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Nicholas Nickleby (2002) (Dol) [VHS]

4.4 out of 5 stars 268 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Bell, Christopher Plummer, Jim Broadbent, Anne Hathaway
  • Directors: Douglas McGrath
  • Writers: Douglas McGrath, Charles Dickens
  • Producers: Gail Egan, Jeff Sharp, John Hart, Michael Hogan, Robert How
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: July 22, 2003
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009MEJ0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,802 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I can honestly say that "Nicholas Nickleby" is my favorite of Dickens' works. His sinister villain, his earnest, upright, innocent hero, and the beautiful Kate and their plight for financial independence from their evil uncle Ralph have the foundation of a classic. I've seen several adaptations, including the more faithful Bravo version, but I like this one the best. I believe Douglas McGrath, who tastefully brought "Emma" to the silver screen, has taken an already impressive work and improved on it. The movie moves at a nice pace without becoming drenched in melodrama or lingering over the "darker" side of the story; but neither does it shy away from the meaner aspects of Dickens' characters. Uncle Ralph, if possible, is even more wicked than Dickens wrote him. It does this in a perfectly tasteful and intelligent manner and also incorporates much if the sardonic humor found in the books, something I've found the Bravo adaptation lacks.
In case you're unfamiliar with the story, the film revolves around the life of young Nicholas Nickleby and his sister Kate. Their father has died, leaving them in the hands of his older and much more financially-minded brother Ralph. Desiring to be rid of Nicholas, Ralph seeks him employment with Wackford Squeers, the owner of a boys' school in the north country. The institution puts on a good public face but is in reality a squalor where the boys are mistreated and abused while Squeers and his wife pocket what little income they can provide. While attempting to teach at this "school," Nicholas meets the crippled Smike, an orphan whom the Squeers keep on out of "the goodness of their hearts." Eventually his friendship with Smike will have a vast impact on not only his life, but that of his uncle Ralph as well.
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Format: DVD
This is a concise adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel of the same name. It is a quintessential Dickensian tale. A doting father and loving husband lives in the country with his beloved family. Needing money for their sustenance, he speculates with the little money that he has, at his wife's insistence, and loses all. Dying of a broken heart, he leaves his wife (Stella Gonet) and daughter, Kate (Romola Garai), in the care of his nineteen year old son, Nichols Nickleby (Charlie Hunnam). Left penniless, they are forced to seek succor from their father's cruel but wealthy brother, Ralph Nickleby (Christopher Plummer), who lives in baronial splendor in London.

When they arrive in London, Nicholas, not knowing his uncle's proclivity for cruelty, entrusts his mother and sister into his uncle's care. He allows himself, at his uncle's behest, to be sent as a schoolmaster at a Yorkshire boarding school run by Wackford Squeers (Jim Broadbent), while his sister is to be apprenticed to a dressmaker. An innocent lamb being led to the slaughter, Nicholas goes off to the school, only to find cruelty of a type that he never would have imagined. The school is a run with an iron fist by both Mr. Squeers and the love of his life, the indomitable Mrs. Squeers (Juliet Stevenson), whose idea of a good meal for the boys in their care and custody is a steady diet of brimstone and treacle. Harsh corporal punishment and a spare and unpalatable diet take their toll on the boys, who live in a state of total fear and squalor at the school.

The physical labor needed at the school is provide by a crippled, teenage orphan named Smike (Jamie Bell), a former student. It seems that payments for Smike's education and board stopped some time ago, so Mr. and Mrs.
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Douglas McGrath's new film of one of the most underrated of Dickens's novels is a masterpiece, virtually flawless from first frame to last. Jamie Bell, BAFTA best actor winner for Billy Elliot, takes on the very difficult role of Smike, the abused young inmate of Dotheboys Hall, and rivals Christopher Plummer (as wicked uncle Ralph Nickleby) for best performance in the piece. Brilliant evocation of 1830s London and rural England, and it is great to see such luminaries as Alan Cumming, Dame Edna Everage (!) and Nathan Lane obviously enjoying themselves to the hilt. In my view, this is the best Dickens we have had on screen or television since Christine Edzard's Little Dorrit set a new standard in 1987. Run, don't walk!
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Format: DVD
Charles Dickens was both a great storyteller and a witty commentator on the social injustices of mid-19th Century England.150 years later, the class struggles in Great Britain are of interest mainly to historians. Dickens, the storyteller, however, is still a great deal of fun in the right hands. Many of us are familiar with the numerous film versions of �A Christmas Carol�, �David Copperfield�, �Oliver Twist�, �A Tale of Two Cities� and �Great Expectations�. Dicken�s lesser known and very long �Nicolas Nickleby� is a hard book to tackle by any standards. Writer/director Douglas McGrath has done an admirable job of turning this ponderous tome into a sumptuous, entertaining movie that runs just over two hours. Sadly, the film, released last Christmas, fell under the radar, and very few people saw it. Perhaps on video and DVD it will find a wider audience.
Nickleby [Charlie Hunnan] is a young man whose loving father has recently died in poverty, leaving Nickleby in charge of providing for his sister and mother. They journey to London to seek the help of their only other living relative, Ralph [Christopher Plummer], the dead father�s brother. Ralph is a rich, conniving, unscrupulous entrepreneur, who makes his money by convincing rich Londoners to invest in various schemes. He has scant interest in his family. He provides in a small way for the mother and daughter, but sends Nicholas off to the country to work in a dreadful boys� school run by the wicked Wackford Sqeers [Jim Broadbent] and his hideous wife [Juliet Stevenson]. Though appalled by conditions at the school, Nicholas tries hard to do a good job. He befriends a poor lad named Smike [Jamie Bell], who was once a student but is now virtually the Squeers� slave.
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