Melva Alfonso

Written by Melva Alfonso

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Age of Innocence is a timeless classic that captured the hearts of audiences around the world. Directed by Martin Scorsese and released in 1993, this period drama is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Edith Wharton. Set in New York City during the Gilded Age, the film takes us on a journey into the world of high society and explores themes of love, duty, and societal expectations.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of The Age of Innocence and uncover 45 interesting facts about the movie. From behind-the-scenes tidbits to casting choices and critical acclaim, these facts will give you a deeper appreciation for this cinematic masterpiece. So, grab a cup of tea, settle in, and prepare to be enchanted by the enchanting details of The Age of Innocence.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Age of Innocence is a captivating movie set in 19th-century New York, exploring forbidden love, societal expectations, and the sacrifices individuals make to conform. It features stunning costumes and a stellar cast.
  • The film delves into themes of tradition, class divide, and unrequited love, portraying complex characters and emotionally charged performances. It’s a visually immersive journey into the opulent world of 19th-century New York.
Table of Contents

#1: Academy Award Winner

The Age of Innocence, directed by Martin Scorsese, won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in 1993.

#2: Based on a Novel by Edith Wharton

The movie is an adaptation of Edith Wharton’s novel of the same name, which was published in 1920.

#3: Set in 19th Century New York

The film takes place in 1870s New York City and explores the society and customs of the time.

#4: A Tale of Forbidden Love

The Age of Innocence tells the story of Newland Archer, a wealthy lawyer who falls in love with Countess Ellen Olenska, but is bound by the conventions of society.

#5: Stellar Cast

The movie features a talented cast including Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder.

#6: Scorsese’s First Period Drama

The Age of Innocence marked Martin Scorsese’s first foray into period drama, showcasing his versatility as a director.

#7: Detailed Costume Design

The film is renowned for its intricate and historically accurate costume designs, which earned it the Academy Award mentioned earlier.

#8: Captivating Cinematography

Michael Ballhaus, the cinematographer, employed a visually stunning approach to capture the opulence and elegance of 19th-century New York.

#9: Academy Award-Nominated Score

The movie’s musical score, composed by Elmer Bernstein, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.

#10: Themes of Tradition and Conformity

The Age of Innocence explores the themes of societal expectations, tradition, and the pressure to conform.

#11: Critically Acclaimed

The film was well-received by critics and holds a high rating on various review aggregator websites.

#12: Period Accurate Set Design

The production team meticulously recreated 19th-century New York City through their detailed set designs, bringing the era to life on screen.

#13: Character-driven Narrative

The Age of Innocence focuses on the complexities of its characters, their desires, and the sacrifices they make.

#14: A Departure for Scorsese

The movie diverged from Scorsese’s usual themes of crime and violence, showcasing his versatility as a filmmaker.

#15: Historical Accuracy

The filmmakers took great care to portray the historical period accurately, working closely with historians to ensure authenticity.

#16: Intense Romantic Tension

The relationship between Newland Archer and Ellen Olenska is filled with simmering tension and forbidden passion.

#17: Dazzling Ballroom Scenes

The movie features elaborate and grand ballroom scenes that showcase the opulence and social life of the upper class.

#18: A Story of Sacrifice

The Age of Innocence delves into the sacrifices individuals make to uphold social norms and conform to societal expectations.

#19: Exploration of Class Divide

The film examines the rigid class divide of 19th-century society and the limitations it imposes on personal choices and desires.

#20: Exquisite Dialogue

The script of the movie captures the elegance and restraint of the novel, with its rich and well-crafted dialogue.

#21: Poignant Performances

Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder deliver powerful and emotionally nuanced performances.

#22: Complex Female Characters

The movie portrays strong, complex female characters who challenge the societal norms and expectations of their time.

#23: Exploration of Unrequited Love

The Age of Innocence explores the pain and longing associated with unfulfilled love and unrequited desires.

#24: Emphasis on Tradition

The film highlights the importance of tradition and societal expectations in the lives of its characters.

#25: Symbolism in Visual Storytelling

The visual storytelling in the movie utilizes symbolism to convey meaning and emotions without relying solely on dialogue.

#26: Immersive Period Atmosphere

Through its meticulous attention to detail, the movie transports viewers to the lavish world of 19th-century New York.

