The Remains of the Day (1993) Script

Dear Mr. Stevens:

You will be surprised to hear from me after all this time.

You've been in my thoughts since I heard Lord Darlington had died.

We read that his heirs put Darlington Hall up for sale...

... as they no longer wished to maintain it.

As no one would buy such a large house...

... the new earl decided to demolish it and sell the stone for 5000 pounds.

We also saw some rubbish in the Daily Mail which made my blood boil:

"Traitor's nest to be pulled down."

One hundred and eighty guineas?

One hundred and eighty? Have we done?

Ladies and gentlemen, a great highlight of the sale:

Lot 414...

...the fine Elizabethan portrait, A Portly Gentleman.

I'll start the bidding at 2000 guineas.

2000 guineas, thank you.

2200.

2400.

2600.

2800.

3000. 3200.

3400. 3600.

3800.

4000 guineas. Four and a half thousand.

5000.

And a half.

6000.

And a half.

7000.

And a half.

8000.

And a half.

9000.

And a half.

10,000 guineas is bid.

And a half.

11,000.

And a half.

Against you, sir, at eleven and a half thousand guineas.

All done at eleven and a half thousand guineas.

I was very relieved to read how an American millionaire...

... named Lewis saved Darlington Hall...

... so you wouldn't be turned out of your home after all.

Is it the same Congressman Lewis...

... who attended His Lordship's conference in 1936?

Mr. Stevens, I so often think of the good old days...

... when I was the housekeeper.

It was hard work...

... and I have known butlers easier to please than our Mr. Stevens...

... but those years with you were among the happiest of my life.

You must have a completely different staff now.

Not many of the old faces around anymore.

There's not much need for the small army of footmen...

... that Lord Darlington employed.

My own news is not very cheerful.

In the 7 years since I last wrote, I have again left my husband...

... and, sad to say, my marriage seems to be over.

I'm staying at a friend's boarding house in Clevedon.


I don't know what my future is.

Since Catherine, my daughter, got married, my life has been empty.

The years stretch before me and if only I knew how to fill them.

But I would like to be useful again.

Burned again? Yes, I'm sorry, sir.

The rule in the kitchen has always been...

...cook cooks the cooked breakfast while her assistant toasts the toast.

Why don't we get her a pop-up toaster?

We need not a new gadget but a revised staff plan, sir.

A staff plan, huh? I didn't know we had one.

A faulty one, unfortunately.

Sir, quite recently...

...you were kind enough to suggest that I go on a little holiday trip...

...around the country.

Absolutely. Certainly, take a break. See the world.

Thank you, sir.

When did you last see the world?

The world always used to come to this house, if I may say so.

You may say so.

Take off when I'm in London next week.

I tell you what, you take the car.

Take the Daimler. Good Lord, sir, I couldn't.

You and that Daimler belong together.

You were made for each other.

That's most kind of you, I must say, sir. Most kind.

I'd meant to travel the West, where I understand we have splendid scenery.

And I might incidentally be able to solve our problems while I'm there.

A former housekeeper, at present living in Clevedon, has indicated...

...that she might be prepared to return to service.

What's this, your girlfriend?

Or a former attachment?

Oh, no, sir.

No, but a very able housekeeper.

A most able housekeeper.

I was just kidding, Stevens.

Sorry.

You know what I like best about your papers?

These obituaries.

Every son of a gun gets this stately funeral oration.

It's not an art we have in the States. Indeed, sir.

Thank you, Stevens.

Mr. Lewis.


Dear Mrs. Benn...

... I propose to reach Clevedon on October 3rd around 4 p.m.

I'd be grateful for a line from you...

... to reach me at the post office at Collingbourne, near Hungerford...

... where I'm planning to stop.

Mrs. Benn, I always said you possess an amazing memory.

Our new employer is indeed Congressman Lewis...

... though he's now retired from political life in the U.S.

He's taken up residence at Darlington Hall, soon to be joined by his family.

But I regret to say we are woefully understaffed for a house this size.

Mrs. Benn, will you permit me once again to sing your praises?

Let me state that when you left to get married...

... no housekeeper ever reached your high standard in any department.

I well remember your arrival at Darlington Hall.

You came somewhat unexpectedly, one might even say impulsively...

... while we were dead in the middle of the Charlgrove meet.

That day is marked in my memory in another way as well.

It was the last time His Lordship...

... was happy to welcome his neighbours, as in the old days.

