Brideshead Revisited (2008)

Brideshead Revisited 2008tt0412536.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Brideshead Revisited (2008)
  • Rate: 6.6/10 total 5,860 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 25 July 2008 (USA)
  • Runtime: Argentina:133 min | USA:133 min
  • Filming Location: Art Deco Palm Court, Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London, England, UK
  • Budget: $20,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $6,414,563(USA)(21 September 2008)
  • Director: Julian Jarrold
  • Stars: Matthew Goode, Patrick Malahide and Hayley Atwell
  • Original Music By: Adrian Johnston   
  • Soundtrack: With the Rumba Playing
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital | DTS
  • Plot Keyword: Heir | Oxford | Catholic | England | 1930s

Writing Credits By:

  • Andrew Davies (written by) and
  • Jeremy Brock (written by)
  • Evelyn Waugh (novel)

Known Trivia

  • David Yates was set to direct this film, but had to step aside from the director’s chair to direct Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix instead. While Yates was attached, Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly and Jude Law were cast in the roles of Charles, Julia and Sebastian respectively. It was also announced that Chatsworth House in Derbyshire would be used as Brideshead.
  • For the Oxford scenes, real Oxford students were recruited to play their 1920’s counterparts. For the scene where Charles and Sebastian first meet, real members of the exclusive Bullingdon Club can be seen behind him wearing their traditional blazers. A few of them can also be seen in the luncheon scene that takes place the next day.
  • Filmed in summer 2007, one of the rainiest summers on record in England. The crew suffered rainfall at nearly every location, and even had to contend with rain while on location in Venice.
  • Castle Howard, which ‘plays’ Brideshead in this film, was also used to represent the same location in Brideshead Revisited.
  • After Charles “betrays” Sebastian in Venice, there is a shot of an altarpiece in an Italian church, with a depiction of the “Martyrdom of St. Sebastian.” You can identify him by the arrows protruding from his body.

Goofs: Anachronisms: The Venetian drummers have instruments fitted with Mylar drumheads (Remo Pinstripes) that were not manufactured before WWII. Calfskin heads or ones that resembled calfskin would have been more appropriate for the time.

Plot: A poignant story of forbidden love and the loss of innocence set in England prior to the Second World War. Full summary »  »

Story: The memoirs of Captain Charles Ryder who is stationed at Brideshead Castle during WWII and remembers his involvement with the owners of the Brideshead estate: the aristocratic yet Catholic Flyte family and in particular brother and sister Sebastian and Julia.Written by Anonymous  


Synopsis: WWII. The British headquarters move to Brideshead, a mansion in the middle of the English countryside, and Charles is one of those in charge. He happens to be the narrator of the story, and while he makes some comments about the uncomfortability of the place and its inadequate geography, he also remembers with fondness his past happiness there.

A painter who is showcasing his last South-American jungle-themed collection leaves the party where many East-Coast millionaires are buying his paintings. He sees a woman and goes after her. When she has reached her first-class cabin, she turns and says "Hello, Charles."

Flashback to Charles Ryder (Matthew Goode) starting his first year at Cambridge, and his cousin Jasper (Richard Teveron) shows him around. Charles wants to be a painter, but he must study something more practical, so he goes for History. He gets a room in the ground floor of one of the dorms. Even before he has unpacked, a drunk student appears and throws up in the floor. The next day, Charles gets some flowers from that student, Sebastian Flyte (Ben Whishaw) a homosexual English Lord who hangs out with Anthony Blanche (Joseph Beattie) – a flamboyant homosexual as well – and Boy Mulcaster (Mark Field).

Sebastian and Charles become friends, but they never fulfill their sexual desire – an unsolved sexual tension grows on between then. Sebastian takes Charles to see Brideshead, the manor mansion of his family, and Nanny (Rita Davies), an elderly lady who has always taken care of Sebastian and who says that she is praying for Sebastian’s soul. Charles considers this a bit odd, but he doesn’t make any comment about it. They leave before Sebastian’s mother appear with some Conservative ladies. On such a rush visit, Charles can only catch glimpses of the paintings at Brideshead. He leaves fascinated and mesmerized with the palace, the views, the art, the ever-obliging servicepeople. Also, on their way out, Charles catches a glimpse of Sebastian’s older sister, Julia (Hayley Atwell).

