The Last September (film)

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The Last September
The Last September .jpeg
DVD cover
Directed byDeborah Warner
Written byJohn Banville
Elizabeth Bowen (novel)
StarringMaggie Smith
Michael Gambon
Keeley Hawes
David Tennant
Lambert Wilson
Music byZbigniew Preisner
CinematographySlawomir Idziak
Edited byKate Evans
Distributed byTrimark Pictures
UGC DA International
Release date
  • 1999 (1999)
Running time
103 minutes
United Kingdom

The Last September is a 1999 British drama film directed by Deborah Warner and produced by Yvonne Thunder from a screenplay by John Banville. It is based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Elizabeth Bowen. The film stars an ensemble cast, which includes Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes, David Tennant and Lambert Wilson. It was filmed in Dowth Hall, County Meath along the banks of the River Boyne.


Set in the 1920s, Sir Richard and Lady Myra reside in their country estate in Ireland with their high-spirited niece, Lois, and their nephew Laurence during the twilight of the Anglo-Irish gentry. They are joined by the Montmorencys who hide the fact that they are presently homeless. Lois is being courted by a soldier stationed in Ireland during The Troubles. The arrival of Marda Norton causes an upheaval amongst all in the house as does an escaped Irish nationalist being hunted by the British soldiers.



Writing for The New York Times, A. O. Scott noted Warner's direction "struggles against the arch politesse that too often characterizes the genre. She plunges into the forest with a hand-held camera and shoots her characters through windows, door frames and even the wrong end of a telescope in a heroic effort to trouble the placid surface of their lives, and to make her film resemble something other than an episode of Masterpiece Theater."[1] Movie critic Roger Ebert gave the film two stars and wrote "The weakness of the movie is that these characters are more important as types than as people... The movie is elegantly mounted, and the house is represented in loving detail... I'm not sure the movie should have pumped up the melodrama to get us more interested, but something might have helped.[2] Variety compared it to a "hard-edged 'Masterpiece Theater'".[3]


  1. ^ Scott, A. O. (21 April 2000). "Oblivious to Revolution, The Gentry Loses Ground". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  2. ^ Ebert, Roger (28 April 2000). "Movie review: 'The Last September". Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  3. ^ McCarthy, Todd (20 May 1999). "Movie review: 'The Last September". Retrieved 6 October 2017.

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