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Little Dorrit [4DVD] [IMPORT]
Little Dorrit [4DVD] [IMPORT]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This version only has Dutch subtitles, 27 Jun. 2011
I enjoyed the series very much. However, this DVD set only has Dutch subtitles. If you want English subtitles, look for this version of the miniseries. Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008]

If you want the Blu-ray version (with English subtitles), it can be found on this listing. Little Dorrit [Blu-ray]

Masterpiece Theatre: Great Expectations [DVD] [1999] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Masterpiece Theatre: Great Expectations [DVD] [1999] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric version of Dickens' novel, 25 Jan. 2010
This is a well done TV version of Dickens' novel that uses many nice background shots for many of the scenes. Very good acting in this production although the 3 hour adaptation has compressed and eliminated or modified some parts from the novel according to other viewers.

The story deals with a boy, Pip, who aspires to improve his future and become something more than a tradesman. His chance encounter with a prison escapee will play a role in his future aspirations. Pip is also sent to amuse a woman who was jilted many years ago and wishes for her young female ward to follow in her footsteps. The story follows Pip as he is given a chance to improve his lot in society by a mysterious benefactor. Without giving too much of the story away, many things start to unravel and Pip ends up in jail after many secrets are revealed.

Several people have commented about the annoying PBS logo and "WIDE" message that appears in the lower right corner of the screen for a few seconds and keeps reappearing every 15 minutes. This DVD appears to be an exact copy of the PBS TV broadcast in the USA (I am not sure why this logo keeps reappearing and what purpose it was meant for). But it was a bit distracting. Some also did not like the PBS Masterpiece introduction commentary that were also included in the TV broadcast. Having not read the novel, the ending of the series was a bit ambiguous. The ending commentary that was included at the end of the series did help to explain why the ending was ambiguous. Dickens had his original ending changed after a friend was a bit disappointed at the original ending. So he then changed the ending to make it less of a "sad" ending and to leave it "unresolved".

Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008]
Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Claire Foy
Price: £7.49

133 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Dorrit saga is not little - Entertainment on a grand scale, 1 Aug. 2009
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This review is from: Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008] (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.

I had the opportunity to ask the screenwriter questions on the screenplay adaptation when the series was being broadcast on USA TV networks in April 2009. Mr. Davies changed some of the scenes from the novel to make it with a more contemporary feel and to give the heroine a more dignified and individual character. The ending of the series also does not follow the novel exactly. Arthur Clennam gets the answers to his dying father's request in the TV series while the novel leaves some questions unanswered. Mr. Davies wanted Arthur to have closure and to make for a more emotionally satisfying ending. The following is taken from Mr. Davies' introduction to the BBC novel edition.

"I realized that I would have to simplify and clarify the way the characters are introduced, so that the audience could get a sense of how they interrelate. I also needed to get a handle on the mystery that lies at the heart of the Clennam household. The mystery goes back into the past, involving characters that are dead before the book begins. It revolves around a will, a particular bequest, twin brothers, and a tin box that disappears and then reappears, and it culminates by bringing the house down literally. I had to consider how to translate all this coherently to television, while laying the clues so that the audience can get a shock of recognition when all is revealed."


The sets, costumes, background scenery, and acting are all first rate with many familiar British actors/actresses in the cast. A lot of work and effort was done to make this production so special (the makeup work for the Maggy character took over 2 hours). The heroine, newcomer Claire Foy, becomes the primary focus of the entire story and deservedly so. Claire called the making of the series like a "special Christmas gift". Kudos to the casting director, Rachel Freck, who brought together a wonderful cast to the series and for her encouragement to Claire Foy which was crucial to her selection for the leading role (she flubbed the first two auditions for the part). The musical pieces (especially the haunting opening score with the piano and string instrument and Amy Dorrit's pensive mood music scenes when she was thinking about Arthur or was with him - taken from the Chinese music box) are beautifully matched to the story actions throughout the presentation. Dickens is mostly known for his more popular works such as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol, and Great Expectations. Little Dorrit (originally titled "Nobody's Fault" by Dickens) deserves more wider recognition because its message is one that touches the heart of nearly everyone. A rich, moving, and touching story excellently presented. The series is a big departure from what you normally see on TV or in the theaters.

Please note that some of the merchants offering this DVD are Netherlands (or non-UK) based sellers (the shipping information will show something like "Dispatched from the Netherlands" or the description has something like "European (Dutch) version"). These sellers are selling a movie version that ONLY contains Dutch (or non-English) subtitles (but with English audio). These DVDs were made for non-UK speaking audiences, but can be sold to other European countries and the rest of the world. The box cover and menu screens on the DVD are in non-English words and does NOT match the photo shown for this item listing. If you want to buy a movie version with English subtitles, make sure you are NOT ordering one from a non-UK based merchant. Only the UK based merchants are selling English subtitled version. If you are unsure, email the seller first and ask.

I have both an English and Dutch subtitled versions and they play fine on my region free DVD player. Please also note, the Dutch subtitled version does NOT have chapter settings on the DVD. So you cannot go directly to a particular scene within an episode unlike the BBC DVD English subtitled version. Also, the Dutch subtitled version does not have the supplemental material found on the UK English subtitled DVD version (such as the "Little Dorrit- an insight" extra). Both versions do contain the same movie run time.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 13, 2014 8:39 PM BST

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