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128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Dorrit saga is not little - Entertainment on a grand scale
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...
Published on 1 Aug 2009 by DCGUY

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shame about the poor scripting
Putting aside some reservations about the bizarre actions of some characters including one being so unconcerned that he is in the same room as a man who has obviously killed his brother that nothing is said and the black hole entitled "whatever happened in the pub" this was enjoyable to watch and really only marred by the poor scripting of the last few episodes. Without...
Published on 9 May 2012 by Savita


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling adaptation of one of the master's more mature serialisations, 10 Jan 2010
This review is from: Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Far from disappointing I found this outstanding; the casting is impeccable - pretty much a roll-call of current British top acting talent - as is every other aspect of the production. This is the kind of period drama that the BBC excels in; Alun Armstrong's leering bully of a manservant, and the pitiable but kind-hearted rent-collector Pancks, epitomise Dickens' ability to create both monstrous and magnificent characters - a previous reviewer perhaps needs to be reminded that grotesque cariactures were the writer's stock in trade, and it is precisely this kind of production that can allow acting excesses - where they are actually appropriate. The costumes, scenery, Victorian ambience, and Andrew Davies' cohesive script, are all on the button; I only hope the Tories' plans to downsize the BBC do not render this sort of fine drama to fall by the wayside.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let comments about the last episode put you off, 2 Jun 2009
By 
Peter M (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This is simply terrific entertainment, which as a DVD you can watch in pieces as fit your lifestyle and diary. We watched it in four sessions over the course of a week, and were spellbound throughout. Matthew McFadyen - almost in every frame -is the best of a spellbinding cast, with Claire Foy a revelation; Andy Serkis, Eddie Mersan, Tom Cortenay, Russell Tovey and Judy Parfitt also stand out; and though the group of actors playing the characters Pet/Gowan/Tatticorum/Miss Wade were weaker, none fall short. The production values are great, the photography and sets effective, the world of the 1820's convincingly recreated. I can't sing the praises of this production enough. And as you are buying a DVD, you can (unlike watching the series on TV) rewind if you miss the revlations of the final episode.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous adaptation - will tempt you to read the book!, 14 May 2012
By 
Nigel Mc (The Chilterns) - See all my reviews
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I thoroughly enjoyed watching this excellent production when I bought it on Blu-ray dvd about 6 months ago. We would watch a half hour episode and then look at each other and then wordlessly agree to watch another and consequently we came to the end all too soon. The dramatization was so good that it encouraged me to go out and buy the book. I have delayed this review until such time that I can compare it to the novel.

Inevitably, even a 7 hour plus dramatization has to be a précis of the book and for the sake of clarity a few actual changes have to be made. I can live with most of these `tweaks' and applaud Andrew Davis for some of the changes which were obviously made to aid the viewer's comprehension. As with most of Dickens the storyline is complicated with numerous characters and a mass of wonderful detail. This production does not skimp on these essential elements and I cannot fault the casting, the acting, the photography or the technical intricacies of the production.

Personally, I think that in this case it is a good idea to see dramatisation before reading the book. This may be a lazy way to get into the book but it certainly worked for me. My only mild criticism would be that I would have preferred a more detailed denouement. Too much is crammed into the final episode and the viewer has too many unanswered questions on the fine detail and on the outcome for all the characters that we have got to know so well. Perhaps the BBC were running out of money! The production must have cost a small fortune.

This dramatization is fairly clear to follow with the possible exception of the identical twin brothers, Flintwinch. A momentary lapse of attention will likely cause some confusion on the mind of viewers - be warned!

This Blu-ray production is absolutely superb with razor sharp clarity in the video and excellent audio. This production deserves to be viewed at least twice and I am really looking forward to seeing it again. This set of 4 discs is superb value and it is highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't wait for the next episode even though I could see where it was going, 21 April 2011
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This review is from: Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I haven't read the novel of Little Doritt because although I enjoy adaptations of Dickens I find it difficult to read his novels. That said after watching this adaptation I may give it another go.
The novel charts the rising and falling fortunes of its characters, mainly Little Amy Doritt, her father and Arthur Clennam but even the smaller characters are well fleshed out and complex. For me the best acted parts were from Amy's sister Fanny, their father and Rigaud, the Frenchman who plagues everyone he meets. These characters seemed more interesting than Amy and Arthur who, in comparison, seem quite bland at first.
At first I thought several of the characters were almost like cartoons, the clichéd girl and man too good for their surroundings, the evil rent collector, the man going a bit insane in prison, the snobby sister and good for nothing brother, the even more evil Frenchman. But as the story goes on even the smaller part characters are fleshed out and everyone is given a more rounded personality. At times of crisis the true measure of a person is revealed, and that certainly happens in this. The only parts that confused me a bit were I couldn't quite figure out where Miss Wade and Harriet/Tattyclorum fit into everything, especially the latter, but maybe their parts are clearer in the novel. We find out Miss Wade's part a little in the last episode but her motivation isn't explained as far as I can remember. The plot was not hard to follow, so much so even without reading the book I could see where it was going, but I enjoyed it so much I didn't care.

