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Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008]

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Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008] + The Old Curiosity Shop [DVD] + Bleak House - BBC (3 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2005]
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Product details

  • Actors: Claire Foy, Russell Tovey, Judy Parfitt, Rosie Cavaliero, Sebastian Armesto
  • Directors: Dearbhla Walsh, Adam Smith, Diarmuid Lawrence
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Jan 2009
  • Run Time: 452 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001IWNQ50
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,597 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Andrew Davies's adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens tale of hardship and struggle in 1820s London. The Dorrit family has spent years in a debtors' prison due to the financial mess in which father William (Tom Courtenay) managed to land himself as a youth. Youngest daughter Amy (Claire Foy), known as Little Dorrit, finds work with the wealthy Mrs Clenham (Judy Parfitt) but knows that her father will, in all probability, spend the remainder of his life in gaol. However, when Arthur Clenham (Matthew Macfadyen), recently returned from abroad, comes to suspect that his late father was in part responsible for the Dorrits' plight, he becomes determined to make amends. But as he continues to delve into the mysteries of the Dorrits' and his parents' shared past, he is unaware that his own mother's house has been placed in peril by the arrival of a sinister stranger.

From Amazon.co.uk

It’s fair to say that the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit managed to attract quite a cast. Led by the excellent Claire Foy and Matthew Macfadyen, you’ll happily talent spot as the likes of Eddie Marsan, Andy Serkis, Alun Armstrong and Tom Courtney take their places in the production. And what’s more, making more fleeting appearances are the likes of Sue Johnston, Amanda Redman, Pam Ferris and Freema Agyeman. Star-studded doesn’t begin to describe it.

Perhaps the real star of Little Dorrit though is writer Andrew Davies, who once more manages to skilfully wrangle a classic text into a cracking TV adaptation. Across fourteen episodes, he weaves Dickens’ tale of 1820s London into life, and it’s not the easiest text to adapt. Davies, however, does sterling work here, and cements his position as one of the best in the business.

He’s matched toe-to-toe by the production team, though. Little Dorrit is the latest to further enhance the BBC’s pedigree where costume drama is concerned, and the production is simply sumptuous. Perhaps, on the downside, the casting gets a little star-focused, and it does require a little more effort than you’d normally expect on the part of the viewer to get into. But it’s richly rewarded effort, and we can’t be the only ones eagerly wondering what Andrew Davies will tackle next. For Little Dorrit really is something quite special. --Jon Foster

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 131 people found the following review helpful By DCGUY on 1 Aug 2009
Format: DVD
This is one of Dickens' lesser known works and is given a wonderful screenplay by Andrew Davies who also did the Pride and Prejudice and Bleak House adaptations for BBC TV. The novel centers on two characters whose lives are changed when the father of one of them dies and triggers a search for answers from the past. Much of the storyline is taken from Dickens' personal experiences as a young boy when his father was imprisoned in a debtors prison. The theme of imprisonment pervades the entire storyline and every character is affected by it in one shape or form (physical, psychological, familial, and societal). Dickens' satire of the pre-Victorian 1826 English society class snobbery, bureaucracy, and greed are displayed by the characters in this novel.

The original novel was broken into two parts with Arthur Clennam being the primary focus in the first part and Amy Dorrit in the second part. This adaptation chose to focus on both characters right away instead of following the original novel time line. There are many great individual performances in this 7 1/2 hours saga. The two central characters remain unchanged despite financial, family, and social status pressures. This adaptation blends humor, sorrow, joy, and a mystery embedded in a love story that transcends time and place. It is a rare TV event to see such a wide ranging emotional and visually impressive presentation. Many of the questions that people look for answers like who we will live our lives with, what obligations do parents and children have for each other, and how will we live our lives are brought out from this presentation. This is a timeless series with a timeless message that what really matters in life is not money, status, or power.
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122 of 128 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Oct 2008
Format: DVD
After 'Dombey and Son' this must be the hardest book of Dickens' to adapt for the screen. The last Dickens we were given was 'Oliver Twist', which was pretty mediocre but I had been waiting to see this since I heard it was being made about eighteen months ago. It seems the BBC could have another hit on its hands. Like 'Bleak House' this has been filmed in 30 minute segments giving it a soap like feel and seems to work with this story, as it did with 'Bleak House'. I did have a few qualms about some of the casting, but these seem to have been misplaced.

So, what is Little Dorrit about? The story is about lies, deceit and secrets, a tangled web of all these has been formed and the question is can the honest and honourable Mr Clennam unravel these to find what is going on. After the death of the senior Mr Clennam his son is sent back to England with a pocket watch and a message for his mother. Only at this stage does the young Mr Clennam become aware that some shady dealings have gone on in the past, and he is determined to get to the bottom of it, especially as he has taken a liking to Amy 'Little' Dorrit and is concerned that his family may have bankrupted her father, placing him in the Marshalsea.

The acting is good, and so are the set pieces, costumes, etc. This is truly a sumptious adaptation that really brings the novel to life. For some purists they may not agree, as not every scene from the book and every word is repeated, but surely the success of an adaptation is the ability to evoke the essence of a story and make something that captivates an audience? To this end Andrew Davies has supplied a screenplay that does just that and once again he can rest on his laurels as the supremo of classic novel to screen adaptations.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By M. Limb on 5 Dec 2008
Format: DVD
The past decade has produced some fabulous costume dramas, but Little Dorrit has to be the best: it combines moving profundity, eccentric humour and a dazzling evocation of Victorian London and Venice to create a visually spellbinding and continuously gripping experience for the viewer. It's impeccably cast, and all of the actors give superb performances, down to the last telling detail.

It's astonishing that Andrew Davies could have captured such a complex, multi-layered story with such daringly economical dialogue, but every character and scene is drawn in intricate, mesmerizing detail and the feel of the book is recreated with utmost faithfulness. Mr Pancks' leapfrog is one of our favourite television moments of all time! No-one could fail to enjoy this adaptation. We'll be watching the episodes back to back continuously for the rest of our lives!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ms. H. Levan on 5 April 2009
Format: DVD
This dramatisation of the Dickens novel is yet another triumph for Andrew Davies. Having just read the book, I can vouch for the remarkable closeness of the original plot to the adaptation. The casting is almost perfect, with Arthur looking perhaps a little younger than his 40 years and world travel might suggest. Claire Foy is a real find as Little Dorrit.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Mornaw on 26 Nov 2008
Format: DVD
The BBC's latest adaption of Little Dorrit is not to be missed. The casting is excellent (M. Rigaud is truly terrifying), and the costumes and sets are just right. Every moment is riveting, one is constantly wondering which way the story is going to turn next, and although the plot is perhaps a little contrived in places (a few too many coincidences), it doesn't detract from the enjoyment. In fact I'm beside myself at the end of each episode, wanting to know what will happen next. Not normally a great lover of Dickens, this production has changed my mind. Don't miss it!
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