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Howards End


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Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter, Joseph Bennett
  • Directors: James Ivory
  • Writers: E.M. Forster, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
  • Producers: Ann Wingate, Donald Rosenfeld, Ismail Merchant, Paul Bradley
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Feb. 23 2010
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002XUL6RQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,371 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Totally Anonymous on June 3 2004
Format: DVD
I loved E.M. Forester's book, HOWARD'S END, so I knew I'd love this film as well. Period pieces are my favorites and English period pieces have a special "something" about them. Maybe it's the lush cinematography or the brilliant acting. I suppose it's really a combination of many things.
HOWARD'S END is set, for the most part, in London, and revolves around two families: the Schlegels and the Wilcoxes. The Schlegels and the Wilcoxes are separated by class; the Schlegels are a middle class family, comfortable, but definitely not "old money," while the Wilcoxes are far more "to the manor born." Society, at the time HOWARD'S END takes place, dictated that the Schlegels and the Wilcoxes definitely not mix. However, mix they do, with disastrous results.
In the Schlegel family are two sisters, Margaret (Emma Thompson), the older and plainer, and Helen (Helena Bonham-Carter), the younger and more beautiful. We know trouble is brewing when Helen becomes involved, though briefly, with young Paul Wilcox. Of course, the Wilcoxes consider Helen (or any Schlegel, for that matter) to be beneath them, but the affair also distresses the Schlegels as well.
The lives of the Schlegels and the Wilcoxes are destined to be intertwined, however, and Margaret befriends Ruth Wilcox (beautifully played by the always-ethereal Vanessa Redgrave), the mother of young Paul. The lives of the two families become further entwined when Ruth Wilcox dies and leaves her lovely country home, "Howard's End," to her good friend, Margaret. Of course, this doesn't sit at all well with the Wilcoxes, who are truly shocked, and Henry Wilcox (Anthony Hopkins), Ruth's husband, tries to cover up Ruth's final wishes and keep Margaret away from "Howard's End.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 100 REVIEWER on Jan. 2 2011
Format: DVD
The story opens in Edwardian England, where we meet Margaret and Helen Schlegel (Emma Thompson, Helena Bodham Carter), genteel sisters who are concerned with the plight of the poor. When they meet a lowly clerk who is struggling to get by, they try to mentor him but their advice only makes his situation worse. Meanwhile, Margaret develops a friendship with the Wilcoxes (Anthony Hopkins, Vanessa Redgrave), a wealthy family whose country home, Howards End, will become an important part of all their lives.

Based on E. M. Forster's 1911 novel, this film is an insightful study of the social classes, their interaction (and lack thereof), and the highly structured and restrained manners that ruled society. Thompson won the Best Actress Oscar for her role, but it really is an ensemble piece and the entire cast is outstanding. The period is carefully recreated using wonderful costumes, sets, and cars and the photography is beautiful. The script (also Oscar-nominated) weaves together many seemingly unrelated characters and subplots, all building to an emotional conclusion at Howards End, which is the source of much desire, jealousy, and sorrow.

This is a thought-provoking and moving drama/tragedy. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christine Boden on Nov. 3 2010
Format: DVD
Excellent interpretation of the book and well cast. Had been meaning to watch this for years and was not disappointed.
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By J. M. Arnold on Aug. 13 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I think Howards End was a great movie very well done enjoyed every moment of it ,Anthony Hopkins of course was superb.j.a.
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By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 16 2006
Format: 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.
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By A Customer on Nov. 2 2003
Format: DVD
This story line is good enough to keep you in suspence and entertained at the same time. Anthony is perfect as usual. The greatest part of this story is the first glimpse into the cottage at "Howards End". Upon entering the house, the most glorious piano begins to play in the background music. The music is so hauntingly beautiful, so perfect for the setting that I found myself in tears throughout its playing. I had to have the movie, just for the piano alone.
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