Of course, it had been years since any of them had coaxed him to hunt.

It was never a sport His Lordship enjoyed or approved of.


Good morning, Ayres. My lord, nice to see you.

Excuse me, sir.


I fear I may have been a little unwelcoming, even a little short.

You presented the best references I've ever seen.

Which proved to be well-deserved.

Though, I confess, I did have my doubts, on account of your youth.

No gentleman callers allowed, of course.

Forgive my mentioning it, but we've had those problems before.

Inside the house too.

The previous housekeeper ran off with the under-butler.

If two staff members decide to get married, one can say nothing.

What I find a major irritation...

...are those persons who go from post to post looking for romance.

Housekeepers are particularly guilty here.

No offense intended, of course. None taken.

I know how a house is at sixes and sevens once the staff start marrying.

Yes, indeed.

Might I have a word, sir? Of course.

My lord, it's regarding the under-butler...

...and the housekeeper who ran off last month.

Bad business. How are you managing?

I've found two first-rate replacements.

Miss Kenton, a young woman with excellent references.

Very pleasing demeanour. Appears to be very able.

And a man with considerable experience.

Older and happy to be under-butler. Name?

Stevens, sir.

Stevens? Yes, sir.

That's your name. He's my father, sir.

Really?

Couldn't do better. I'd like to see him sometime.

He's outside the door.

Good. Bring him in.

Thank you, my lord.

Father.

Mr. Stevens, how do you do?

My lord. Very good man here, your son.

He serves the house well. I don't know what we'd do without him.

Proud of him? Very, my lord.

Quite right too.

Glad to have you with us.

Thank you, my lord.

What are we at dinner tonight? 14? 16?

Twelve, sir.

Right.

Thank you, my lord.


This pitcher seems out of place here. Dining room. Well spotted.

Hello, William, how are you? Good day, Miss Kenton.


I thought these might brighten your parlour.

Beg your pardon?

They might cheer things up for you.

That's very kind of you.

If you like, I could bring in some more for you.

Thank you...

...but I regard this room as my private place of work...

...and I prefer to keep distractions to a minimum.

Would you call flowers a distraction, then?

I appreciate your kindness. I prefer to keep things as they are.

But since you are here, there is a small matter I wanted to mention.

I happened to be walking past the kitchen yesterday morning...

...and I heard you call to someone named William.

May I ask who you were addressing by that name?

I should think I was addressing your father.

There are no other Williams in this house.

True.

May I ask you in future to address my father as Mr. Stevens?

If speaking of him to a third party, you may call him...

...Mr. Stevens Sr. To distinguish him from myself.

So I would be most grateful to you, Miss Kenton.

I don't quite understand what you're getting at.

I am the housekeeper in this house, and your father is the under-butler.

I am accustomed to addressing under- servants by their Christian names.

If you would stop to think for a moment, you'd realize...

...how inappropriate it is for one such as yourself to address as William...

...someone such as my father.

It must have been very galling for your father to be called William...

...by one such as myself.

My father is a person from whom...

...if you'd observe him more, you may learn things.

I'm grateful for your advice, but do tell me...

...what things might I learn from him?

I might point out that you're...

...often unsure of what goes where and which item is which.

I'm sure Mr. Stevens Sr. Is very good at his job...

...but I can assure you that I'm very good at mine.

Of course. Thank you.

If you will please excuse me.

Oh, well.

My compliments to cook.

What a lovely piece of crackling.

I'm sure you said something witty. Share it with the rest of us.

I said the sprouts is done the way I like them. Crisp-like, not mushy.

Sprouts "are" done, not " is" done.

Isn't that right, George?

Yes, Mr. Stevens.

Forgive the correction, as I would have done...

...at your age for the sake of my education.

I'm sure even you have ambitions to rise in your professión.

Oh, yes. I want to be a butler, to be called Mister...

...sit in my own pantry by my own fire, smoking my cigar.

I wonder if you realize what it takes to be a great butler?

Takes dignity, that's what it takes.

Thank you, Mr. Stevens. Dignity, that's right. Dignity.

The definition from our quarterly The Gentlemen's Gentleman:

A great butler must be possessed of dignity...

In keeping with his position.

There was this English butler in India.

One day, he goes in the dining room and what's under the table?

A tiger.

Not turning a hair, he goes to the drawing room.

