Gosford Park [DVD] [2001]

The class conscious murder mystery that earned seven Academy Award nominations in 2001, arrives on DVD in a package sure to please both fans of Gosford Park and it's highly revered director, Robert Altman. The film is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen format with a Dolby Digital 5.1 English soundtrack. Both English and Spanish subtitles are available and in a movie populated with heavy accents and overlapping dialogue, it's a feature likely to be used. Two "Feature Commentaries" are included on the Special Features. Altman, production designer Stephen Altman and producer David Levy narrate the first commentary and screenwriter Julian Fellowes voices the second. Fourteen "Deleted Scenes" are included with optional commentary. Most cuts are short and judicious, but there are a few choice morsels that add further enlightenment to fans, most notably, a mention of McCordle's plans to write Elsie into his will. The obligatory "Cast & Filmmakers Filmographies," "Theatrical Trailer" and "Coming Attractions" are also included. The best bonus material comes in two featurettes and a Q&A. "The Making of Gosford Park" looks at Altman's unique directing approach for such a large ensemble cast and "The Authenticity of Gosford Park" introduces us to three octogenarian advisors--a former butler, cook and housemaid--Altman used on set to instruct the actor's in their roles. Following a screening of Gosford Park at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation guild members asked Altman, Fellowes, Levy, Bob Balaban, Kelly MacDonald, Helen Mirren, Jeremy Northam and Ryan Phillippe questions concerning the movie. The taped session is one of the most entertaining and informative features on this DVD. While it's unfortunate that the divine Maggie Smith didn't participate, Northam's dead-on impression of the dame is definitely one of the Q&A's highlights. On a whole, this is one comprehensive, entertaining disc.
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
Rating 3.75 out of 5 stars.
3.8
75% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (3 out of 4)

Special Features

  • Feature commentary with director Robert Altman
  • Screenwriter's commentary with Oscar winner Julian Fellowes
  • Deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • The making of "Gosford Park"
  • Q&A session with cast and filmmakers

Synopsis

Gosford Park
Maverick American filmmaker Robert Altman takes a witty and absorbing look at the foibles of the British class system in this intelligent murder mystery set in the early '30s. Sir William McCordle (Michael Gambon) and his wife Lady Sylvia (Kristin Scott Thomas) are a pair of wealthy British socialites who have invited a variety of friends, relatives, and acquaintances to their mansion in the country for a weekend of hunting and relaxation. Among the honored guests are Constance (Maggie Smith), Lady Sylvia's matronly aunt; Ivor Novello (Jeremy Northam), William's cousin who is also a well-known actor and songwriter; and Morris Weissman (Bob Balaban), an American film producer who is friendly with Ivor and researching an upcoming project. Observing the proceedings are the domestic staff of the mansion, including imperious butler Jennings (Alan Bates); footmen George (Richard E. Grant) and Arthur (Jeremy Swift); Probert (Derek Jacobi), a valet to Sir William; housekeeper Mrs. Wilson (Helen Mirren); Mrs. Croft (Eileen Atkins), who oversees the kitchen; and Elsie (Emily Watson), a maid. Also on hand are the guests' personal servants, including Mary (Kelly Macdonald), Constance's maid; Henry (Ryan Phillippe), Weissman's valet; and Parks (Clive Owens), a butler. While the servants are required to display a high level of decorum, they are expected to be passive observers who do not comment on what they see, though the gossip among them travels thick and fast once they retire to the servants' quarters downstairs. And it turns out that there's plenty worth gossiping about, especially after Sir William turns up dead, and everyone is ordered to stay at the mansion while the police investigate the killing. Gosford Park also features Charles Dance, Tom Hollander, Natasha Wightman, and Ron Webster; the screenplay was written by Julian Fellowes, based on a story by Altman and co-star Bob Balaban. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Maggie Smith
    Maggie Smith - Constance, Countess of Trentham
  • Michael Gambon
    Michael Gambon - Sir William McCordle
  • Kristin Scott Thomas
    Kristin Scott Thomas - Sylvia McCordle
  • Jeremy Northam
    Jeremy Northam - Ivor Novello
  • Bob Balaban
    Bob Balaban - Morris Weissman

Overall Customer Rating

75%of customers recommend this product.

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