History Main / GosfordPark

6th Feb '13 9:23:23 PM erforce
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gosfordpark1_6593.jpg]]

-->''Tea at four''

-->''Dinner at eight''

-->''Murder at midnight''

2001 film directed by Creator/RobertAltman, set in a large country house in 1930s Britain.

Sir William, a rich guy, invites some more of his rich friends to a hunting trip at Gosford Park. They also bring all their servants.

A few days later, Sir William gets murdered.

More than just a basic murder mystery story, ''Gosford Park'' focuses more on the servants (so much so, there's one in literally every scene) and the division between both ends of the British class system than the rich murdered guy and his rich "friends". The whodunnit plot is used as a device to examine the characters and their relationships with one another, and as a reason for the film to come to an end.

Many of the scenes feature the ensemble improvising dialogue in character, and since the camera is seldom still, the audience drifts from conversation to conversation like an eavesdropper. There are also a lot of sub-plots, which would take forever to cover here.

The screenplay is by Julian Fellowes, who would later create the popular British television drama ''DowntonAbbey''. Like ''GosfordPark'', it would be set in an English manor house and star Maggie Smith.
----
!!Provides Examples Of...
* AllStarCast. Definitely.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Most of the aristocracts come off as selfish and arrogant.
* AssholeVictim: Sir William.
* BitchAlert: Lady Sylvia and the Countess of Trantham
* {{Blackmail}}: Mr. Nesbitt blackmails Isobel by [[spoiler:threatening to tell her parents that Freddie Nesbitt made her pregnant, and that she subsequently had an abortion.]]
* BritishAccents
* TheButlerDidIt: Invoked and Averted. [[spoiler:A valet ''did'' stab Sir William, but his mother figured it out and poisoned Sir William ahead of time. There's no law against stabbing a corpse]].
* ButtMonkey: Mabel Nesbitt, who comes from working class backgrounds and now no longer has any money. Constance makes a point to make fun of the fact that she brought only a single off-the-rack evening dress.
** And Denton to the servants after they find out what he really is.
* TheCasanova: Sir William [[spoiler:courted female workers of his factory, often getting them pregnant and then forcing them to either give up their baby to keep their job or to let them keep the baby and then fire the woman. Although its debatable how consensual some of those dalliances were]].
* ClosedCircle: After the murder, none of the guests are allowed to leave.
* ContrivedClumsiness: After a man posing as a servant reveals himself to be an actor and moves from "below stairs" to "above stairs". To punish him for his deception, the butler spills hot coffee in his lap. He immediately accuses the servant of doing it on purpose, but it's futile at that point. His fellow servants quickly hide their smiles, and the aristocrats think it's pretty funny, too.
* CulturalStereotypes: The wealthy. Specifically, the ''titled'' wealthy; all but a handful of the Upstairs characters are absolutely awful people and dicks of the highest order (and those Upstairs characters who are more likable tend to also be of 'lower' station). That said, the Downstairs characters aren't exactly pure as driven snow, but we're clearly encouraged to sympathise with them a bit more.
* DangerousDeserter: Completely averted with Jennings, who lives with shame because of it. When Dexter eventually finds out, he doesn't rub it in his face and tries to comfort him with something along the lines of "not everyone was born to fight a war".
* DeadpanSnarker: Lady Constance. Also Mrs. Wilson.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of Creator/AgathaChristie-style murder mysteries which take place in grand, aristocratic circles and focus on very wealthy and important people. The plot prefers instead to focus on the relationships between these people and their servants and play with several of the common character types who appear in these stories, with the actual murder being more of a background event. [[spoiler: Also, the detective is a blundering incompetent who ignores or destroys important evidence; it's suggested that because of this, Sir William's murderer will never be identified.]]
* DidYouThinkICantFeel
* TheDitz: Anyone who knows how the police are supposed to inspect crimes should know that Inspector Thompson clearly does not know how to do his job. His assistant on the other hand...
