James Ivory

Howards End

Howards End

The pinnacle of the decades-long collaboration between producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory, Howards End is a luminous vision of E. M. Forster’s cutting 1910 novel about class divisions in Edwardian England. Emma Thompson won an Academy Award for her dynamic portrayal of Margaret Schlegel, a flighty yet compassionate middle-class intellectual whose friendship with the dying wife (Vanessa Redgrave) of rich capitalist Henry Wilcox (Anthony Hopkins) commences an intricately woven tale of money, love, and death that encompasses the country’s highest and lowest social echelons. With a brilliant, layered script by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (who also won an Oscar) and a roster of gripping performances, Howards End is a work of both great beauty and vivid darkness, and one of cinema’s best literary adaptations.

Film Info

  • James Ivory
  • United Kingdom
  • 1992
  • 142 minutes
  • Color
  • 2.35:1
  • English
  • Spine #488

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Tony Pierce-Roberts and approved by director James Ivory, with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New video appreciation of the late Ismail Merchant by director Ivory
  • Building “Howards End,” a documentary featuring interviews with Ivory, Merchant, Helena Bonham Carter, costume designer Jenny Beavan, and Academy Award–winning production designer Luciana Arrighi
  • The Design of “Howards End,” a detailed look at the costume and production designs for the film, including original sketches
  • The Wandering Company, a 50-minute documentary about the history of Merchant Ivory Productions
  • Original 1992 behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A new essay by critic Kenneth Turan
    New cover by Andre Junget

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Tony Pierce-Roberts and approved by director James Ivory, with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New video appreciation of the late Ismail Merchant by director Ivory
  • Building “Howards End,” a documentary featuring interviews with Ivory, Merchant, Helena Bonham Carter, costume designer Jenny Beavan, and Academy Award–winning production designer Luciana Arrighi
  • The Design of “Howards End,” a detailed look at the costume and production designs for the film, including original sketches
  • The Wandering Company, a 50-minute documentary about the history of Merchant Ivory Productions
  • Original 1992 behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A new essay by critic Kenneth Turan
    New cover by Andre Junget

Howards End
Cast
Emma Thompson
Margaret Schlegel
Anthony Hopkins
Henry Wilcox
Vanessa Redgrave
Ruth Wilcox
Helena Bonham Carter
Helen Schlegel
Samuel West
Leonard Bast
James Wilby
Charles Wilcox
Prunella Scales
Aunt Juley
Jemma Redgrave
Evie Wilcox
Joseph Bennett
Paul Wilcox
Adrian Ross Magenty
Tibby Schlegel
Susie Lindeman
Dolly Wilcox
Nicola Duffett
Jacky Bast
Barbara Hicks
Miss Avery
Credits
Director
James Ivory
Screenplay
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Producer
Ismail Merchant
Based on the novel by
E.M. Forster
Associate producer
Donald Rosenfeld
Music
Richard Robbins
Cinematography
Tony Pierce-Roberts
Editing
Andrew Marcus
Costumes
Jenny Beavan
Costumes
John Bright
Production design
Luciana Arrighi
Art Direction
John Ralph

From The Current

Scott Returns to Howards End

For his contribution to the New York Times’s video column “Critics’ Picks” this week, A. O. Scott selects the Merchant Ivory masterwork Howards End. In the not quite four-minute piece, featuring clips from the film that showcase Richard Robb…


Oct 5, 2010
Hopkins in Color

It may be news to many, but in addition to creating such larger-than-life characters as The Silence of the Lambs’ Hannibal Lecter and Howards End’s Henry Wilcox (not to mention, once upon a time, the titular protagonist in James Ivory’s Survivi…


Feb 16, 2010
Howards End: All Is Grace

Who speaks of Howards End these days? Who expounds on the virtues of this magnificent drama, whose traditional style seems almost as distant as its Edwardian setting? Seen today, years past its 1992 release, it strikes one as not only the ultimate ac…

By Kenneth Turan


Oct 28, 2009

Explore

Ismail Merchant and James Ivory

Producer, Director

For five decades, the name Merchant Ivory has been an imprimatur signaling a certain type of quality cinema: literate, sumptuous, classical. But the more than fifty films made by the production team named for Ismail Merchant and James Ivory are distinguished by more than just their glossiness: multivalent, morally complex, and inquisitive, these works, shot all over the world (from Delhi to Paris to New England), are stories of class and of social change, of cultures divided and clashing. Merchant and Ivory (born in Bombay and Berkeley, respectively) met in 1961 and became partners in life and in work shortly thereafter; their company was founded with the idea of making English-language features (directed by Ivory, produced by Merchant) in India for the international market. These first films include The Householder (1963), based on the book by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who wrote the adaptation herself and instantly became an integral part of the company, and Shakespeare Wallah (1965). Soon, Merchant Ivory was shooting films in England, the United States, and elsewhere. Over the years, they have adapted novels by such writers as Henry James, E. M. Forster, and Kazuo Ishiguro into sophisticated works in their own right—their multiple-Oscar-winning Howards End (1992) is often considered their artistic pinnacle. Merchant died in 2005, but Ivory has kept the company going; The City of Your Final Destination, released in 2010, was the first “posthumous” Merchant Ivory film.