Summer holidays. Charles finds his father’s (Patrick Malahide) company utterly boring, so he runs to Brideshead after Sebastian sends a telegramme asking Charles to come because he was in an accident. Sebastian only injured his foot. Charles and Sebastian get closer and closer.

Charles will know the rest of the family: Cordelia, (Felicity Jones), who sends money to some African nuns so that they christen an African girl with her name, Brideshead "Bridey" (Ed Stoppard), business-minded and too formal, and mother-of-four Lady Marchmain (Emma Thomson), who is a die-hard Catholic, the tyrant of her house. However, this time, in spite of her objections, Sebastian and Julia will visit their estranded father (Michael Gambon),and Charles tags along.

They are happy there. They also meet Cara (Greta Scacchi), the father’s lover. She tells Charles that Sebastian will always like men, but that for Charles himself will be only a phase. During the Carnival, Charles kisses Julia, who will run away afterwards. Sebastian sees that kiss, and his mood towards everything changes.

When they return to Brideshead, Sebastian takes to drinking too much, and Lady Marchmain tells Charles that he could never possibly marry Julia, as Charles is an Atheist. Lady Marchmain asks Charles to take care of Sebastian for Julia’s 21st birthday party. He gives Sebastian money so that he can buy more drink. Sebastian makes a fool of himself at the party. Julia announces that he is going to marry Rex Mottram (Jonathan Cake), richer than her own family, and a Catholic. She may not be really in love with Rex, and Cordelia thinks Rex is horrible. Lady Marchmain puts Charles out as he has given money to Sebastian.

Four years later, Charles is hard at work, painting. He meets Celia Mulcaster (Anna Madeley) while at work. They marry soon.

Lady Marchmain appears to ask a favour of Charles: to bring Sebastian back from Morocco. Although Charles refuses at first, he’ll travel there. He finds that Sebastian is really sick, and he doesn’t want to come back to Brideshead. Charles says that Sebastian has found some piece of mind while working on a monk abbey. Soon afterwards of acknowledging Sebastian’s refusal, Lady Marchmain dies.

Back at the party, Celia insists that Charles should socialize with the wealthy party-goers. Anthony Blanche appears, seemingly mocking himself and Charles. Anthony says that Charles is ambitious. Anthony makes a comment that, when Charles decided to spend the holidays with Sebastian and Julia, Charles would be like a sheep among the wolves, but he realises that it happen all the opposite way, because Charles has hunted both Sebastian and Julia. "There is no stop to your ambition", he says, and Charles doesn’t even pretend to reject this preposition.

Charles and Julia make love, (finally). Later, they go to the bar, and they decide each one of them will leave their spouse and live together, maybe in Paris or Italy. Back at Brideshead, Bridey arrives to have dinner with them, telling them of his approaching marriage to a strict Catholic who would never visit somebody living in sin. Julia gets deeply upset because of it. Charles talks to Rex. He’ll free her in exchange for some of Charles’ paintings.

Cordelia appears to say that Sebastian is healthy again, and that he’s stayed at the hospital to work there. When Charles and Julia are about to leave Brideshead, Lord Marchmain appears to die at his old home, so Julia feels she can’t leave. He refuses to see Father Mackay (Niall Buggy). Lord Marchmain says that he and Charles have betrayed Sebastian. In a conversation with Julia, Charles realises -and admits aloud- that he’s always wanted Brideshead.

Lord Marchmain makes the sign of the cross and receives the last rites just before he dies, in view of all the family. Julia won’t be able to resist: her faith prevents her from leaving Brideshead. Charles leaves alone, and wonders if he wanted too much, or whether he was blind to their strong faith.

WWII. The British headquarters move to Brideshead and Charles is one of those in charge. He talks with Hooper (Thomas Morrison), a soldier who believes that this life is all there is. Hooper says that the older brother has died and there is a sister who normally lives in the house, but is currently overseas with the women’s service. Charles goes into the house and enters the chapel, dipping his fingers in the holy water. He walks over to a statue of Mary and young Jesus and a burning candle and stands there remembering Sebastian and Julia. He holds his wet fingers in front of the candle flame, intending to snuff it out, then decides not to and leaves the chapel. We see his unfocused figure walking out of the house.