* DysfunctionalFamily: The [=McCordles=] are one big happy family. Well, if you ignore [[spoiler: Sir William's affairs]], [[spoiler: Lady Sylvia's affairs]] and, for that matter, the likelihood that [[spoiler: their daughter is having an affair.]] Not to mention Lady Sylvia's contempt for her child.
* EveryoneIsASuspect: To the audience, anyway. There are murder weapons (bottle of poison, etc.) all over the house. Quite often, the camera cheekily lingers on them when they're in shot.
* FakeBrit: American Ryan Philippe plays Scotsman Henry Denton. [[spoiler:Also, InUniverse as Henry Denton isn't actually Scottish, but American.]]
* GenteelInterbellumSetting
* GoldDigger: Freddie Nesbitt to his wife, Mabel; Rupert Standish is trying it with Isobel. Also, with the exception of the Stockbridges and Weismann's group, this is the real reason the guests are there: they all want money from Sir William, either though business deals, charity or blackmail.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Ivor Novello was an accomplished and much-loved movie star and songwriter in his time. The songs the character performs during the film are some of his most famous, although the real Novello reportly considered his own voice very poor. As the film implies, he was homosexual.
* IdleRich: Most of the "upstairs" cast.
* {{Jerkass}}: Just about everyone in the Upstairs, with some exceptions.
* KickTheDog: Literally, by Lady Sylvia.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Have you read the article above?
* TheMole: Denton acts as one of the servants when [[spoiler:he is really an American actor who spies on the Downstairs for research for Weissman. He tells Jennings, and the word spreads in the Downstairs, causing all the servants to hate him]].
* MysteriousPast: Parks, Mrs Wilson and, to a lesser extent, Mrs Croft. It's all revealed near the end.
* NeverTrustATrailer: The trailers and posters for the film made it seem like a somewhat light-hearted Agatha Christie-style murder mystery, when in fact the murder doesn't happen until ''very'' late in the film, is resolved just as quickly, and could hardly be called the focus of the film anyway.
* NoEnding: Only the murder plot and a few others are concluded. All of the other plots are left up in the air, including [[spoiler: Isobel's heavily-implied abortion]] and [[spoiler: the altered relationship between Mabel and Freddie.]] The resolved plots include [[spoiler:Isobel standing up to her blackmailer and sending him packing, Colonel Meredith fixing up his relationship with his wife (though his business venture does seem kaput) and Elsie (it's heavily implied) manages to go into show business.]]
* NoHeroToHisValet: Cleverly invoked and subverted, since Sir William's valet, Probert, just adores him.
* NotNowKiddo:
--->'''Constable Dexter:''' Sir, someone's traipsed a load of mud in down here.
--->'''Inspector Thompson:''' Not now, Dexter, please.
* NouveauRiche: Mabel's family were working class, but her father made money in business. Her husband squandered it all, so she's not only out of place among the aristocrats, but she doesn't even have the money to pretend that she's on their level.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Why Mary realizes that there's something off with [[spoiler: Denton.]] Also during his second night with Lady Sybil.
* ParentalAbandonment: [[spoiler: Mrs. Wilson, but under duress.]]
* PettheDog: The Countess of Trantham is revealed to have a softer side in her last line of the film
* StealthInsult: Constance tells Mabel how clever she is for only bringing a single evening dress to the excursion. She's making fun of the fact that Mabel lacks the money to afford nice clothes.
* StiffUpperLip: Upstairs is somewhere between this and CosyCatastrophe. Even after the discovery that Sir William [[spoiler: wasn't murdered by a burglar but instead poisoned by someone else in the house]], no-one seems particularly concerned. It helps that [[AssholeVictim everyone hated him]], of course.
* StraightGay: Novello, Weissman and (probably) Arthur.
* TheAlcoholic: [[spoiler: Jennings.]]
* TheReveal: A lot of things are revealed in the end.[[spoiler: Mary deduces a lot of the murder, and Parks and Mrs Wilson fill in the rest for her.]]
* RunningGag: Inspector Thompson being interrupted every time he tries to introduce himself.
* UnrequitedLove: Dorothy towards Jennings, who is ''very'' reluctant. This leads to her giving Colonel Meredith the following epiphany-inducing and love-affirming revelation.
--->'''Dorothy:''' I believe in love. Not just getting it, but giving it. I think that if you're able to love someone, even if they don't know it, even if they can't love you back, then it's worth it.
----

to:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gosfordpark1_6593.jpg]]

-->''Tea at four''

-->''Dinner at eight''

-->''Murder at midnight''

2001 film directed by Creator/RobertAltman, set in a large country house in 1930s Britain.

Sir William, a rich guy, invites some more of his rich friends to a hunting trip at Gosford Park. They also bring all their servants.

A few days later, Sir William gets murdered.

More than just a basic murder mystery story, ''Gosford Park'' focuses more on the servants (so much so, there's one in literally every scene) and the division between both ends of the British class system than the rich murdered guy and his rich "friends". The whodunnit plot is used as a device to examine the characters and their relationships with one another, and as a reason for the film to come to an end.

Many of the scenes feature the ensemble improvising dialogue in character, and since the camera is seldom still, the audience drifts from conversation to conversation like an eavesdropper. There are also a lot of sub-plots, which would take forever to cover here.

The screenplay is by Julian Fellowes, who would later create the popular British television drama ''DowntonAbbey''. Like ''GosfordPark'', it would be set in an English manor house and star Maggie Smith.
----
!!Provides Examples Of...
* AllStarCast. Definitely.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Most of the aristocracts come off as selfish and arrogant.
* AssholeVictim: Sir William.
* BitchAlert: Lady Sylvia and the Countess of Trantham
* {{Blackmail}}: Mr. Nesbitt blackmails Isobel by [[spoiler:threatening to tell her parents that Freddie Nesbitt made her pregnant, and that she subsequently had an abortion.]]
* BritishAccents
* TheButlerDidIt: Invoked and Averted. [[spoiler:A valet ''did'' stab Sir William, but his mother figured it out and poisoned Sir William ahead of time. There's no law against stabbing a corpse]].
* ButtMonkey: Mabel Nesbitt, who comes from working class backgrounds and now no longer has any money. Constance makes a point to make fun of the fact that she brought only a single off-the-rack evening dress.
** And Denton to the servants after they find out what he really is.
* TheCasanova: Sir William [[spoiler:courted female workers of his factory, often getting them pregnant and then forcing them to either give up their baby to keep their job or to let them keep the baby and then fire the woman. Although its debatable how consensual some of those dalliances were]].
* ClosedCircle: After the murder, none of the guests are allowed to leave.
* ContrivedClumsiness: After a man posing as a servant reveals himself to be an actor and moves from "below stairs" to "above stairs". To punish him for his deception, the butler spills hot coffee in his lap. He immediately accuses the servant of doing it on purpose, but it's futile at that point. His fellow servants quickly hide their smiles, and the aristocrats think it's pretty funny, too.
* CulturalStereotypes: The wealthy. Specifically, the ''titled'' wealthy; all but a handful of the Upstairs characters are absolutely awful people and dicks of the highest order (and those Upstairs characters who are more likable tend to also be of 'lower' station). That said, the Downstairs characters aren't exactly pure as driven snow, but we're clearly encouraged to sympathise with them a bit more.
* DangerousDeserter: Completely averted with Jennings, who lives with shame because of it. When Dexter eventually finds out, he doesn't rub it in his face and tries to comfort him with something along the lines of "not everyone was born to fight a war".
* DeadpanSnarker: Lady Constance. Also Mrs. Wilson.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of Creator/AgathaChristie-style murder mysteries which take place in grand, aristocratic circles and focus on very wealthy and important people. The plot prefers instead to focus on the relationships between these people and their servants and play with several of the common character types who appear in these stories, with the actual murder being more of a background event. [[spoiler: Also, the detective is a blundering incompetent who ignores or destroys important evidence; it's suggested that because of this, Sir William's murderer will never be identified.]]
* DidYouThinkICantFeel
* TheDitz: Anyone who knows how the police are supposed to inspect crimes should know that Inspector Thompson clearly does not know how to do his job. His assistant on the other hand...
* DysfunctionalFamily: The [=McCordles=] are one big happy family. Well, if you ignore [[spoiler: Sir William's affairs]], [[spoiler: Lady Sylvia's affairs]] and, for that matter, the likelihood that [[spoiler: their daughter is having an affair.]] Not to mention Lady Sylvia's contempt for her child.