" Excuse me, my lord," and whispering, so as not to upset the ladies:

" I'm sorry. There appears to be a tiger in the dining room.

Perhaps His Lordship will permit use of the twelve-bores?"

They go on drinking their tea. And then, there's three gunshots.

They don't think nothing of it. In India, they're used to anything.

When the butler is back to refresh the teapots...

...he says, cool as a cucumber:

" Dinner will be served at the usual time, my lord.

And I am pleased to say there will be no discernible traces left...

...of the recent occurrence by that time."

I'll repeat it. "There will be no discernible traces left...

...of the recent occurrence by that time."

Wonderful, Mr. Stevens. Thank you, Mr. Stevens.

Wonderful story. That's the ideal that we should all aim for. Dignity.

For you, Mr. Stevens.

Thank you.

It's for Mr. Stevens Sr., Mr. Stevens.

Thank you, Miss Kenton.

Put Mr. Stevens Sr.'s plate with cook to keep it warm.

Yes, Miss Kenton.

Thank you.

Not at all, Mr. Stevens.


If you're searching for your dustpan, it is out on the landing.

My dustpan?

You've left it on the landing.

I haven't used a dustpan. Really? It must be somebody else.

I don't follow you. My mistake, no doubt. One of many.

Morning, sir.

I've invited Giscard Dupont D'lvry as the French delegate.

He'll never come!

I just had word of his acceptance.

Dupont is fanatically anti-German. His speech in Geneva in '33...

...made me ashamed to be an ally of the French.

It's not the English way.

No, it is not.

This is the purpose of our conference, to discuss these matters informally...

...far from the to-do of an international conference...

...in the friendly and relaxed...

...atmosphere of one's home.

We may bring round the French to our point of view.

And that of the Germans.

I'm sorry to interrupt, but how can we associate with the Germans?

With the Nazi Party! They have torn up and trampled every treaty...

...and are a growing threat to Europe, not to mention a brutal dictatorship.

My dear boy, when I was in Berlin, I saw at last a happy German people...

...with jobs, bread, pride in their country and love of their leader.

And what about the Jews?

Did His Lordship wish to exchange the Chinaman in the cabinet room...

...with the one outside the door?

Chinaman? Yes.

The Chinaman from the cabinet room is outside this door. See for yourself.

I'm busy at the moment.

Just pop your head outside this door and see for yourself.

I'll look into the matter later. You think it's a fantasy?

A fantasy on my part due to my inexperience?

I'm busy in this room, Miss Kenton.

I shall wait.

Outside.


Look!

Is that not the wrong Chinaman? I am very busy.

Have you nothing better to do than stand around?

Look at it and tell me the truth.

Keep your voice down. What would the other servants think...

...of us shouting about a Chinaman?

And I would ask you...

...to turn around and look at the Chinaman.

It is a small mistake.

Your father is entrusted with more than he can cope with.

Let me pass.

Your father left the dustpan on the floor.

He left polish on the cutlery and confused the Chinaman.

Recognize this before he commits a major error!

You can't talk to me like this. I'm afraid I must.

I'm giving you serious advice.

Your father should be relieved of a number of his duties for his own good.

Whatever he once was, he no longer has the same ability or strength.

I thank you for your advice.

Perhaps now I can go about my business.

I never meant to keep you from your business.

Thank you.

It's vital that we've agreed a common policy before the arrival of...

...your Frenchman. What's his name? Giscard Dupont D'lvry.

We also expect the American delegate...

...Congressman Lewis, to arrive on the same day.

Who is he, this American?

He's an unknown quantity. A young congressman from Pennsylvania.

Sits on some sort of powerful Foreign Affairs Committee.

Heir to one of those American fortunes.

Meatpacking? Trolley cars?

Or dry goods?

What are dry goods?

Something that Americans make a lot of money in.

No, I think Mr. Lewis' fortune comes from cosmetics, actually.

It's old Mr. Stevens!

Get a cushion, quickly. A blanket!

The silver! The silver!

Oh, my lord. Sorry.

You'll be all right.

Thank you, sir. I'm sorry. What happened?

He tripped with the tray. I saw it from the window.

This has never happened before.

May I telephone the doctor? Yes, do.

I'm sorry. Don't worry.

Your father feeling better?

He's made a full recovery.

Good.

We don't wish to see anything of that sort ever happen again, do we?

I mean, your father collapsing. Indeed not, my lord.

And it could happen anywhere.

At any time.

