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An indictment of materialism and a triumph of the human spirit
This critically acclaimed adaptation fully and faithfully realizes the Charles Dickens classic in all its emotional depth and timeless relevance.
Above 19th-century Coketown, soot billows from the mills smokestacks like black flags. As the towns leading citizen, Thomas Gradgrind values hard facts and unflinching reason above all else, and he teaches these values to his children, Louisa and Tom. Gradgrinds friend, the self-made industrialist Josiah Bounderby, manages his mills with similar heartlessnessmuch to his profit. But a series of events shakes both men to their very core, causing profound pain to those around them and an eventual awakening.
From the company that brought Brideshead Revisited and The Jewel in the Crown to the screenand from the writer and director of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spythis production features Dickens unforgettable characters struggling with remarkably contemporary conflicts: the demands of technology versus the needs of society, and the practical power of materialism versus the ineluctable pull of the human heart.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE Charles Dickens bio and cast filmographies.
This critically acclaimed adaptation fully and faithfully realizes the Dickens classic in all its emotional depth and timeless relevance. -- Exclusive Magazine
This is an engrossing adaptation. -- Brattleboro Reformer, March 8, 2007
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - one of the cleanest, most direct Dickens TV adaptations that I can remember seeing. -- DVDTalk.com, March 13, 2007
- Charles Dickens bio
- Cast filmographies
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Top customer reviews
and the characters. I was especially impressed with Timothy West's performance as
the self-centered and blustery Bounderby. Jacqueline Tong (Daisy from Upstairs Downstairs)
also does a very good job playing the repressed Louisa. Less successful, though, are
Edward Fox as Harthouse (he gets the ennui right, but his passions are not convincing)
and Patrick Allen (the transition from grim authoritarian to loving father doesn't work).
Other minor characters (Tom, Rachel, and Stephen) do a fine job with their relatively
underdeveloped parts. Rosalie Crutchley makes the most of the thankless Mrs. Sparsit
role, but I would have liked to see her shaking her hand at Bounderby's portrait more
I was especially impressed with the look and feel of in this film. It
seems always to be winter in Coketown, never summer. The sky is always gray,
the air smoky, and the streets filthy. Factory workers wear patched and fraying
clothes and even the dresses worn by the wealthy folk are drab; the furnishings
are far from sumptuous and the vehicles looks worn as well. In short, the sets
and props are perfectly matched to Dickens' tone.
What a shame that the scriptwriters left out some of the irony in the book.
I was looking forward to Bounderby's humiliation when his mother is revealed
to be alive and loving! Ah well, something always has to go when Dickens
is adapted to the screen.
This film was made 30 years ago, and it has held up quite well. I recommend
it heartily to Dickens fans.