* EveryoneIsASuspect: To the audience, anyway. There are murder weapons (bottle of poison, etc.) all over the house. Quite often, the camera cheekily lingers on them when they're in shot.
* FakeBrit: American Ryan Philippe plays Scotsman Henry Denton. [[spoiler:Also, InUniverse as Henry Denton isn't actually Scottish, but American.]]
* GenteelInterbellumSetting
* GoldDigger: Freddie Nesbitt to his wife, Mabel; Rupert Standish is trying it with Isobel. Also, with the exception of the Stockbridges and Weismann's group, this is the real reason the guests are there: they all want money from Sir William, either though business deals, charity or blackmail.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Ivor Novello was an accomplished and much-loved movie star and songwriter in his time. The songs the character performs during the film are some of his most famous, although the real Novello reportly considered his own voice very poor. As the film implies, he was homosexual.
* IdleRich: Most of the "upstairs" cast.
* {{Jerkass}}: Just about everyone in the Upstairs, with some exceptions.
* KickTheDog: Literally, by Lady Sylvia.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Have you read the article above?
* TheMole: Denton acts as one of the servants when [[spoiler:he is really an American actor who spies on the Downstairs for research for Weissman. He tells Jennings, and the word spreads in the Downstairs, causing all the servants to hate him]].
* MysteriousPast: Parks, Mrs Wilson and, to a lesser extent, Mrs Croft. It's all revealed near the end.
* NeverTrustATrailer: The trailers and posters for the film made it seem like a somewhat light-hearted Agatha Christie-style murder mystery, when in fact the murder doesn't happen until ''very'' late in the film, is resolved just as quickly, and could hardly be called the focus of the film anyway.
* NoEnding: Only the murder plot and a few others are concluded. All of the other plots are left up in the air, including [[spoiler: Isobel's heavily-implied abortion]] and [[spoiler: the altered relationship between Mabel and Freddie.]] The resolved plots include [[spoiler:Isobel standing up to her blackmailer and sending him packing, Colonel Meredith fixing up his relationship with his wife (though his business venture does seem kaput) and Elsie (it's heavily implied) manages to go into show business.]]
* NoHeroToHisValet: Cleverly invoked and subverted, since Sir William's valet, Probert, just adores him.
* NotNowKiddo:
--->'''Constable Dexter:''' Sir, someone's traipsed a load of mud in down here.
--->'''Inspector Thompson:''' Not now, Dexter, please.
* NouveauRiche: Mabel's family were working class, but her father made money in business. Her husband squandered it all, so she's not only out of place among the aristocrats, but she doesn't even have the money to pretend that she's on their level.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Why Mary realizes that there's something off with [[spoiler: Denton.]] Also during his second night with Lady Sybil.
* ParentalAbandonment: [[spoiler: Mrs. Wilson, but under duress.]]
* PettheDog: The Countess of Trantham is revealed to have a softer side in her last line of the film
* StealthInsult: Constance tells Mabel how clever she is for only bringing a single evening dress to the excursion. She's making fun of the fact that Mabel lacks the money to afford nice clothes.
* StiffUpperLip: Upstairs is somewhere between this and CosyCatastrophe. Even after the discovery that Sir William [[spoiler: wasn't murdered by a burglar but instead poisoned by someone else in the house]], no-one seems particularly concerned. It helps that [[AssholeVictim everyone hated him]], of course.
* StraightGay: Novello, Weissman and (probably) Arthur.
* TheAlcoholic: [[spoiler: Jennings.]]
* TheReveal: A lot of things are revealed in the end.[[spoiler: Mary deduces a lot of the murder, and Parks and Mrs Wilson fill in the rest for her.]]
* RunningGag: Inspector Thompson being interrupted every time he tries to introduce himself.
* UnrequitedLove: Dorothy towards Jennings, who is ''very'' reluctant. This leads to her giving Colonel Meredith the following epiphany-inducing and love-affirming revelation.
--->'''Dorothy:''' I believe in love. Not just getting it, but giving it. I think that if you're able to love someone, even if they don't know it, even if they can't love you back, then it's worth it.
----
[[redirect:Film/GosfordPark]]
3rd Jan '13 1:48:55 AM SeptimusHeap
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* NotSoHarmless: What Thompson thinks of the servants when he investigates. [[spoiler:Boy, was he wrong.]]
27th Dec '12 3:53:31 PM miadirossi
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* BitchAlert: Lady Sylvia and the Countess of Trantham