{tab=FullCast & Crew}

Produced By:

  • Joanna Anderson known as associate producer: Ecosse Films
  • Robert Bernstein known as producer
  • Nicole Finnan known as executive producer
  • Tim Haslam known as executive producer
  • Hugo Heppell known as executive producer
  • Kevin Loader known as producer
  • Douglas Rae known as producer
  • Rosa Romero known as line producer
  • James Saynor known as co-producer
  • David M. Thompson known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Matthew Goode known as Charles Ryder
  • Thomas Morrison known as Hooper
  • David Barrass known as Ship's Barber
  • Anna Madeley known as Celia Ryder
  • Sarah Crowden known as Lady Guest
  • Stephen Carlile known as English Lord
  • Peter Barnes known as American Professor
  • Hayley Atwell known as Julia Flyte
  • Patrick Malahide known as Mr Ryder
  • Richard Teverson known as Cousin Jasper
  • Joseph Beattie known as Anthony Blanche
  • Ben Whishaw known as Sebastian Flyte
  • Roger Walker known as Lunt
  • Mark Field known as Boy Mulcaster
  • Mark Edel-Hunt known as Oxford Student
  • Rita Davies known as Nanny Hawkins
  • Ed Stoppard known as Bridey Flyte
  • Emma Thompson known as Lady Marchmain
  • Felicity Jones known as Cordelia Flyte
  • Geoffrey Wilkinson known as Wilcox
  • Michael Gambon known as Lord Marchmain
  • Greta Scacchi known as Cara
  • James Bradshaw known as Mr Samgrass
  • Jonathan Cake known as Rex Mottram
  • Tom Wlaschiha known as Kurt
  • Stephane Cornicard known as Doctor Henri
  • Susan Brown known as Nurse
  • Niall Buggy known as Father Mackay
  • Shane James Bordas known as Cruise Ship Passenger (uncredited)
  • Giada Dobrzenska known as Venetian Party Girl (uncredited)
  • James Fiddy known as Student / Military (uncredited)

..{tab=Supporting Department}Makeup Department:

  • Yousseff Agouray known as makeup assistant: Marrakesh
  • Aicha Ameziane known as makeup assistant: Marrakesh
  • Zineb Bendoula known as hair assistant: Marrakesh
  • Carla Carisi known as hair stylist: Venice
  • Nuala Conway known as key hair stylist: Venice
  • Nuala Conway known as key makeup artist: Venice
  • Joan Giacomin known as makeup artist: Venice
  • Maurilio Lazzaro known as hair stylist: Venice
  • Piero Marsiglio known as makeup artist: Venice
  • Lesley Noble known as hair stylist
  • Lesley Noble known as makeup artist
  • Sharon O'Brien known as hair stylist
  • Sharon O'Brien known as makeup artist
  • Samantha Peluso known as makeup artist: Venice
  • Carla Ruffert known as hair stylist: Venice
  • Roseann Samuel known as hair designer
  • Roseann Samuel known as makeup designer
  • Rupert Simon known as additional hair stylist
  • Rupert Simon known as additional makeup artist
  • Kristie Southcott known as hair trainee
  • Kristie Southcott known as makeup trainee
  • Consuelo Vitturi known as hair stylist: Venice
  • Sue Westwood known as hair stylist (as Su Westwood)
  • Sue Westwood known as makeup artist (as Su Westwood)
  • Stephen Williams known as hair stylist
  • Stephen Williams known as makeup artist
  • Sarah Downes known as crowd makeup artist: dailies (uncredited)
  • Jeanette Redmond known as hair stylist (uncredited)

Art Department:

