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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated, but still worth watching, 6 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Hard Times [1977] [DVD] (DVD)
In the three decades since this won a number of awards our expectations of costume dramas have changed somewhat. One can't watch this studio-bound adaptation, shot on tape rather than film and with no music soundtrack without noticing the difference to today's productions. However, that said, it's still a fine affair. The script is funny, the acting is generally good and in the case of Timothy West as Bounderby is outstanding (the way he plays the character is a clear precursor to what must surely be his definitive role, that of Bradley Hardacre in Brass - The Complete Series [DVD] [1983]). The late Rosalie Crutchley also deserves a mention for her performance as Mrs Sparsit and Edward Fox has fun playing Captain Harthouse as, well, as Edward Fox. Dicken's messages are left as unsubtle as they are in the book, but that's probably as it should be.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Nov 2010 10:55:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Nov 2010 10:56:38 GMT
Georg Fries says:
A nice review. I would only add that some people - like me, actually^^ - prefer the older adaptations. It is a bit like the comment rightly states: "Dicken's messages are left as unsubtle as they are in the book, but that's probably as it should be". Exactly, I think. Subtlety can drown us - if it gets too much, it is just as biased as always taking the axe...
And quite often the older adaptations achieve this task better - telling us what Dickens thought. I am really happy that those remarkable works are available on DVD too, and one can always compare the older and newer adaptations. Now for the BBC "great expectations" with Anthony Hopkins, where is it ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Mar 2011 19:59:17 GMT
Eileen Shaw says:
How can one possibly be subtle with Hard times?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jul 2011 08:22:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Jul 2011 00:23:44 BDT
DCGUY says:
I have the BBC "Great Expectations" on VHS with Anthony Hopkins. I have seen four versions of the novel. As far as I know, the Anthony Hopkins version has only been released on VHS. The same actress (Kim Thomson) played both the young and older Estella in that version, so the age progression (and actress change) in the storyline wasn't as jarring as with the other versions.

Great Expectations [VHS]
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Graham R. Hill
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