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The Remains Of The Day [DVD]

Anthony Hopkins , Emma Thompson , James Ivory    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
Price: £18.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Remains Of The Day [DVD] + Howards End [1992] [DVD] + A Room With A View (Special Edition) [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, James Fox, Christopher Reeve, Peter Vaughan
  • Directors: James Ivory
  • Producers: Ismail Merchant
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Uca
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Jun 2012
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008CW1KNY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,575 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The Remains of the Day is one of Merchant-Ivory's most thought-provoking films. Anthony Hopkins is a model of restraint and propriety as Stevens, the butler who "knows his place"; Emma Thompson is the animated and sympathetic Miss Kenton, the housekeeper whose attraction to Stevens is doomed to disappointment. As Nazi appeaser Lord Darlington, James Fox clings to the notion of a gentleman's agreement in the ruthless political climate before World War Two. Hugh Grant is his journalist nephew all too aware of reality, while Christopher Reeves gives a spirited portrayal of an American senator, whose purchase of Darlington Hall 20 years on sends Stevens on a journey to right the mistake he made out of loyalty. As a period drama with an ever-relevant message, this 1993 film is absorbing viewing all the way.

On the DVD: the letterbox widescreen format reproduces the 2.35:1 aspect ratio with absolute clarity. Subtitles are in French and German, with audio subtitles also in English, Italian and Spanish, and with 28 separate chapter selections. The "making-of" featurette and retrospective documentary complement each other with their "during and after" perspectives, while "Blind Loyalty, Hollow Honour" is an interesting short on the question of appeasement and war. The running commentary from Thompson, Merchant and Ivory is more of a once-only diversion. --Richard Whitehouse

Product Description

Stevens (Anthony Hopkins) is the perfect English butler, a man who has spent the best part of his working life in service at Darlington Hall. Housekeeper Miss Kenton (Emma Thompson) also works at Darlington, and as the days pass, she and Stevens develop a close feeling for each other. Meanwhile, as the Second World War approaches, Lord Darlington's (James Fox) wish to avert catastrophe leads him to become involved with the Nazis. Adapted by the Merchant-Ivory team from the Kazuo Ishiguro novel, 'The Remains of the Day' was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Picture.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 9 Jan 2006
Remains of the Day is without question my favourite book. Indeed I have enjoyed all of Kazuo Ishiguro's books. Now ordinarily I would expect that watching a film of what I consider to be one of the great books, even a film as highly aclaimed as this one, is only going to lead to disappointment. Indeed I had put off watching this for years for that very reason, I did not want my memory of the book to be spoilt by an inferior film. What a foolish mistake that proved to be.
This film is quite simply outstanding.
It is failful to the novel and does an impressive job of adapting almost the entire book into film so the beautifully told story is not lost at all.
It is the acting that really makes this though. Much has been said about Hopkins performance and it is one of his best (if not the best), but the supporting cast are equally strong. Emma Thompson is brilliant as Miss Kenton, playing the character just as I would have imagined.
I can't recommend this highly enough.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic masterpiece 3 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Hopkins delivers one of the finest performances in cinema hisory as the loyal butler, too dedicated to his job to concentrate on the affairs of his own life. Both Hopkins and Thompson show supurb acting and on-screen chemistry that really sets a mark for the British film industry. The film contains a wide variety of fine co-stars with the likes of Hugh Grant and Christopher Reeve who add yet more strength to the overall quality of this film.
Totally recomended to all who expect to be entertained by good acting and high standard drama.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very moving 19 Nov 2003
By S. Hapgood VINE VOICE
Format:VHS Tape
In spite of the magnificence of the stately home in which this is set this is a surprisingly low-key film, helped by a beautifully moody score. Everything about it is understated to great effect. Anthony Hopkins plays a butler who is anxious to distance himself from the fact that a previous employer, Lord Darlington (James Fox) was a notorious Nazi appeaser. His new employer (Christopher Reeve) loans him his car so that he can go and pay a long-overdue visit to the ex-housekeeper (Emma Thompson). During the journey Hopkins reflects on his past career at Darlington Hall.
It is very hard to find the right words to describe what a beautiful film this is. Anthony Hopkins gives an incredible performance, quietly restrained but acting with every fibre of his being, as the man who has devoted himself to a lifetime of service, to the detriment of his own emotions and feelings. Nowhere is this more effective than in the scenes with his elderly father (Peter Vaughan), where he has the difficult job of portraying a man who cares deeply for his father but won't let anything (not even his father's death) get in the way of duty. Vaughan is also faultless as the man who has effectively turned himself into a human machine, there solely to serve others, and distraught when he can no longer do so.
James Fox has the unenviable role of playing Lord Darlington, a man who, though you can understand his own personal reasons for wanting to appease the Germans (he made a pact in the trenches with a German friend that they would never go to war again), it is hard to be sympathetic to his naivety when dealing with the Nazi's. The scene where he orders the two Jewish refugees he has working for him to be sent away is quite chilling.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Performances 8 Dec 2007
By David R. Bishop VINE VOICE
Some may not appreciate my stating that I find some of the Merchant Ivory productions stodgy and self-absorbed. Not so this one. Antony Hopkins and Emma Thompson lead a cast who just did everything right.

Antony Hopkins butler character is a study in deference and emotional repression. A difficult childhood is hinted at by his father. We are left to flesh out a few brief remarks, and wonder how he was left so cold and detached. He immerses himself in his work. The housekeeper played by Emma Thompson, is obviously attracted to the butler, and the attraction appears mutual at times. There are almost tender moments between them, but ultimately, he is never going to let his guard down. It is as though he uses the strict formality of the era and the household to hide behind.

The film is slow burning, with little action. A sub-plot concerning the pre war Nazi sympathy of the master do nothing to take my attention away from the story of the butler and the housekeeper.

This movie deserved all it's Acadamy Award nominations. What a pity it never won any. It is a fine example of British cinema at it's best.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By K-Pax
Sir Anthony Hopkins truly is a master when it comes to 'getting into character'. His ability to portray the most subtle of human emotions throughout the film, coupled with his deft ability to become 'Mr Stevens' is one of the best pieces of acting I have ever witnessed. His performance should have won him an Academy award but a superb supporting role by Emma Thompson would also have been deserving of an Oscar. The repressed love between the two characters makes for exasperating viewing as you almost wish they would dispel with the formalities and say how they feel towards one another. However, as a whole the film is beautifully shot and this film is simply superb. While I did not feel as emotional as I did watching 'Shadowlands', I still felt quite sad as the film concluded purely through the supreme activing abilities of Hopkins and Thompson. Wonderful.
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