Gosford Park

DVD - 2002
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Gosford Park
Drama set at the country estate of Sir William McCordle in 1932, showing the lives of upstairs guests and downstairs servants at a hunting party weekend when one of the group is murdered.

Publisher: Universal City, CA : Universal, 2002
Edition: Collector's ed. widescreen ver
ISBN: 0783271166
Branch Call Number: DVD Comedy GOSFORD
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (138 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in


From Library Staff

Drama set at the country estate of Sir William McCordle in 1932, showing the lives of upstairs guests and downstairs servants at a hunting party weekend when one of the group is murdered.

From the critics

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Jan 23, 2015
  • Dtrasler rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

My wife has been wanting to re-watch this movie for some time, and I finally remembered to bring it home from the library. She loved it, and even I have to admit that the cast is stellar, and the setting and costuming is outstanding. It's a brilliant snapshot of the dying days of the British class system, though the prejudices and privileges still hang on to this day. For me, the plot was undermined by the verite style, meaning some lines were lost in the murmur of general conversation - it's more like you're attending the event as a guest, than being shown a series of events as in a regular murder mystery.
Still worth seeing, particularly if you think Downton Abbey is entertainment. Also worth seeing if you want an idea of the division between the Upper Class and the Working class during Pre-War Britain.

Dec 05, 2014
  • Nursebob rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

In pre-WWII Britain a throng of frightfully privileged heirs (as well as a few titled yet desperately poor hangers-on) gather at the sprawling country estate of Sir William, a brusque industrialist whose only kind words are directed towards his pampered pooch, for a weekend of snobbish conversation and pheasant hunting. Meanwhile, ignored for the most part by their lords and masters, the household servants enjoy their own intrigues and idle gossip while ensuring the silver is properly polished and all the ridiculous minutiae of Britain’s strict social code are observed (even the seating arrangement at their humble dinner table is based upon the rank of their employers). But when Sir William is found murdered—not once but twice—his unseemly demise threatens everyone’s fun as the resulting investigation casts suspicions every which way. It appears that several guests, and a few hired hands, had good reason for killing the old chap and sifting through the various clues and motives proves to be beyond the expertise of the local detective. Robert Altman’s affected dramedy features a veritable constellation of British stars in top notch form as they skulk and scheme in full period drag: Maggie Smith is especially fine as Sir William’s pretentious old maid sister while Stephen Fry’s bumbling inspector looks like an extra from a Python sketch. Unfortunately, despite its opulent touches and a smart script awash with satirical barbs and deliciously scathing bon mots, it still seems like an overly long episode of Upstairs Downstairs played out like a game of Clue—was it Lady Sylvia…in the library…with poison? Altman’s signature roving camera and overlapping dialogue manage to keep the various narrative threads from becoming too muddled but it all leads to a disappointingly obvious finale with characters rarely rising above colourful drawing-room stock. The inclusion of a visiting American director and his ersatz valet does provide some much needed perspective however, their naïve observations serving to highlight the inanity of their hosts. Fun to watch yet charmingly forgettable.

Sep 27, 2014
  • frishta rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great period piece of 1930s England.

Sep 23, 2013
  • ktnv rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Loved everything about this movie by the exceptional director Robert Altman. Also enjoying the more recent 'Downton Abbey' created by Julain Fellowes who worked on both productions.

Aug 26, 2013

Finally watched it! Loved it- and was to surprised to find out written by Julian Fellows (Downton Abbey),

Jan 24, 2013
  • lij rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

An excellent film, worth a second viewing as there often are multiple things happening at the same time and little nuances that can be missed, particularly if the viewer is not familiar with British class distinctions and expectations of the era. I preferred the downstairs parts but all components are woven together well. Robert Altman did a great job and so did most of the cast.

Jan 24, 2013
  • BertBailey rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Amazing that a 100% Yank director like Altman, who's one of the masters of movies that give so much room for ad-libbing while exploring the USofA's often weird and wonky ways, pulled off one of the best-ever Masterpiece Theatah-type flicks ever. This is Brit fare through and through, including its cast of R.A.D.A. A-listers, in a Miss Marple/Poirot/Agatha Christie-kind of whodunit -- set in living rooms within majestic mansions with too much staff and a selection of out-of-touch upper-class twits. You can just imagine him idly raising the prospect s'where in California, strictly as a bet or for a lark, and then gradually challenging himself to see if he might achieve this unlikely goal. And then you hope that, before he passed away, Altman got the deserved accolades for this extremely well-done flick.

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Outstanding whodunit/social commentary period piece. Across the board. Golden Globe winning directing from the late Robert Altman; a complex, brilliant, Oscar winning feature film script debut from screenwriter Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey, The Young Victoria, etc.); a tremendous lineup of fine actors, huge talents - Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren... the entire cast is wonderful, really; the extravagant decor; etc., etc... Do you think the butler did it? (lol) See for yourself... FIVE STARS.

Nov 30, 2012
  • tiger58 rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Gosford Park was made before Downtown Abbey. It is poorly edited, the script is very poor and the whole movie is a bore. Even if you love Downton Abbey, skip this one.

Jun 19, 2012
  • britprincess1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Very good slice-of-life period piece, especially in the script itself. Ultimately, GOSFORD PARK is enjoyable, but despite similarities here and there in plot and tone, it's not as easily watchable and ultimately entertaining as the extremely popular DOWNTON ABBEY (screenwriter Julian Fellowes more recent addition to his resume).

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Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Morris Weissman: "How do you manage to put up with these people?" Ivor Novello: "Hmmph. You forget I earn my living by impersonating them."

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Constance: "Tell me, what happened to William's little maid? I never saw her again after that dinner." Mary Maceachran: "Elsie?" Constance: "Hmm." Mary Maceachran: "She's gone." Constance: "Aw, it's a pity, really. I thought it was a good idea to have someone in the house who is actually sorry he's dead."

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Anthony Meredith (sampling some fruit jams): "Why is it, would you say, that some... people seem to get whatever they want in life... Anything they touch turns to gold... whereas others can strive and strive... and have nothing... I wonder, do you believe in luck? Seems some men are lucky, and... some men just aren't, and... nothing they can do about it..." Dorothy: "I believe in love. Not just getting it - giving it. I think as long as you can love somebody, whether or not they love you, then it's worth it. I..." (she goes back to her duties) Anthony Meredith: "That's a good answer..."

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Morris Weissman (on the phone, discussing casting for his movie): "What about Claudette Colbert? She's British, isn't she? She sounds British... Is she, like, "affected" or is she British?"

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Maid (of Henry Denton): "Do you think he's the murderer?" Robert Parks: "It's worse than that - he's an actor!"

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Elsie: "You know what I heard... Oh, just listen to me..." Mary Maceachran: "What?" Elsie: "Why do we spend our lives living through them? I mean look at poor old Lewis. If her own mother had a heart attack, she'd think it was less important than one of Lady Sylvia's farts."


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