The first of the foreign delegates will be here in less than a fortnight.

We are well prepared, my lord. I'm sure you are.

What happens within this house could have...

...considerable repercussions on the course that Europe takes.

It means a great deal.

And it means a great deal to me personally.

I had a German friend, Karl-Heinz Bremann.

We fought on opposite sides in the war.

We always said when it was over, we'd sit down and have a drink...

...like gentlemen.

The Versailles Treaty made a liar of me.

Yes, a liar, Stevens.

Because the terms we imposed were so harsh that Germany was finished.

One doesn't do that to a defeated foe.

Once your man's on the canvas, it ought to be over.

My friend Bremann was ruined by inflation.

Couldn't get a job in postwar Germany.

Killed himself.

Shot himself in a railway carriage.

Since then, I've felt it my duty to help Germany and to give her...

...a fair chance.

So this conference is crucial...

...and we can't run the risk of any accidents.

There's no question of your father leaving.

You're simply being asked to reconsider his duties.

Of course, my lord. I understand fully.

Good.

I'll leave you to think about it, then, Stevens.

Thank you, sir.


I'm short-handed in the dining room. I can use you in the servery.

Thank you, Mr. Stevens, sir. Smarten up. Look sharp.

Good morning.

Good morning.

I might've known you'd be up and ready for the day.

I've been up for two hours.

That's not much sleep. It's all the sleep I need.

I've come to talk to you.

Talk, then. I haven't got all morning.

I'll come straight to the point. Do, and be done with it.

Some of us have work to be getting on with.

There's to be a very important conference in this house next week.

People of great stature will be His Lordship's guests.

We must all put our best foot forward.

Because of Father's recent accident...

...it has been suggested that you no longer wait at table.

I've waited at table every day...

...for the last 54 years.

It has also been decided that you should no longer carry heavy trays.

Now, here's a revised list of your duties.

Look, I fell...

...because of those paving stones.

They're crooked.

Why don't you get them put right before someone else falls?

You will read the revised list of your duties.

Get those stones put right.

You don't want those "gentlemen of stature" breaking their necks.

No, indeed, I don't.

What is it?


You have what we can call a roving commissión.

In other words, you can exercise your own judgment...

...within certain limits, of course.

Now, here are the mops, and... Here.

Are these me mops? Right. Your brushes.

And me brushes?

And me mops. That's right.

What do you want me to do with them?

I think you know what to do with them, Father. Look for dust and dirt.

If I find any dust or dirt...

...I go over them with this mop.

That's right.

Now, I suggest you start off...

...with the brasses on the doors.

There's that door there. Then the door that's open.

And then there's this door here...

Here's your polish. And duster.

History could well be made under this roof over the next few days.

Each and every one of you...

...can be proud of the role you will play on this occasión.

Imagine yourself the head of a battalion...

... even if it is only filling the hot-water bottles.

Each one has his own particular duty...

... or her particular duty, as the cap fits.

Polished brass, brilliant silver, mahogany shining like a mirror.

That is the welcome we will show these foreign visitors...

... to let them know they are in England...

... where order and tradition still prevail.


Thank you, Brian.


Mr. Lewis, the American, has arrived.

He was expected tomorrow. What have you done with him?

Mr. Lewis has been shown upstairs.

My godson, Cardinal, will shortly become engaged to be married.

Indeed, sir. I offer my congratulations.

Thank you, Stevens.

I feel very responsible for the boy.

He is my godson, and his father was my closest friend, as you know.

And now that he's gone, well...

...I feel in place of a father to him.

I've appointed him as my secretary at the conference.

He's been jolly thorough in helping me to prepare.

I realize this is a somewhat irregular thing to ask you to do.

I'd be glad to be of any assistance.

I'm sorry to bring this up...

...but I just can't see how on earth to make it go away.

You are familiar with the facts of life?

My lord? The facts of life.

Birds, bees. You are familiar, aren't you?

I'm afraid I don't quite follow you.

Let me put my cards on the table.

I'm so busy with this conference. Of course, you are too...

...but someone has to tell him.

In a way, it would be easier for you.

Less awkward.

I'd find the task rather daunting, I'm afraid.

I might not get to it before Reginald's wedding day.

Of course, this goes far beyond the call of duty.

I shall do my best.

I'd be grateful if you'd try. It'd be a lot off my mind.

There's no need to make a song and dance of it. Just convey the facts.

God! Stevens!

