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26 Reviews
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True To The Book
Having read the book alongside watching, i found this 4 part adaptation to be very accurate. It contains not only many scenes, but also a few select lines from Daniel Defoe's book. There are small parts of the book not included (time and money often being an issue), but to put every part of the book onscreen is sure to make the production much longer and drawn out, which...
Published on 24 Aug 2009 by CL Catchpole

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching, but obscures Defoe's message
I did enjoy this adaptation. The 17th Century period is not often portrayed on screen, so it was interesting to see the costumes and manners. Alex Kingston as Moll is also very good and is a lovable heroine. The story, which in the original is an unbelievable tale is stretched in this adaptation away from Defoe's core message of repentance and deliverance. Defoe's Moll...
Published on 5 Dec 2011 by G. M. J. Jones


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True To The Book, 24 Aug 2009
By 
CL Catchpole (South Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Having read the book alongside watching, i found this 4 part adaptation to be very accurate. It contains not only many scenes, but also a few select lines from Daniel Defoe's book. There are small parts of the book not included (time and money often being an issue), but to put every part of the book onscreen is sure to make the production much longer and drawn out, which to the average viewer would perhaps become boring. Therefore the four 50 minute episodes were enough to tell the story well.

I couldn't give a review for this mini series without mentioning Alex Kingston, whose outstanding performance as Moll contributes as much to this production as the writing does. For everything the character of Moll does in this book, for some reason I found her quite likeable and for me Alex brings this same likeability to the screen. Top actress!

Other than the four episodes the DVD also contains a 27 minute long "Behind The Scenes" feature, providing a look at costumes & sets and interviews with cast & crew members.

Recommended (particularly to anyone interested in classic literature, history or period drama).
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have - will be known as a classic. Good quality, 23 Oct 2009
By 
A. Robinson "BiographyBinger" (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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I first watched this series age 11 and remembered the series but not the title. Once i found it (by luck it had JUST been released on dvd) I watched it all the way through, and have done at least 4 times taking an episode at a time. Since then 2 different versions of Moll have been shown on ITV3 - I must've predicted the resurgence!

Good quality, series still as fabulous as I remember, 'Moll' played unforgettably. A 'one off' classic of a series. Must have.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining romp!, 28 Feb 2003
By A Customer
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The story follows Moll on her rags to riches to rags to riches again saga. Alex Kingston was an ideal choice for the part, and certainly seemed confident in baring all many times! This is great fun, pacey drama, with Moll as her own story narrator along the way. Watch and enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching, but obscures Defoe's message, 5 Dec 2011
By 
G. M. J. Jones (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I did enjoy this adaptation. The 17th Century period is not often portrayed on screen, so it was interesting to see the costumes and manners. Alex Kingston as Moll is also very good and is a lovable heroine. The story, which in the original is an unbelievable tale is stretched in this adaptation away from Defoe's core message of repentance and deliverance. Defoe's Moll was shown mercy after repenting of her misdeeds in Newgate, before being sent to Virginia. Defoe clearly wanted to show the unchristian nature of the justice system that hanged people freely and for minor offences and perhaps showed the better way of showing christian charity to the repentant sinner. By changing this part of the story this adaptation loses its coherence, even if current tastes are against us being sinful wretches needing God's grace and forgiveness.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun, and some real depth, 3 July 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
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Terrific 4 part television production. Starts as just a light romp,
enjoyable, very well acted by Alex Kingston, but not much more.

But with parts three and four there comes increasing
emotional depth with the bawdy humor and social commentary.

Some of the production values are less than amazing, but I was
ever more caught up, and ended up really enjoying it.

Sort of a poor man's `Barry Lyndon'.

That said, the fact that this version seems to be missing some 20+
minutes from the Anchor Bay region 1 version, and has a different score is
disturbing. I wish that version was more readily
available for comparison. (It's expensive and out of print.
Plus, that version apparently - while more complete
has some small, different cuts. Sigh...)
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Drama, 15 July 2005
By A Customer
I first watched this drama when I was about 10 years old and thought it was fantastic. I then watched it again a few weeks ago, and was ultimately surprised that this was available to buy, I had no idea. I am definately going to buy it. Alex Kingston should definately be commended for her excellant performance as Moll, A great drama definately worth watching. I can almost guarantee that 90% of people will watch it again and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent DVD, 1 Jun 2009
By 
Amanda Jones (England) - See all my reviews
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I have waited a long time for this to come out on DVD. I really enjoyed watching it and the dvd also has the making of it which was great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as I remembered it!, 5 Jun 2011
By 
Dr. Sarah Jordan (Co Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
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I really loved watching this years ago when it was first on TV. I hadn't watched it for years and was a little worried it might have dated, but hurrah, its just as much of a jolly romp as ever! The cast are fantastic - it's a bit of a who's who of british TV stars. The costumes are wonderful. Moll remains a very sympathetic character despite all her wrongdoing and schemimg, as I believe Defoe intended. It's full of fantastic comedy, real tragedy and rather a lot of sex. What a way to waste an evening!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Costume Entertainment, 4 April 2011
By 
MLA (Wien, Österreich) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Moll Flanders was an ITV production in the mid 1990s at a time when tv costume dramas were very popular in the UK. Moll was different to others such as Middlemarch which were filmed in the staid environment of Stamford because it was set a couple of centuries earlier and was much much more explicit. The adaptaion of Daniel Defoe's classic is a 4 part series with each part being just under an hour long. It also has a half hour making of documentary. It is absolutely excellent.

