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27 of 27 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

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5 of 5 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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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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1.0 out of 5 stars Carry On Moll Flanders, 22 April 2014
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This was not very good. It was a sort of sexed up, comedy down versión of a Carry On film. Very thin characters and a repetitive plot.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past, 14 Dec 2013
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I never finished it on TV i was a bit young but found it entertaining a bit of afternoon fun
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5.0 out of 5 stars moll flanders, 20 Jun 2013
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been looking for this like forever, the price was good and delivery was very prompt, there was a good choice to choose from and will be visiting again in the future
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good film to watch, 5 Feb 2013
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It is a very good film with lots of laughs and also a history of how the u.k dealt with people who committed even petty crimes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a story!, 30 Dec 2011
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Loved it,one of my favourites.Moll Flanders played by Alex Kingston is one womans adventure in 18th century England.Starting in Newgate gaol,Moll tells her story as to how she came to be in such a place. Also starring Daniel Craig as Jemmy her highwayman lover,once her story starts you will be hooked.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Moll Flanders, 18 Aug 2011
Excellent, raunchy amd extremely funny. Every time I watch this DVD I see and hear more of this hilarious story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun, and some real depth, 3 July 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Terrific 4 part UK 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 original cut, and has a different score is
disturbing. I wish that version was more readily
available for comparison. (There's an expensive, out of print
Anchor Bay region 1 version, but that apparently - while more complete
has some small, different cuts. Sigh...)

Per DVD Verdict, this is simply a re-release of the 2004 BFS version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful memories!!, 5 Jan 2010
By 
I just purchased the Mull Flanders video and it is BRILLIANT. It's as brilliant as the first time I saw it on the telly! I'm really greatful I got this dvd. The quality is excellent and the acting is fascinating.The only downside I have to mention is that the box arrived broken...probably in the shipment. I would like to sincerly thank Amazon for sending these dvds..they arrived extremely fast. The service was fabulous yet again. I don't remember waiting and that's how I like it!!!!!!!!! I got EXACTLY what I ordered. I will buy from Amazon again for sure!!!

Alex Kingston is just glowing in the role of Mull Flanders. I recommend this movie if you like period clothing and reenactment style movies..but this movie has strong sexual overtones and isn't recommended for people who are too sensitive in that respect.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great series!, 8 Nov 2010
By 
I got this DVD as i'm doing the book in my English class at university. It's great! Like in the book, Moll speaks to us directly as well as interacting with the other characters - as it was written. All to often adaptions are not faithful to the text they are taken from, but that isn't the case here. One or two incidents are omitted - presumably time was a factor - so students be warned! YOU STILL NEED TO READ THE BOOK! The DVD is a great companion to the text, however, and therefore highly recommended.
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