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Hard Times [1977] [DVD]


Price: £9.07 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Hard Times [1977] [DVD] + The Old Curiosity Shop [DVD] + Nicholas Nickleby [DVD] [2003]
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Product details

  • Actors: Patrick Allen, Timothy West, Alan Dobie, Edward Fox, Michelle Dibnah
  • Directors: John Irvin
  • Format: PAL, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Dutch
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Feb. 2009
  • Run Time: 200 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001POYSGM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,065 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

One of Dicken's best loved novels is brought to the screen in two parts, with an all star British cast. This story is set the North of England during the industrial revolution of the 18th Century, and supported by a star studded cast, traces the life of a young circus girl abandoned in Victorian England finds herself a new career with a local businessman.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Graham R. Hill VINE VOICE on 6 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In the three decades since this won a number of awards our expectations of costume dramas have changed somewhat. One can't watch this studio-bound adaptation, shot on tape rather than film and with no music soundtrack without noticing the difference to today's productions. However, that said, it's still a fine affair. The script is funny, the acting is generally good and in the case of Timothy West as Bounderby is outstanding (the way he plays the character is a clear precursor to what must surely be his definitive role, that of Bradley Hardacre in Brass - The Complete Series [DVD] [1983]). The late Rosalie Crutchley also deserves a mention for her performance as Mrs Sparsit and Edward Fox has fun playing Captain Harthouse as, well, as Edward Fox. Dicken's messages are left as unsubtle as they are in the book, but that's probably as it should be.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Paul Peabody on 5 Dec. 2005
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
When I saw this adaption in 1977 ,,,I was overwhelmed,.The cast is beyond perfection.I am astonished that so many of the actors did not find their way into other similar productions over the years,,,which makes this mysterious.I have been trying to find this tape ever since.It is poignant to the point of heartbreak,,but always exceptionally true to the spirit ,,so familiar to Dickens lovers,,,of life on the fringes of society ,,,.Endless villains,,,and priceless heroines,,,hypocrisy etc. I am quite humbled to think that these people did such a splendid job and excepting Timothy West, whose career is much heralded,,,I feel the extraordinary vision,in the lesser knowns actors' portrayel is an incredible secret for those fortunate enough to experience this tale and adds a kind of intimate mystery ,rare,,in the world or recorded arts
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Green Knight on 13 Jan. 2015
Format: DVD
This is a remarkable creation from a golden age of telly drama. Beautifully adapted by Arthur Hopcraft (perhaps best known for his BBC dramatisation of 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy') this was Granada TV showing its muscle in what is now hideously termed 'costume drama'.

Perhaps it's appropriate that the production was mounted by Granada Television, based in Manchester. The whole story is played out among the dark satanic mills of Coketown, a red-brick industrial hell set firmly in the north of England. The windswept moors, the smoking chimneys, the bad weather and the bleakness do not let up from beginning to end. Even the sheep cry there.

The series begins magnificently, with the arrival in Coketown of 'The Horseriding' - a travelling fair, complete with tumblers, acrobats, clowns, dogs, jugglers, contortionists and what-have-you - all in the most superb slightly-frayed-at-the-edges garb that has obviously seen hundreds of performances across country. Full marks to the costume designer (Esther Dean, who went on to design 'The Jewel in the Crown' - need one say more ?) for making the clothes as believable as the characters who wear them. The opening shots are powerful stuff, the music and bright colours of the fair set off against the mud and drab squalour of the back streets.

In 'Hard Times' we are presented with a grim-faced Dickens, in some ways at his most realistic and extreme.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alma J on 2 July 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I missed this the first time it was shown, and so bought it from curiosity. Very well acted, the production captured the feel of the hardship of the era.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By WSH on 8 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Dickens has rarely been done better on television or film. 'Hard Times' is a comparatively short Dickens novel. It has been criticised for being too polemical, for being more parable than novel. This production demonstrates that it has such firm lines of characterisation and plotting that the polemical element can be sustained without sacrificing intellectual and emotional impact. There is no need for me to go into the philosophical issues the author takes up - the story says it all, and this 1977 Granada series does them justice. The whole cast is impeccable. The art direction is stunning. The direction, camerawork and editing are faultless. There is, inevitably, some wear and tear in the image: television material from this era often did not preserve well. By that standard, this is not at all bad. The drama realised here, however, carries any technical shortcomings lightly. Fact: this is exceptional viewing.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Margrete on 21 Jun. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I just love Dickens and am a great fan of anything of his put into film or drama. This version though old, is great, with fine acting from some of the best british actors. I agree with Graham Hill who mentioned the fact that it is dated and our expectations have grown; but it is still worth watching. In fact, some of the earlier Dickens adaptations are better than the later ones. Its all a matter of personal taste and choice. You would enjoy this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs OBrien on 26 Jan. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this DVD for my mother who is completing an English Literature course. She had read the novel and this was just for her own enjoyment. She found it to be an excellent version of the novel.
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