Moll Flanders was very risky when it was first put on air. ITV are not exactly known for their production standards so in taking on the glamour of the Jane Austen productions, they made a very brave and right decision to take on Defoe's taboo-breaking brilliance. This is a very explicit show by mainstream standards and features plentiful sex scenes and a lot of partial nudity.

Leading actor Alex Kingston puts in an iconic performance. She is a very sexy woman and her Moll is incredibly attractive. The character is deliberately designed to allure even when breaking taboos, laws, and moral standards. Kingston treads that line outstandingly. She plays a strong and resourceful Moll who knowingly manipulates others but is also tricked and hurt by some she puts trust in. Kingston's performance never asks the audience to see her as a victim even though on many occasions she is made into one by the actions of other characters. The performance's strength also never once asks Moll to be excused for her actions. Morally and physically, Moll is often exposed to the viewer without hiding behind any excuses.

The story arc differs from Defoe's original both in the scope covered and in the actions of some of the characters including Moll. This could be seen as dumbing down but only really by a purist. Defoe's writing was not just entertainment but a reflection of the pervading moral conundra of the early 18th century. Some of those morals are a little different to modern interpretation so it is right to adapt slightly to fit late 20th century attention spans.

The 4 part starts with Moll relating her early experiences and teenage years. Kingston being 32 at the time makes her teenager a bit odd looking. Kingston probably wasn't the prettiest of girls but as a woman she is amazingly beautiful. The love triangle between Moll and the two brothers in the household she serves/lives in is a nice introduction to the morality and aspirations of the time. Moving through the marriage to a big spending son of a working man made good through the excursion to Virginia and the return to England and love affair with a scoundrel is all such jolly good fun. The final part is a little darker and lacks a lot of the charm when things begin to turn against Moll but it is back to rollicking form at the end.

The various love interests are all well performed. The impression given by the two brothers in Moll's childhood household is a little different to the book but the tension between the loyal but dull younger brother and his more ambitious and cunning elder sibling is mostly unsaid. It works though. Moll is drawn to the more exciting of the two but is stuck with the more dependable one. It is not quite the last time she chooses dependable but almost all the other men in her life are in some way mould-breaking.

Of all the other men, it is Jemmy the highwayman that has possession of her heart. Daniel Craig puts on a nice veneer of respectability as Jemmy is introduced to Moll but as an adventurer and scoundrel, he is much more what Moll is looking for. Jemmy's partner in crime is played by Trevyn McDowell who had just come off a stint on Middlemarch but is far better suited for the stunning raven-haired conniver that is Mrs Seagrave.

The only part of the plot that is a little more difficult is the final episode. It is quite dark and Moll contemplates "the worst of all crimes" at one point. The larks with Lucy are good fun as Nicola Walker makes her character fizz with excitement. The descent of Moll is somewhat lacking charm though and she does things that are not in keeping with her earlier character. Fortunately though the rest of the production is excellent.

The set design is good. The use of locations works very well including achieving the lushness of Virginia on a damp Cornwall day. The renderings of medieval London are nicely put together and the sense of grime is palatable. The directing is not noticeable which probably means it is spot-on while the lightning and background music fit the plot very well.

The extras on the DVD are pretty good. The talking heads sessions are made more interesting by this being Alex Kingston's breakthrough performance. She clearly has nowhere near the confidence of Moll at the time of filming which makes her performance all the more impressive. The technical expositions are good, the outtake or two when a car drives across a shot are amusing, and the description of the ITV concept at the time makes a lot of sense.

Moll Flanders is arguably the finest costume drama ever screened on ITV. It is helped by having the beautiful Alex Kingston amply displayed and engaging in frequent sex scenes. It is not the lurid expose it could have been and it is a work of real art. The acting is fine, the story is a classic, and the production totals into one of the very best of British television series of its time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars dr who, 12 Feb 2014
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well yes she was in dr who I saw that drama way back on tv cant remember which side it was on though quite a buxom woman she was then bet denial craig enjoyed the bed scene more than playing james bond
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Moll Flanders [DVD] [1996] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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