  • Daniel Bacciu known as stand-by props: Venice
  • Ian Bee known as supervising carpenter
  • Flavio Bertini known as set dresser: Venice
  • Adam Betts known as prop hand
  • Michael Betts known as prop hand
  • Abdellatif Bilouch known as painter: Marrakesh
  • Abdallah Bougtifa known as additional set dresser: Marrakesh (as Abdellah Bougtifa)
  • Ahmed Bougtifa known as prop hand: Marrakesh
  • Anthony Brady known as stand-by carpenter
  • Rob Brown known as construction manager
  • Alfie Burgess known as stand-by props
  • Craig Carpenter known as painter
  • Nicholas Clayton known as carpenter
  • Susanna Codognato known as art director: Venice
  • Sean Cunningham known as scenic painter
  • Billy Edwards known as stand-by props
  • Glyn Evans known as painter
  • Richard Ford known as painter
  • Holly Franklyn known as art department trainee
  • James Gemmill known as scenic painter (as James Geminill)
  • Annie Gilhooly known as production buyer
  • Darren Hayward known as carpenter (as Daren Heyward)
  • David Horsman known as carpenter
  • Michelle Horton known as painter
  • Thomas Ibbotson known as painter
  • Tara Ilsley known as art department assistant
  • Gisella Ingrassia known as stand-by painter: Venice
  • Marino Ingrassia known as set dresser: Venice
  • Ermanno Kerstich known as stand-by props assistant: Venice
  • Steven Leadbitter known as carpenter
  • Michael Leonard known as painter
  • John Malham known as painter
  • Aziz Mhand known as prop hand: Marrakesh
  • Patrick Mosley known as prop hand
  • Omar Mouharib known as plasterer: Marrakesh
  • Russel Oxley known as scenic painter (as Russell Oxley)
  • Massimo Pauletto known as assistant art director: Venice
  • Dominic Pike known as construction manager
  • Amin Rharda known as prop buyer: Marrakesh (as Armine Rharda)
  • Amin Rharda known as set dresser: Marrakesh
  • Matthew Robinson known as draughtsman (as Matt Robinson)
  • Cosmo Sarson known as artist
  • Mary Pat Sheahan known as stand-by painter (as Mary-Pat Sheahan)
  • Keith Slote known as draughtsman
  • Fabrice Spelta known as assistant art director
  • Terry Stinson known as prop hand
  • Pete Taylor known as carpenter
  • Alberto Tommasini known as stand-by carpenter: Venice
  • Barry Tracey known as painter
  • Kevin Waite known as carpenter
  • Stuart Watson known as construction manager
  • Terry Woods known as property master (as Terry Wood)
  • Matteo Bertelli known as art department: Italy (uncredited)
  • Philip Clark known as picture researcher (uncredited)
  • Lucy Eyre known as assistant set decorator (uncredited)
  • Colin Fox known as drapes master (uncredited)
  • Sophie Phillips known as assistant set decorator (uncredited)
  • Amin Rharda known as assistant art director (uncredited)
  • Christopher Wyatt known as draughtsman (uncredited)


Production Companies:

  • Ecosse Films
  • BBC Films
  • UK Film Council
  • 2 Entertain (in association with)
  • Screen Yorkshire (in association with)
  • Brideshead Films (copyright holder)
  • HanWay Films (in association with)
  • Mestiere Cinema
  • Screen Yorkshire Production Fund (supported by)
  • Zak Productions

Other Companies:

