Stiff Upper Lips (1998)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Parody/Spoof, Comedy of Manners  |   Release Date - Jul 2, 1999 (USA)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom, India  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Synopsis by Bhob Stewart

This 5.7-million-dollar British comedy from writer/director Gary Sinyor satirizes the now-familiar Merchant-Ivory style of period dramas. So no one will miss the joke, the central setting is Ivory Hall, the Ivory family mansion in rural England. In 1908, young twit Edward Ivory (Samuel West) plans to match his bookwormish friend Cedric (Robert Portal) with his 22-year-old sister, Emily (Georgina Cates), and introduces the two at Ivory Hall. However, Emily is instead attracted to gamekeeper George (Sean Pertwee), the son of a peasant (Brian Glover). Emily's aunt Agnes Ivory (Prunella Scales), in favor of Cedric, suggests an Enchanted April-type excursion to Italy with George along as a servant. Eventually, Emily and George become a couple, but class differences are a barrier. When Aunt Agnes becomes bored with Italy and yearns to go "somewhere more English," the vacation party is off to India, where Agnes has her own romantic encounter with lecherous tea-planter Horace (Peter Ustinov). Other short satirical send-ups recall Chariots of Fire, Brideshead Revisited, Upstairs, Downstairs, The Shining, and Gandhi, while humorous references also are heard in the soundtrack of classical excerpts. Stiff Upper Lips was shown at the 1997 London Film Festival.




aristocracy, English [nationality], friendship, gamekeeper, love, peasant, servant, sister, son