* TheCasanova: Sir William [[spoiler:courted female workers of his factory, often getting them pregnant and then forcing them to either give up their baby to keep their job or to let them keep the baby and then fire the woman]].

to:

* TheCasanova: Sir William [[spoiler:courted female workers of his factory, often getting them pregnant and then forcing them to either give up their baby to keep their job or to let them keep the baby and then fire the woman]].woman. Although its debatable how consensual some of those dalliances were]].


Added DiffLines:

* PettheDog: The Countess of Trantham is revealed to have a softer side in her last line of the film
20th Nov '12 5:07:36 PM Aiguille
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* {{Casanova}}: Sir William [[spoiler:courted female workers of his factory, often getting them pregnant and then forcing them to either give up their baby to keep their job or to let them keep the baby and then fire the woman]].

to:

* {{Casanova}}: TheCasanova: Sir William [[spoiler:courted female workers of his factory, often getting them pregnant and then forcing them to either give up their baby to keep their job or to let them keep the baby and then fire the woman]].
31st Oct '12 7:57:34 PM IJVin
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* FakeBritish: American Ryan Philippe plays Scotsman Henry Denton. [[spoiler:Also, InUniverse as Henry Denton isn't actually Scottish, but American.]]

to:

* FakeBritish: FakeBrit: American Ryan Philippe plays Scotsman Henry Denton. [[spoiler:Also, InUniverse as Henry Denton isn't actually Scottish, but American.]]
31st Oct '12 7:56:13 PM IJVin
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Added DiffLines:

* FakeBritish: American Ryan Philippe plays Scotsman Henry Denton. [[spoiler:Also, InUniverse as Henry Denton isn't actually Scottish, but American.]]
10th Oct '12 7:51:32 PM TVRulezAgain
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* {{Casanova}}: Sir William [[spoiler:courted female workers of his factory, often getting them pregnant and [[CompleteMonster then forcing them to either give up their baby to keep their job or to let them keep the baby and then fire the woman]]]].

to:

* {{Casanova}}: Sir William [[spoiler:courted female workers of his factory, often getting them pregnant and [[CompleteMonster then forcing them to either give up their baby to keep their job or to let them keep the baby and then fire the woman]]]].woman]].
2nd Oct '12 6:50:18 AM lipranzer
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Added DiffLines:

* DeadpanSnarker: Lady Constance. Also Mrs. Wilson.
14th Sep '12 4:22:52 AM erforce
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* OneSceneWonder: Inspector Thompson
13th Sep '12 12:53:50 AM Tapol
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