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Howards End [DVD]

Helena Bonham Carter , Emma Thompson , James Ivory    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Hopkins, Samuel West
  • Directors: James Ivory
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Odyssey Video
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Sep 2004
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002W13RA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,155 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Howards End is E M Forster's beautifully subtle story of the criss-crossing paths of the privileged and those they disdain--and of a remarkable pair of women who can see beyond class distinctions. Dramatic and tragic but also surprisingly funny, this James Ivory film focuses on a pair of unmarried sisters (Emma Thompson, who won an Oscar, and Helena Bonham Carter) who befriend a poor young clerk (Sam West) and, without meaning to, ruin his life. Meanwhile, Thompson also makes the acquaintance of a dying neighbour (Vanessa Redgrave), who leaves her a family home in her will--which her husband (Anthony Hopkins) destroys. But, ironically, he meets and falls in love with Thompson, even as their paths once more intersect with the increasingly miserable young clerk. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's beautifully economical script also won an Oscar.--Marshall Fine

Product Description

Encounter three social classes of the England of the beginning of the century: the victorian capitalists (the Wilcoxes) considering themselves as aristocrats, whose only god is money ; the enlightened bourgeois (the Schlegels), humanistic and philanthropist ; and the workers (the Basts), fighting to survive. The Schlegel sisters' humanism will be torn apart as they try both to softly knock down the Wilcox's prejudices and to help the Basts.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Merchant and Ivory�s Best 26 Oct 2002
By taking a rest HALL OF FAME
Acting talent alone does not ensure a great film, but when you have a lineup like, "Howard's End", creating a bad film would be a chore. Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter, and Joseph Bennett are just the start of a phenomenal cast that brings this EM Forrester story to the screen. When you then have the duo of Merchant and Ivory together with all the talent they attract to create these period pieces, the result is always special. Some of their films are better than others, but all are very worthwhile.

This film explores the results of reasonably small human actions that are greatly magnified, either through indifference or emotions that take control of common sense and a reasoned response to a given plight. The events and the consequences are exacerbated as the players come from 3 very different strata of London Society. And in this tale the three not only meet, they mix, and the results are dramatic at the very least, and tragic at their worst. The differing groups even join when Emma Thompson marries in to the highest level leaving her sister in the middle, while she, Helena Bonham Carter, insists on crashing every convention when she champions the cause of a poor couple whose plight she blames on her new in-laws. The relationship between the sisters that begins the film as warm and humorous, becomes strained, damaged, and nearly severed before the film's end.

This is one of the richer Merchant and Ivory productions as it is not confined to a few picturesque homes, but is expanded to include vast cityscapes full of period transportation people and their costumes. This is not my favorite film they have done, but is certainly excellent when compared to films in general and very good for this remarkable team of filmmakers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I first read the book and became hooked on E. M. Forster and I am now hooked on the cast of Howard's End. It is sure another success with the Merchant Ivory team and the casting director Celetia Fox, A good choice Celestia. Every actor was just how I imagined the characters to be, it was wonderful, I now look forward to seeing them in other things. But this is one Film I never want to Finish I wish it to go on and on.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of this classic Merchant Ivory production of “Howard’s End”. Yet this uniquely British film is available on BLU RAY only in the USA or FRANCE - and not in the UK. But which issue to buy?

Unfortunately the uber-desirable USA Criterion release is REGION-A LOCKED although it doesn't say so on Amazon.
So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't).
Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the FRENCH issue is REGION B – so that will play on UK machines.

Check you’re purchasing the right version before you buy the pricey Criterion release...
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous piece 4 Jan 2006
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Ismail Merchant and James Ivory will probably be best remembered for their gorgeous productions of E.M. Forster novels, of which 'Howard's End' is second to none. How can one fail, given their winning formula of lush period settings, perfect musical accompaniment, and flawless matching of character to actor? This particular Merchant/Ivory film was nominated for countless awards, including nine Academy Awards, among them Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress.
The story revolves around the Schlegel sisters, Margaret and Helen, and their involvement with various characters including a ruthless businessman and his dying wife, and a down-on-his-luck day clerk. Margaret is the sensible sister, caring but careful, while Helen is the idealist, out to save the world, without realising how condescending she can be in attempting to do so. Their brother is almost an afterthought in the story. Margaret is portrayed by Emma Thompson, veteran Shakespearean and British actress; Helen is played by Merchant-Ivory veteran Helena Bonham Carter. Other players include Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins, James Wilby (also in other Merchant-Ivory productions), Samuel West, and the great Vanessa Redgrave. (Look for Prunella Scales, best known as Sybil Fawlty from 'Fawlty Towers' in what might be described as an extended cameo role.)
The characters show some of the principal social class divisions of late Victorian/Edwardian England. The Wilcoxes are a successful business family, unlettered and conservative; the Schlegels are genteel aristocrats with an idealistic bent but slowly declining economic fortunes; the Basts are underprivileged but yearning for more.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect movie 18 May 2002
This is one of the great film's of the last 20 years. It is perfectly cast - although Vanessa Redgrave's Ruth Wilcox seems an odd choice at first. But, oh, what she does with it! However, it's Emma Thompson's film. She IS Margaret Schlegel! I have watched this film about 10 times, and I seem to enjoy it more and more - like a marvellous wine.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 13 days ago by A.MCQUILLAN
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect another "The Remains of the Days" ...
This movie is really a thin story compared to the glorious masterpiece: "The Remains of the Days" (choose that one, that's why this only gets one star). Read more
Published 13 days ago by Peter Thomsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this film .Will use sellear again.
Published 1 month ago by Jane McGhin
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 2 months ago by IAN DORAN
3.0 out of 5 stars Howards End
A wonderful film. brilliant cast. I would strongly recommend that those who enjoy it to also see "A Room With a View"
Published 3 months ago by Joan Gray
3.0 out of 5 stars Good acting, but get's boring
The acting in this is very good, but it gets boring so quickly. All the whole thing is is a few Victorians wondering around and looking a bit flustered.
Published 3 months ago by M. Wilkinson
2.0 out of 5 stars pretty but pretty boring
This would be the third Merchant Ivory production I have watched. they are always pretty, well cast, with great costumes etc but regrettably they are not for me. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. David Titley
5.0 out of 5 stars Howards End
Well packaged,delivered quick.
Just loved it!
Truly a lovely story.
Shall not spoil it for you by going
on and telling all about it.
Just buy and watch.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. S. E. Hughes
1.0 out of 5 stars better than horlicks
could,not get into this film i said very boring this is not the type of film we would normally buy.
Published 8 months ago by john
4.0 out of 5 stars Positive opinion
The film was ok and especially the actors and actresses were good. Forster is always a great writer . Read more
Published 8 months ago by margherita ratto
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