The gilded age written and created by Julian Fellowes ; dir. by Michael Engler ... [et al.]


This series by Julian Fellowes, the talented author of Downton Abbey, portrays the American high society of the 1880s, where “old money” New Yorkers are confronted by the brash new tycoons. The two main families shown in the series, epitomize the saying: “new money shouts, old money whispers”.

It is an age of immense wealth, created by the wild industrialization, the groundbreaking inventions and by the workforce provided through immigration. The story follows a penniless debutante trying to navigate the clashing values and mores of two conflicting worlds, that move between Manhattan in winter and Newport in summer. The Astors and Vanderbilts dominate the social scene, in which the newcomers are desperate to fit in. The racial aspect of the period, rarely thematized in American cinema, is tackled with characters from the emancipated Black elite. Unlike Downton Abbey, the Gilded age shows that social mobility worked in America at the time, although climbing the social ladder required a harsh fight. The dialogues are excellent, the acting is good, and the decors and costumes provide a sumptuous backdrop to this period of excessive riches.

Available in the Media Centre

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