Production wise I thought the look of the show was wonderful, from the run down look of the prison and Arthur's mother's home to the sumptuousness of Venice and the homes of the wealthier people. The shift in everyone's fortunes are at times subtle and at times devastating and this is shown in their actors' demeanour, and dress.
Highly recommended for any fan of Dickens or period dramas.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent BBC production of Dickens, 23 May 2010
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Little Dorrit is one of Dickens' later books: huge, complex and angry. While I really enjoyed this BBC production, I do think Andrew Davies' adaptation makes it into a much sunnier piece than the original book.

Little Dorrit herself, as we can tell from her name, is one of Dickens' `angels in the house', his `good' women, who conform to patriarchy and never rock the boat. She is played excellently in this by Foy, who makes her a figure of unmitigated virtue amongst a society full of shams and hypocrites and yet keeps her interesting enough for us to sympathise with her.

This is a story about prisons, literal and metaphorical, and the circulation of money which makes it surprisingly topical. With the stasis of the Circumlocution Office (the civil service) and the collapse of a banking empire that ruins huge swathes of society, this is a prescient comment on capitalism.

And yet Dickens, as always, manages to humanise his story so that we never feel we're being lectured to. With its gallery of grotesques and a whole range of famous acting faces (including Tom Courtenay's wonderful Mr Dorrit) this is typical BBC Dickens: beautifully acted and produced but ever so slightly `nicer' than the more indignant and angry book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing storyline, and a star studded cast ..., 21 Mar 2009
By 
S. Jones - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Little Dorrit is about Amy Dorrit, who was born in the prison, where all her family have always lived. She goes out to find work as a helper to a Mrs Clennam, where she meets the love of her life - Arthur Clennam, Mrs Clennam's son. As mysterious plots begin to unravel, secrets begin to appear. Could Amy and Arthur, possibly be related? With an incredible star studded cast, these DVDs are a must see, as you are totally blown away by such a terrific story. Overall, fantastic.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shame about the poor scripting, 9 May 2012
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This review is from: Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Putting aside some reservations about the bizarre actions of some characters including one being so unconcerned that he is in the same room as a man who has obviously killed his brother that nothing is said and the black hole entitled "whatever happened in the pub" this was enjoyable to watch and really only marred by the poor scripting of the last few episodes. Without that it would certainly be 5 stars if not 6.

Having watched all the BBC Dickens adaptations the poor scripting of this one came as a bit of a shock. Yes, the acting, sets and everything else are as brilliant as ever but I defy anyone who does not already know the story to pick up all the threads of the plot from the cavalier way the dialogue for the last couple of episodes has been written. If you don't know the story I recommend you read the synopsis on Wikipedia afterwards so you can understand the key plot elements that are not put over well in the series - [...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, sparkly, beautiful - with surprises, 25 Oct 2009
By 
J. J. Rosendal (Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This fresh and sparkly adaption of a Dickens classic is bound to become a classic itself. The story of love and shady human behaviour, the characters, the actors' performances, all shine and draw you in. The characters develop and takes some interesting turns - they are not at all what you make them out to be at first. Be prepared for some surprises! The filmography alone makes it well worth watching certain scenes over and over. Little Dorrit walking through the crooks, nannies and bustle of London, her fathers downtrodden room at the prison, exotic fabrics flowing in the wind in the harbour of Marseilles - and of course, floating along in a gondola in Venice, sun flickering in the water...Add to this moments of hilarious and pathetic quest for eternal youth, a quest for riches and fame, a villain that made my skin crawl - and even a banking scandal which just adds to the feel that this might be set in a sea of beautiful silk peacockish dresses, but really, whatever the year, humans are humans, when it comes to their cravings for gold, attention - and LOVE. This is a treat you CAN have again and again. No wonder it received so many Emmy's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive viewing, 15 Dec 2012
By 
Elizabeth Brockington (CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA, US) - See all my reviews
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Although I saw the full Little Dorrit series on PBS TV, I am thrilled to have my own copy here to watch again and again. Dickens is certainly a master of details which can escape notice on a single viewing so repeat viewings, for me, are essential. The stars of this BBC version are perfectly cast and the production is outstanding
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dorrit, 14 Oct 2010
This review is from: Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
A very good production but I think it better to read the book first as the fineness and often biting wit of Dickens work cannot be sufficiently transferred to film. The characters were well represented and the atmosphere of the various locations came across well. I particularly liked Clennams portrayal. Having read the book, I was not disappointed in this production and it will be a "must see again" DVD for me.
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Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008]
Little Dorrit [DVD] [2008] by Diarmuid Lawrence (DVD - 2009)
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