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The Remains of the Day (Special Edition)

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Editorial Reviews

Oscar(r)-winners Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs) and Emma Thompson (Howards End) reunite with the acclaimed Merchant Ivory filmmaking team for this extraordinary and moving story of blind devotion and repressed love. Hopkins stars as Stevens, the perfect English butler - an ideal carried by him to fanatical lengths - as he serves his master, Lord Darlington, beautifully played by James Fox (The Servant). Darlington, like many other members of the British establishment in the 1930s, is duped by the Nazis into trying to establish a rapport between themselves and the British government.Thompson stars as the estate's housekeeper, a high-spirited, strong-minded young woman who watches the goings-on upstairs with horror. Despite her apprehensions, she and Stevens gradually fall in love, though neither will admit it, and only give vent to their charged feelings via fierce arguments. Marvelously acted by a supporting cast that includes Christopher Reeve and Hugh Grant.


Special Features

  • HBO Making Of Featurette - "The Remains of the Day: The Filmmakers' Journey" & "Blind Loyalty, Hollow Honor: England's Fatal Flaw"
  • Deleted Footage
  • Exclusive Featurette
  • Documentary featuring: Interviews with Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Reeves and other cast & crew, Costume & Production Design, and Location Footage

Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Christopher Reeve, Hugh Grant, Lena Headey
  • Directors: James Ivory
  • Writers: Kazuo Ishiguro, Ruth Prawer Jhavbala
  • Producers: Ismail Merchant, Mike Nichols
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • 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: Columbia Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2001
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (365 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXC9
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,110 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Remains of the Day (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

157 of 165 people found the following review helpful By Nearly Nubile on November 29, 2003
Format: DVD
This Merchant Ivory masterpiece is a must-own DVD: not only if you are intrigued by the labyrinthine world of English genteel lifestyles (butlers, under-butlers, footmen and the like), or some splendid British dialogue, but if you fancy an understated cinematic experience that still stirs emotion and circumspection comparable to that provoked by the written word.
Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson play the dignified servants of a manor between the walls of which "great affairs of the world are decided." Both had me in their clutches at the very outset (set against the backdrop of the English countryside and exquisitely complimented by the music of Richard Robbins) and never let go. I was also somewhat surprised to see an early Hugh Grant and a young Ben Chaplin -- both before they became famous, and you can see why they got where they are today.
Each and every screen of the movie is riveting, and all characters play their parts impeccably. With the possible exception perhaps of Christopher Reeves' character -- the brazen, world-saving American who calls other European topdog politicians "amateurs." Yet, thats a minor gripe, and entirely overshadowed by Anthony Hopkins who so subtly reveals all the feelings that his character works so hard to repress that the pain is almost palpable.
There is also a nuanced romantic subplot, nothing is ever shown in somatic expressions of hugging and kissing, yet the tension between Hopkins and Thomson is one of the most memorable you will ever see. Unrequited love, was it?
The average moviegoer might find the film slow, but anyone interested in watching great actors excelling at their craft will be mesmerized!
Highly recommended!
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87 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Jarmick on November 26, 2001
Format: DVD
Arguably Remains of the Day is the finest Mechant/Ivory film ever made. Anthony Hopkins delivers perhaps his finest performance with an excellent ensemble cast that includes co-star Emma Thompson and James Fox. You'll also see Christopher Reeve and newcomer Hugh Grant on board.
Merchant/Ivory films are often too precious and too tastefully presented to get overly excited about. Despite how beautiful they may look, I often find myself restless and then unsatisfied with their films that are often too stuffy and airless to ever experience more than once.
Remains of the Day is a little masterpiece of a film -- A wonderful character study and period drama worth repeat viewings.
The story is wonderfully framed in the present day of the 1950's, which sets the mood to enjoy the film's exquisite earlier period details. The film's stuffiness is natural because the story centers around the James Stevens (Anthony Hopkins) a butler who has takes great pride in being in complete servitude to his employer Lord Darlington (James Fox) and the large English country home he attends to.
Most of the film concerns itself with the late 1930's and early 1940's during World War 2 and Stevens' recollections are centered around his very proper relationship with Sally Kenton (Emma Thompson) who worked as a domestic in the home along with him for many years. Perhaps he can convince the new present day owners of the manor and to let Sally Kenton again work with him once again.
Kenton and Stevens' made a great Domestic team, Stevens' recalls. In flashback we see Steven's life working as a butler for Lord Darlington and watching some of the influential politicians, Lords and ladies pass through the manor hallways.
Hopkins' performance is one to savor and study.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By James L. on June 14, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson give superlative performances as the head butler and housekeeper at Darlington Hall in pre-WWII England, where personal and international dramas are enacted. Set in the present, the film uses flashbacks to tell the stories of servants and Lord Darlington, a misguided gentleman who believed appeasement with Germany was the solution in the years leading to the Second World War. Hopkins is his very officious butler, a man who places duty and propriety above all things, even his true feelings for housekeeper Thompson. She is more forthcoming with her emotions, but she cannot bring him to open himself up, including a painfully well-acted scene where Thompson tries to get Hopkins to reveal to her the book he is reading.
If you are looking for loads of action and music-video style editing, this film will not be for you. It is a character and class study, and it succeeds admirably well on both levels. Hopkins and Thompson are both able to communicate subtle emotions with a simple pause or a look. The supporting cast is also fine. The screenplay allows the characters and drama to unfold slowly, establishing a feeling for the time and for the differences in class that existed in the era.
Remains of the Day is directed with understated style, allowing the setting and characters to dominate. Although it may be more literary than most films, don't mistake it for something stuffy or inaccessible. It's great drama about all too real characters that reminds us of the impact of the unspoken word.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
From the very beginning of the opening titles, set against the backdrop of the English countryside and exquisitely complimented by the music of Richard Robbins, you get the reassuring feeling that you are in for a cinematic treat. Well, 134 minutes later, your reassurances are confirmed, and within this time frame this movie manages to span the full range of emotions with such grace and dignity that you are certain you have seen one of the great motion pictures. Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson reunite (first paired in Howard's End) with the acclaimed Merchant Ivory film making team for this extraordinary and moving story of blind devotion-to-duty and forsaken love. Hopkins stars as Mister Stevens, the perfect English butler, an ideal carried by him to perfectionist lengths, as he serves his English master, Lord Darlington (impeccably played by masterful James Fox). Lord Darlington, like many other members of the British establishment in the 1930s, is duped by the Nazis into trying to establish a rapport between themselves and the British government. Thompson stars as Darlington hall's housekeeper, a high-spirited, strong-minded young woman who watches the goings-on upstairs with quiet disbelief. Marvelously well acted by a supporting cast that includes, among many others, Christopher Reeve as American Congressman Jack Lewis and then newcomer Hugh Grant as Lord Darlington's Godson, Mr. Cardinal, this movie captures on film a bygone lifestyle few are aquainted with, in as flawless a fashion as any you will ever see. Masterpiece!
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