  • AFM Lighting  lighting equipment
  • Air Lyndhurst Studios  songs & music mixing facility
  • Annamode 68  costumes: Venice
  • Arzana  period boats: Venice
  • Audiolink Radio Communications  walkie talkies/mobiles
  • BBC Philharmonic Orchestra  orchestra
  • Bank of Ireland  bank financing
  • Blue  transportation: Venice
  • Capello Media Solutions  negative checks and script clearance
  • Catil Servizi  transportation: Venice
  • Chandos Records  soundtrack
  • Chorley Bunce Meals on a Mission (I)  catering (as Chorley Bunce)
  • Cinesicurtà  insurance: Venice
  • Clarity Post Production Sound  foley recording facility
  • Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia  transportation: Venice
  • Costumi d'Arte  costumes: Venice
  • Di Mario Bettini  construction: Venice
  • Film Finances  completion guarantor (as Film Finances)
  • Framinia  safety procedure: Venice
  • Harbottle & Lewis  production lawyer
  • Kodak  motion picture film supplied by
  • London Editing Machines Ltd.  editing equipment hire
  • Massimo Marcgetti  transportation: Venice
  • Mayflower Studios  adr facilities
  • Midnight Transfer  digital grade
  • Nicolao Atelier  costumes: Venice
  • Onesecure  security: Venice
  • Panalux  film lighting
  • Panavision UK  camera equipment provided by
  • Pastaro di Bruno Secco, Il  catering: Venice (as 'Il Pastario' di Bruno Secco La Dogaressa)
  • Pinewood Studios  sound post-production
  • Premier PR  publicity
  • Progetto Nova  construction: Venice
  • R & NT  technical equipment: Venice
  • Real World Post  sound post-production
  • Reed Smith Richards Butler  legal advisors: Bank of Ireland
  • Revolution Post  cutting rooms
  • Sapex Scripts  post-production script
  • Sartoria Farani S.t.L.  costumes: Venice
  • Shipleys  auditor
  • Shoes Pompei 2000  shoes: Venice
  • Soundtrack  adr facility
  • Studio 7 BBC Manchester  score recording facility
  • Technicolor  release printing
  • Tirelli Costumi  costumes: Venice
  • Totally Entertainment  insurance broker


  • 2 Entertain (2008) (UK) (theatrical)
  • A-Film Distribution (2008) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Concorde Filmverleih (2008) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Festive Films (2008) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Golden Village Entertainment (2008) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Impacto Cine (2010) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Miramax Films (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Monopole-Pathé (2008) (Switzerland) (theatrical)
  • Moviemobz Rain (2010) (Brazil) (theatrical)
  • Odeon (2008) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • A-Film Home Entertainment (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD) (retail)
  • FS Film Oy (2009) (Finland) (DVD)
  • Front Row Filmed Entertainment (2008) (United Arab Emirates) (all media) (Middle East)
  • Ledafilms (2009) (Mexico) (TV)
  • Maple Pictures (2008) (Canada) (all media)
  • Maple Pictures (2009) (Canada) (DVD)
  • Miramax Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)
  • Movie Bank (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD) (rental)
  • Odeon (2008) (Romania) (all media)
  • SP Films (2010) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (2009) (Japan) (DVD)

..{tab=Other Stuff}

Special Effects:

  • Rainmaker (visual effects) (uncredited)

Visual Effects by:

  • Danielle Brooks known as CG artist
  • Adam Gascoyne known as visual effects supervisor (as Adam Gascoigne)
  • Sally Goldberg known as cg artist
  • Simon Hughes known as lead compositor
  • Sean Lewkiw known as technical head of cg
  • Hugh Macdonald known as senior digital compositor: Rainmaker
  • Collette Nunes known as visual effects editor
  • Roma O'Connor known as visual effects executive producer
  • Jonathan Opgenhaffen known as CG artist
  • Becky Roberts known as visual effects line producer
  • David Wahlberg known as digital compositor: Rainmaker UK

Release Date:

  • USA 25 July 2008
  • USA 25 July 2008 (New York City, New York)
  • USA 1 August 2008 (limited)
  • Greece 11 September 2008 (Athens)
  • Netherlands 18 September 2008
  • Iceland 19 September 2008
  • Sweden 19 September 2008
  • Denmark 26 September 2008
  • UK 3 October 2008
  • Australia 23 October 2008
  • New Zealand 23 October 2008
  • Portugal 23 October 2008
  • Singapore 30 October 2008
  • Norway 31 October 2008
  • Spain 31 October 2008
  • Germany 20 November 2008
  • Belgium 26 November 2008
  • Hong Kong 4 December 2008
  • Ireland 9 January 2009
  • Finland 4 February 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Japan 18 March 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Poland 20 March 2009
  • Hungary 14 May 2009
  • Italy 26 June 2009
  • Russia 1 October 2009 (limited)
  • Argentina 9 March 2010 (Pantalla Pinamar Festival)
  • Brazil 9 April 2010
  • Brazil 27 April 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Argentina 27 May 2010

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content


Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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