Sorry. Most sorry, sir...

...but I do have something to convey to you rather urgently.

If I may, I'll come to the point.

Perhaps you noticed this morning the ducks and the geese by the pond?

Ducks and geese? I don't think so.

Well, perhaps the birds and the flowers, then...

...or the shrubs, the bees...

I've not seen any bees.

It's not the best time to see them. What, the bees?

What I'm saying is that, with the arrival of spring...

...we shall see a most remarkable and profound change...

...in the surroundings.

I'm sure that's right. I'm sure the grounds are not at their best now.

I wasn't paying attention to the glories of nature...

...because it's worrying...

Dupont D'lvry has arrived in a foul mood, the last thing anyone wants.

M. Dupont D'lvry has arrived? Half an hour ago, in a foul mood.

In that case, excuse me. I'd better go and attend to him.

Right you are. Kind of you to talk to me.

Not at all. I've one or two words more to convey on the topic of...

...as you put it most admirably...

...the glories of nature.

But it must wait for another occasión.

I'll look forward to it. But I'm more of a fish man.

Fish? I know all about fish.

Freshwater and salt.

All living creatures would be relevant to our discussión.

Excuse me. I had no idea that Monsieur Dupont D'lvry had arrived.

Thank you.

May I be of assistance, sir?

Oh, the butler.

I have sore feet, so I need a basin with warm water and salts, please.

I'll arrange that with the housekeeper, sir.

Warm water and salts as soon as possible.

How do you do? But I speak English.

Good. That's lucky for me. I'm Jack Lewis, the U.S. Delegate.

Could we speak privately soon?

Yes, of course.

But I have blisters due to some sightseeing they made me do in London.

I had already seen the Tower of London.

I've discovered that things are not moving...

...in a direction that I think you would approve of.


German rearmament is a fact to be accepted.

It's in our own interest to have a free and equal Germany.

Not a prostrate nation...

...upon whom an unfair peace treaty was imposed 16 years ago.

Those who've been in Germany...

...can only thrill, as I have, to the signs of rebirth.

To assist Germany in her virile struggle for economic recovery...

...including support for her fair demand for equality of armaments...

...and universal military service for German youth.

If we, in postwar Europe...

I need more water. I need another basin to bathe my feet.

Follow me, sir.

Excuse me.

We have to talk. This way, sir.

My friend, I am in agony. Too tight shoes. I blame myself.

Vanity.

We must do some fast maneuvering to restrain the Germans.

Please come this way, gentlemen.

Butler, please, could you help me with my feet... shoe?

Yes, of course. Take it off.

What they said about equality of arms for Germany, military service...

Sorry, sir. I'll manage.

What?

Your father's been taken ill, sir.

Where? Outside the Chinese bedroom, sir.

Germany wants peace as much as we do. She needs peace.

Here, let me help you with that.

Thank you.

Thank you, Charles.

Take a basin of hot water and salts...

...to Mr. D'lvry in the billiards room. Is that understood?

Yes, Mr. Stevens. Good. Do it.

Father?


I have more time than you to look after him. I've called the doctor.

Thank you, Miss Kenton.

Your father's not so good, I'm afraid.

If he deteriorates, call me, will you?

How old is he? 70, 72?

75, sir. I see.

Lf he deteriorates, let me know. I will, sir. Thank you, doctor.


More haste, less speed.


There's something missing.

What is it?

The spoon from the cruet set, sir. Good.

Well observed.

Now, never touch the lip of the glass.

Good.

Glass first, and then...

Is everything in hand downstairs?

We're preparing the last dinner of the conference.

You can imagine the kitchen.

But is everything in hand? Yes, I think we're up to scratch.

Are you feeling any better?

There's something I have to tell you.

I have so much to do. Why don't we talk in the morning?

Jim...

...I fell out of love with your mother.

I loved her once.

The love went out of me when I found her carrying on.

A good son.

Proud of you.

I hope I've been a good father.

I tried me best.

You better get down there...

...or heaven only knows what they'll be up to.

Go on.

Go on!

We'll talk in the morning.

On the last day of our conference...

...permit me to say how impressed I have been...

...with the spirit of goodwill that has prevailed.

Goodwill for Germany.

And with tears in my eyes...

...I see that everyone here has recognized...

...our right to be, once again, a strong nation.

With my hand on my heart, I declare...

...that Germany needs peace...

...and desires only peace.

