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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Merchant and Ivory�s Best
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...
Published on 26 Oct 2002 by taking a rest

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Middling
Published 5 months ago by IAN DORAN


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20 of 21 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 - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Howards End [1992] [DVD] (DVD)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite actors come together for Howard's End, 22 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Howards End [1992] [DVD] (DVD)
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Howard's End" on BLU RAY - UK Fans Should Check For The Right Issue..., 26 Feb 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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 "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: HOWARDS END (DVD)
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. One of the better lines comes from the aunt of the Schlegel sisters, as she explains their upbringing: 'Of course, they are British to the backbone, but their father is German, which is why they care for literature and art.' This is a world in which everyone expects to have a discernable and well defined role, but the world around these social classes is changing rapidly.
At first, Helen is engaged to the younger Wilcox son. In short order, this relationship breaks, but not before the Wilcoxes and the Schlegels are intertwined in continuing social encounters. Eventually, the elder Schlegel sister Margaret gets a marriage proposal from the patriarch Wilcox, after his wife dies of a long illness. Helen has, in the meanwhile, become pregnant from the underprivileged Leonard Bast, whose wife, we discover, had a brief fling with the elder Wilcox in the past. If this sounds like a soap opera, you might be on to something. However, no daytime drama was ever so lavishly and well appointed.
The title for 'Howard's End' comes from the country home of the Wilcoxes, in fact the property of Mrs. Wilcox, which she means for Margaret to have. She willed it to Margaret when they became friends, but Henry Wilcox suppressed the will after his wife's death. In the end, Howard's End comes to the Schlegels in a different way, as the world continues its unsteady path between Victorian/Edwardian sensibilities and the new world to come.
This is a flawless film in many ways - well acted, well designed, well directed. This is a visual treat indeed.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect movie, 18 May 2002
By 
Robert Ray (Sassafras, Victoria Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Howards End [1992] [DVD] (DVD)
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars breathtaking scenery, 25 Feb 2004
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Howards End [1992] [DVD] (DVD)
Among other themes, the story depicts a man's double standards - his inability to forgive when he has been forgiven much.
The story aside, I would like to add, if you are living abroad, like me, and/or you love the splendour of the British countryside in the spring (bluebell woods, chestnut and May blossom, lush, green meadows...)I believe this would be enough reason to buy this film. The scenery is quite breathtaking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Australian Blu-Ray Release, 11 Aug 2013
By 
Roderick Keech (Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Howards End [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This Blu-Ray is an Australian Region A & B release(C untested)from Shock Distribution that is identical to the Region A (locked) Criterion release is every way EXCEPT Shock decided to skimp on the soundtrack and instead of a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, there is only a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Given that Richard Robbins' excellent score is such an important element of the movie, it is a great pity. The French edition (Retour a Howards End) has the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack BUT has French subtitles that cannot be removed. If you want to see this film at its best on Blu-Ray, you'll need to purchase a Region A Criterion copy at a very expensive price, as Criterion no longer has the rights to this film. Naturally you'll also need a player capable of playing Region A discs.

The film is 5 star in every way so I won't go into that as Amazon's habit of copying reviews between media will inevitably mean this will be found under the VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray editions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 19 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Howards End [1992] [DVD] (DVD)
Without knowing anything about the storyline, I purchased this DVD simply because it was produced by Merchant Ivory (my faves). I was not disappointed. Beautiful English countryside, a fabulous cast and a terrific storyline. Could not be happier.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Felt So Real!!, 27 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Howards End [1992] [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this recently and watched it last night and although i purchased it purely on ratings and the fact that Anthony Hopkins was in it rather than reading reviews as to what it was about i found myself watching a truly amazing film.Hopkins is as ever pure gold but was even outshone on this occasion by the acting talents of Emma Thompson (won an Oscar for her role too!!) who i really hadn't seen much of before,for most of the film i felt that i was actually back in time and in the scene.Beautifully shot and acted,a very good film to add to anyone's collection.Howards End [1992] [DVD]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Howard's End DVD, 8 Nov 2009
By 
Cassgirl (Portsmouth,England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Howards End [1992] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a wonderful adaptation of the classic E.M.Forster novel,with brilliant performances by Emma Thompson,Helena Bonham Carter and Anthony Hopkins.The story is about two contrasting families;the cosmoplitan,artistic Schlegel sisters,Margaret and Helen,and the wealthy,conventional Wilcox family.
The dying Mrs Wilcox leaves her country house, Howard's End,to Margaret.Henry Wilcox destroys his wife's `unofficial' will to preserve his family's property.But as the lonely,repressed Henry falls in love with Margaret,and Helen challenges conventional attitudes towards class and sex,both families are forced to accommodate each other's values.
Highly recommended.
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