#27: Dramatic Love Triangles

The Age of Innocence explores the complexities of love triangles and the emotional turmoil they can create.

#28: Evocative Sound Design

The movie’s sound design enhances the immersive experience, bringing the audience deeper into the world of the characters.

#29: Exploration of Gender Roles

The film delves into the societal expectations and restrictions placed on individuals based on their gender.

#30: Muted Color Palette

The movie’s color palette reflects the restrained and formal nature of 19th-century upper-class society.

#31: Adapted Screenplay by Jay Cocks

Jay Cocks penned the screenplay, successfully capturing the essence of Edith Wharton’s novel.

#32: Examination of Hypocrisy

The Age of Innocence exposes the hypocrisy and double standards that exist within high society.

#33: Exploration of Individual Identity

The film grapples with the tension between societal expectations and the desire for personal fulfillment and individual expression.

#34: Detailed Historical Research

The filmmakers conducted extensive historical research to accurately depict the social dynamics and customs of the time period.

#35: Beautifully Choreographed Dance Sequences

The movie features enchanting dance sequences that add to the film’s visual and emotional allure.

#36: Cinematic Homage

The Age of Innocence pays homage to classic Hollywood films and the golden era of cinema.

#37: Exploration of Lost Opportunities

The film explores the regret and lingering emotions associated with missed chances and lost opportunities.

#38: Themes of Repression and Self-Denial

The Age of Innocence delves into the themes of repression and self-denial that were characteristic of the time period.

#39: Exploration of Social Expectations

The movie examines the pressures individuals face to conform to societal expectations and the consequences of deviating from them.

#40: Costume Design by Gabriella Pescucci

Gabriella Pescucci meticulously crafted the stunning costumes that transport viewers to the 19th-century setting.

#41: Portrayal of Love as a Prison

The film portrays love as a powerful force that can simultaneously liberate and confine individuals.

#42: Emotionally Charged Performances

The actors’ performances bring raw emotion and depth to their characters, resonating with audiences.

#43: Examination of Social Constraints

The movie sheds light on the societal constraints that limit personal freedom and intimate relationships.

#44: Exploration of Unfulfilled Desires

The Age of Innocence explores the longing and yearning for fulfillment that often accompany unfulfilled desires.

#45: Enduring Tale of Love and Regret

The story of The Age of Innocence continues to captivate audiences with its poignant portrayal of love and the lingering regrets it can leave behind.


The Age of Innocence is a timeless masterpiece that captivates audiences with its beautiful storytelling, exquisite visuals, and brilliant performances. It delves into the complexities of love, societal norms, and the sacrifices we make in the pursuit of happiness. With its meticulous attention to detail and powerful narrative, this film continues to resonate with viewers of all generations.


Q: Who directed The Age of Innocence?

A: The Age of Innocence was directed by Martin Scorsese, known for his iconic films such as Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, and The Departed.

Q: When was The Age of Innocence released?

A: The movie was released in 1993, receiving critical acclaim and earning multiple Academy Award nominations.

Q: Is The Age of Innocence based on a book?

A: Yes, the movie is based on the 1920 novel of the same name by Edith Wharton. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1921.

Q: Who starred in The Age of Innocence?

A: The film starred Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder in the lead roles, delivering captivating performances that contributed to the movie’s success.

Q: What is The Age of Innocence about?

A: The Age of Innocence is a period drama set in the 1870s New York high society, exploring the forbidden love triangle between Newland Archer, his fiancée May Welland, and the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska.

Q: Was The Age of Innocence a box office success?

A: While it didn’t achieve blockbuster status, the film was generally well-received and grossed over $32 million worldwide.

Q: Did The Age of Innocence win any awards?

A: Yes, the movie won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design and was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.

Q: Is The Age of Innocence available for streaming?

A: Yes, you can stream The Age of Innocence on various platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and iTunes.

Q: What is the running time of The Age of Innocence?

A: The movie has a running time of approximately 139 minutes.

Q: Does The Age of Innocence have any memorable quotes?

A: Yes, some notable quotes from the movie include “Each time you happen to me all over again” and “You gave me my first glimpse of a real life and then you asked me to carry on with a false one.”

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