Peace with England...

...and peace with France.

Thank you very much.

I, too, have been impressed...

...yes, deeply impressed...

...by the genuine desire for peace manifested at this conference.

Unlike our American colleague...

...we in Europe know the horrors of war.

And whether we are French or English or Italian or German...

...our one desire is to never have to experience them again.

Indeed.

Impressed, or I may say touched...

...by the words of goodwill and friendship I have heard...

...I promise you that I shall do my utmost...

...to change my country's policy...

...towards that nation which was once our foe...

...but is now, I may venture to say...

...our friend.

Ladies and gentlemen...

...the United States doesn't want war any more than you do.

On the other hand, neither do we want peace at any price...

...because some prices, you may find...

...are too outrageously high to pay.

But let's not get into that now. We may have to soon enough.

For the moment, let us raise our glasses to Lord Darlington...

...in gratitude for his magnificent hospitality.

Lord Darlington is a classic English gentleman of the old school.

Decent and honorable and well-meaning.

So are all of you. All decent, honorable and well-meaning gentlemen.

It's a pleasure and a privilege to visit with you here.

But...

...now, excuse me, I must say this...

...you are, all of you, amateurs.

And international affairs should never be run by gentlemen amateurs.

Do you have any idea of what sort of a place the world is becoming?

The days when you could act out of noble instincts are over.

Europe has become the arena of Realpolitik, the politics of reality.

If you like, real politics.

What you need is not gentlemen politicians, but real ones.

You need professionals, or you're headed for disaster.

So I propose a toast, gentlemen...

...to the professionals.

Well, I've no wish to enter into a quarrel...

...on our last evening together.

But let me say this. What you describe as amateurism...

...is what I think most of us here still prefer to call honour.

Miss Kenton would like to see you concerning your father.

I suggest that your professionalism means greed and power...

...rather than to see justice and goodness prevail in the world.

I've never concealed from myself that what we were asking of Germany...

...is a complete break from the tradition of this country. Thank you.

Mr. Stevens, I'm very sorry.

Your father passed away four minutes ago.

Oh, I see.

I'm so very sorry.

I wish there was something I could say.

Will you come up and see him?

Well, I'm very busy at the moment. In a little while, perhaps.

In that case, will you permit me to close his eyes?

I would be most grateful. Thank you.

My father would wish me to carry on. I can't let him down.

No. Of course.


I'd really like to continue our little chat sometime.

About nature.

You're right. I should come back when everything's burgeoning.

Yes, sir. Indeed.

As I said before, my main interest has always been in fish.

When I was small, I kept tropical fish in a tank.

I harboured quite a passion for them.

I'll have another drop of that, if you don't mind.

You all right?

I'm perfectly all right.

Not feeling unwell?

No, sir. A little tired, perhaps.


Wonderful!

What a beautiful example of German culture you've brought to this house.

Very nice.

I hope there's no hard feelings.

Oh, my dear good chap.

I like a good, clean fight. Giving as good as one gets, what?

I have the greatest respect for the English. I love it here.

My family brought us here as kids, so I feel at home.

Anyway, thank you.

Excuse me.

You all right?

Yes, perfect, my lord.

You coming down with a cold or something?

It's been a long day.

It's been a hard day for both of us.

Well done.


My condolences.

It was a stroke. A severe stroke. He wouldn't have suffered much pain.

Thank you for telling me.


There's a distinguished foreign gentleman in the billiard room...

...in need of attention.

Urgent?

His feet.

Feet?

I'll take you to him. Lf it's urgent.

It is urgent. The gentleman is in pain.

My condolences.

Thank you. That is most kind of you.


Good afternoon.

My name is Stevens. I'm hoping there's a letter for me.

I'll just check for you, sir. James Stevens.

I'd like two apples, please. There you are, Mr. Stevens.

You are touring in these parts? I'm on my way to Clevedon.

How much is that? That'll be threepence, please.

And you'd be coming from?

Oxfordshire. Whereabouts?

Sorry? Whereabouts in Oxfordshire?

Darlington.

That rings a bell. Wasn't there a Lord Darlington? Some sort...

...of Nazi, got us in the war?

I'm the butler there, and my employer...

...is Mr. Lewis, an American gentleman.

I didn't know the former owner.

Your change.


I should be glad to meet you at the Sea View Hotel, opposite the pier.

We'll have such a lot to talk about, and I'll have many questions.

