Mr. Jennings (Alan Bates) is the butler, who is in charge of directing the rest of the servants and making sure that everything in the house runs smoothly. He's extremely good at his job, and at least as concerned with maintaining a distinction and hierarchy among the servants as the aristocrats are above stairs. But, as we learn over the course of the film, there are chinks even in Mr. Jennings' seemingly impervious armor. He is a secret drinker which appears to be linked to the fact that he's hiding a secret which, if generally known, would probably cost him his position.
In my next post, I'll discuss the themes of Gosford Park and what makes it a great "whodunnit" film.