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The Remains Of The Day

1993

PG CC

Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson star in this moving story of a butler's steely devotion to his master and the high-spirited young woman who threatens to crack his reserve.

Starring:
John Haycraft, Christopher Reeve
Runtime:
2 hours, 14 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director James Ivory
Starring John Haycraft, Christopher Reeve
Supporting actors Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Caroline Hunt, James Fox, Peter Vaughan, Paula Jacobs, Ben Chaplin, Steve Dibben, Abigail Hopkins, Patrick Godfrey, Peter Cellier, Peter Halliday, Hugh Grant, Terence Bayler, Jeffry Wickham, Hugh Sweetman, Michael Lonsdale, Brigitte Kahn
Studio Columbia Pictures
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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.
Read more ›
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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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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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