PG | | Drama, Romance
A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years leading up to World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty was to his lordly employer.
None of the filmmakers had any experience with the way a great English country house is run, nor the minutiae of a butler's life. Kazuo Ishiguro was the first to admit this, and had to learn about it in the course of writing his novel. Sir Anthony Hopkins was afraid of making all kinds of gaffes, and requested that an experienced butler be somehow attached to the unit. This was done, the advisor being Cyril Dickman, the retired Steward to Queen Elizabeth II, and he, in time, brought in others who were experienced in the exact way of doing things in a big house like Darlington Hall. There was an exact pecking order, with specific servants to handle specific assignments. From the butler and the housekeeper on down, there were under-butlers, footmen, house maids, under-housemaids, the cook, the scullery boys, the gardeners, grooms, and gamekeepers, even the servants of the servants. It was a kind of extraordinary little kingdom.
Mister Stevens! Am I to take it that after all the years I have been in this house you have nothing else to say to me?
Stevens: You have my warmest congratulations.
As the camera recedes in the final aerial shot departing from the estate, it briefly reveals a modern, silver-colored hatchback automobile backed up to the left end of the building.
English, French, German
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