Ex cept for you, I've lost touch with all our friends at Darlington Hall.

But that's no wonder.

It was long ago and a lot has happened in between.

Who could keep track of all the people His Lordship once employed?

My lord, you rang?

Have the young German ladies arrived? They're outside.

I'd like to say hello to them, practise my German.

They do speak excellent English. Good. Well, ask them to come in.

This is Elsa and this is Irma.

I'm asking about their journey.

It was long, my lord.

I asked if they like the weather.

We are grateful to you, my lord, for letting us come here.

Our parents are very grateful.

Not at all. Miss Kenton will look after you.

Won't you? Indeed, my lord.

Welcome to Darlington Hall.

Thank you, my lord. Thank you, my lord.

Will there be anything else?


Sir Geoffrey.

Good to see you.

How do you do?

Well, come in.

Mr. Benn. Mr. Stevens.

Gentlemen, if you'd like to wait here for a while.

Aren't you still at Stanton Lacey? I'm with Sir Geoffrey now.

You haven't changed one bit. I'll let you get on.

Perhaps we'll meet later. I hope so.

But, gentlemen, you speak of Jews and Gypsies, Negroes and so forth.

But one has to regard the racial laws of the Fascists...

...as a sanitary measure, much overdue, in my opinion.

Imagine trying to enforce such a rule in this country...

You cannot run a country without a penal system.

Here we call them prisons. There, they call them concentration camps.

Is there any meat of any kind in this soup?

I think it's mushroom stock, sir.

Mushroom ends and skins, onion and celery. No meat at all.

Cold water, and then cook adds sherry.

I hear you have a Labour fellow from your constituency.

Over there, they've got rid of all that trade union rubbish.

Believe me, no workers strike in Germany.

And everyone's kept in line.

No wonder this country is going down the drain.

It is internally diseased.

I think there may be butter in the croutons. Do you know?

I'm afraid there may be.

You've made a cozy little nest here.

Seems to me you must be a well-contented man.

In my philosophy, Mr. Benn...

...a man cannot call himself well-contented...

...until he has done all he can...

...to be of service to his employer.

This assumes that one's employer...

...is a superior person not only in rank or wealth...

...but in moral stature.

And in your opinion, what's going on up there has "moral stature"?

I wish I could be sure.

But I'm not.

I've heard some very fishy things. Very fishy.

I hear nothing.

Listen.

That's so touching, isn't it?

To listen to the gentlemen would distract me from my work.

It's fresh soda.

Would you be joining us?

Thank you, but it's very late and I have an early start.

Good night.

Good night, Mr. Stevens. Good night, Miss Kenton.

Good-looking woman.

It was never the same after she left Stanton Lacey.

I handed in my own notice six months later.

I'd be lost without her.

A first-rate housekeeper is essential in a house like this...

...where great affairs are decided between these walls.

Good morning. My lord.

"We do the Jews no injustice when we say that the revelation of Christ...

... is something incomprehensible and hateful to them.

Though He apparently sprang from their midst...

... He embodies the negation of their whole nature.

The Jews are far more sensitive about this than we are.

This demonstration of the cleft that separates us Europeans from the Jew...

... is not given in order to let religious prejudice...

... with its dangerous bias, settle the matter...

... but because the perception of two fundamentally different natures...

... reveals a real gulf. "

We have some refugee girls on the staff now, I believe.

We do.

Two housemaids, Elsa and Irma.

You'll have to let them go, I'm afraid.

Let them go, my lord?

It's regrettable, but we have no choice.

You must see the whole thing in context.

I have the well-being of my guests to consider.

May I say...

...they work extremely well.

They're intelligent, polite and very clean.

I'm sorry, but I've looked into this matter very carefully.

There are larger issues at stake.

I'm sorry, but there it is.

They're Jews.

Yes, my lord.

I'm amazed you can stand there as if...

...you were discussing orders for the larder. I can't believe it!

Elsa and Irma are to be dismissed because they're Jewish?

His Lordship has decided. There's nothing for you and I to discuss.

Without work, they could be sent back to Germany.

It is out of our hands.

I tell you, if you dismiss my girls tomorrow, it will be wrong!

A sin, as any sin ever was one!

There are many things you and I don't understand in this world.

His Lordship understands fully and has studied the larger issues at stake...

...concerning, say...

...the nature of Jewry.

I warn you...

...if those girls go...

...I shall leave this house.

Please.