Lady Sylvia, Sir William's wife; and Helen Mirren, Emily Watson, and Clive Owen are equally memorable as key characters from the bustling servants' quarters below. Gosford Park manages to be fabulously entertaining while exposing human shortcomings, compromises, and our endless need for confession. --Fionn Meade

Special Features

  • Feature Commentary with Director Robert Altman
  • Feature Commentary with Screenwriter Julian Fellowes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • The Making of Gosford Park
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Coming Attractions
  • The Authenticity of Gosford Park
  • Cast and Filmmaker's Q&A Session

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas
    • Directors: Robert Altman
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: R (Restricted)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: June 25, 2002
    • Run Time: 138 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (758 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00005JKNF
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,998 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Gosford Park" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    281 of 286 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 14, 2004
    Format: VHS Tape
    The upperclass friends and relations of Sir William McCordle (Michael Gambon) arrive at his country house for a weekend of shooting, accompanied by maids, footmen, and valets, all of whom will be staying under one roof. Sir William is a mean-spirited and self-centered old man, married to a much younger, emotionally distant wife (Kristin Scott Thomas), with many family members dependent upon his continuing largesse. The hilariously waspish Countess of Trentham (Maggie Smith), who believes she has a lifetime stipend, arrives with young Mary Maceachran (Kelly MacDonald), who is trying valiantly to become a good lady's maid. Ivor Novello (Jeremy Northam), a Hollywood star, and Morris Weissman (Bob Balaban), a producer of Charlie Chan movies, are the only guests without aristocratic backgrounds and inherited privilege. The atmosphere of the house, filled with venomous "friends" and relations, soon becomes even more poisonous.

    The "below stairs" lives of the servants are also fully revealed, as they share living quarters, eat meals together, tend to the laundry and cooking, and gossip about their employers. The butler Jennings (Alan Bates) and the head housekeeper (Helen Mirren) run the household and try to guarantee that no real-world cares will intrude upon the lives of their employers. Since "upstairs" and "downstairs" occasionally meet very privately at night, secrets abound, many of them secrets of long standing. When Sir William is poisoned and stabbed ("Trust Sir William to be murdered twice"), nearly everyone has a motive for wanting him dead.

    For director Robert Altman, the primary focus of the film is on the characters, their way of life, and their values, with the murder mystery secondary.
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    156 of 170 people found the following review helpful By Themis-Athena on February 23, 2004
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Well, strictly speaking he doesn't of course - Robert Altman never simply tags onto an established genre; he plays with it and makes it his own by turning it upside down. So, while the idea for "Gosford Park" may have been inspired by murder mysteries "Christie style" and by the likes of "Brideshead Revisited" and the BBC series about the Bellamy's Eaton Square household, we leave familiar territory the moment we enter the estate ... through the servants' entrance; for although large parts of the action take place "upstairs," it is manifestly told from a "downstairs" perspective.Read more ›
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    60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Valinorean on July 4, 2009
    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    I've looked forward to seeing this wonderful film in Blu for the longest time. Now that I have it I have to say that the picture quality is not at all good--in fact, it looks no better than DVD does on a decent DVD player. Such an opportunity wasted. And, I find I must keep my standard def version of this disc because none--that's right NONE of the excellent and informative special features from the SD version are on the Blu-ray version. There are no special features at all!
    This is a very underwhelming release of a best picture nominated film. It deserved better. I didn't know how many stars to give it, but I'll say 5 star film, 1 star picture quality, so I gave it 3 stars.
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    31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By azindn on December 15, 2002
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    The collector's edition DVD of Gosford Park provides comments by Altman and writer, Julian Fellowes as well as documentary on filming the film, out takes and filmography data. Fellowes comments, however, are wonderful insight to the history of English country house weekends, the arrogance of classism in British social history, as well as providing delightful rememberances of the author's own relations from whom he drew heavily developing his characters.
    This is a film of seamless performances from every actor and underscores the strength of theatrical training in the British system over Hollywood's studio celebrity system. A little bit Agetha Christie, but not really, the story of a dismal weekend in the country is made all the better by Altman's direction, or ability to direct without interference in his actor's performances.
    Stellar performances include Maggie Smith (Prime of Miss Jean Brody), delightful as the Countess without a pot to p*#s in, Michael Gambon (The Singing Detective), the victim of greedy in-laws and dog-haters, Jeremy Northam as Ivor Novello delivers blissful musical entertainment to guests and audience alike, Emily Watson (Metroland) demonstrates why she is one of the best young actors working today, and Helen Mirren and Clive Owen are mysterious players in the upstairs-downstairs dilemma. The depth of cast talent is akin to an archaeology dig, it just keeps getting better as time passes.
    Gosford Park is a film that makes film watching a pleasure. In the hands of excellent players, a director who knows how to stage shots, and with a screen play that is both witty and informed, the audience can't loose. This is one of the best films of the year, it should be included in every film buff's library.
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    Yes, there are subtitles in English on the Gosford Park DVD. I know, I used them.
    Nov 21, 2011 by Mischief Girl |  See all 7 posts
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