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David Copperfield (Repackaged) [DVD] 
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“Like many fond parents, I have in my heart a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield.” Charles Dickens
And here in Dickens’ own favourite and most enduring novel bursts onto screen in a dazzling adaptation, with a truly world-class cast bringing alive some of the most famous characters in fiction. Bob Hoskins as the ever-optimistic Mr Micawber; Maggie Smith as David’s fearsome aunt, Betsey Trotwood; Trevor Eve as the sadistic Mr Murdstone; Nicholas Lyndhurst as sly, sinister Uriah Heap; Pauline Quirke as David’s loyal friend and servant, Peggotty; and featuring Ciarán McMenamin as David, with Harry Lloyd (the 15-year-old descendant of Charles Dickens himself) as the young Steerforth.
• The Making of David Copperfield
• An additional 30 minutes (in 5.1) of the original music composed by Rob Lane.
Compiled and digitally edited by David Maurice
Like a fine gourmet meal, the BBC's 1999 adaptation of David Copperfield has something to suit every taste: a well-paced screenplay that keeps the tale bowling along without losing the delights of some of Dickens' most sparkling dialogue; a rich gallery of characters; and a cast which features many of Britain's favourite actors. There is, of course, plenty of high comedy but some very tight direction checks any tendencies to over-ripe performance. The whole production is tightly integrated: from David's idyllic if cloistered childhood with his beloved mother and their devoted servant Peggotty, through the shattering arrival of a sadistic stepfather, rescue by his eccentric Aunt Betsey Trotwood and a journey into maturity where his very innocence makes him the unwitting agent of tragedy before all is resolved. Ciaran McMenamin is the mature David, his youthful face increasingly clouded by the gathering of experience. Trevor Eve oozes evil as his stepfather Mr Murdstone, ultimately neutralised by Maggie Smith's Aunt Betsey, a comic performance of true genius that gives frequent flashes of the vulnerable human being beneath. In other inspired pieces of casting, Nicholas Lyndhurst's incubus-like Uriah Heep haunts every scene he's in, and Pauline Quirke's Peggotty exudes the motherly warmth that sustains David during his darkest moments. Three hours of classic drama heaven. --Piers Ford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The BBC builds here on its impressive record of period dramas (including the impassible Pride and Predjudice in 1995), and whilstm being Dickens much of this production is set in dingy victorian London, it doesn't lose any of its beauty. The costumes are wonderful, the rich costumes suiting even the younger members of the cast. The two Davids are wonderful, Daniel Radcliffe shows, at the age of 9 the ability to draw in the viewer that would be exibited two years later as Harry Potter. His eyes alone, on the close ups are enough to make any viewer weep at the various injustices that befall our hero. Ciarán McMenamin is good as the adult David, though I admit a certain inability to see how the young David developed into him.
Of the rest of the cast, its virtually impossible to pick a best. Trevor Eve and Zoe Wannamaker show equal meaness in their roles as David's evil mental torturers and with a cast that also includes such greats as Ian McKellen, Bob Hoskins, Dawn French, Pauline Quirk and Emelia Fox it would be an injustice to single anyone out. That is, were it not for the spectacular performance of Maggie Smith, who pulls out all of the stops in her wonderful, heartwarming performance as David's aunt. The idea of anyone else now playing this role, seems foreign to me.
All in all this is a great adaptation of a great novel. Filmed in all its beauty by Simon Curtis and his wonderful crew. Let this version stand as a benchmark for a long long time.
It originally aired Christmas 1999 on BBC1, shown over two evenings. In my house it totally enthralled all who watched it, including two moody 12 year olds who initially complained about being made to watch it - Copperfield at its very best.
WHAT CAN I SAY?..This is a lovely adaptation the warmth in which Peggotty shows David even after the Murdstones treat her so bad is touching. Maggie Smith is brilliant as Betsey Trotwood who comes to love David even though he wasn't what she wanted... There is a lot heartbreaking moments... and there is a lot of There joviality especially where the Micawbers are concerned...
Bob Hoskins puts in a strong yet classic comedic performance..
David Copperfield is for anyone who loves the Victorian or classic literature, or the very good period dramas..
This film is brilliant adaptation and full joyous humour it will warm heart and lift your spirit its pure pleasure to watch all the way through.
Highly servieable production of a classic with a pleasing array of star turns. Bob Hoskins does an excellent job of Wilkins Mikawber, and Pauline Quirke is lovely as Peggotty, and Michael Elphick as Barkiss, and Trevor Eve is horrible as Mr Murdstone with Zoe Wannamaker as his vile sister - and it's a real punch-the-air moment when Betsy Trotwood (Maggie Smith) vows to knock her bonnet off 'and tread upon it'.
And Ian McNeice is Mr Dick and Alun Armstrong's Dickensian nose appears as Dan Peggotty's nose - the most surprising turn however is Ian McKellan as Creakle, the dreadful old pedagogue.
Not quite so sure about Nicholas Lyndhurst as Uriah Heep - I don't quite get the sense of creeping evil, nor of superficial plausibility.
Joanna Page does good service as Dora; she's pretty and charming, but absolutely empty-headed. I love the bit when David gives her a cook book, and she uses it as an obstacle for her little doggie to jump over. Poor Dora.
And in the end, David Copperfield grows a beard and turns into Charles Dickens, empasising just what an autobiographical tale this is.
This adaptation comes complete with an all star cast, including the likes of Bob Hoskins, and Daneil Radcliffe. Well, what more can i say other than this is a great film all round and if you are a fan of Charles Dickens, or just want an enjoyable film that you can watch over and over again, then this is the DVD you are looking for. Enjoy!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Was OK I think although it was my mums, she was unable to find the subtitles on it, but that just might be her .Published 7 days ago by Julie Baxter
I remember this being shown over Christmas in 1999 and thought at the time that it really stood out as Christmas entertainment. Read morePublished 15 days ago by A. Roberton
This review has to be in two parts. First, I will talk about this DVD. It only went as far as David meeting Dora Spenlow and then it stopped. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sue C