Bleak House

( 20 )

Overview

A trio of orphans becomes embroiled in a mysterious and long-running lawsuit in this sprawling BBC adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel. A legend in the legal circles of Victorian London, the messy inheritance case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce has been trickling through the courts for years with no end in sight. Nobleman John Jarndyce Denis Lawson has seen the case destroy more than one life, so when he becomes guardian to three young people -- beautiful Ada Clare Carey Mulligan, Ada's cousin Richard Carstone ...
See more details below
DVD (Special Edition / Wide Screen / Subtitled)
$39.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (DVD)
  • All (12) from $13.98   
  • New (7) from $22.79   
  • Used (5) from $13.98   

Overview

A trio of orphans becomes embroiled in a mysterious and long-running lawsuit in this sprawling BBC adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel. A legend in the legal circles of Victorian London, the messy inheritance case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce has been trickling through the courts for years with no end in sight. Nobleman John Jarndyce Denis Lawson has seen the case destroy more than one life, so when he becomes guardian to three young people -- beautiful Ada Clare Carey Mulligan, Ada's cousin Richard Carstone Patrick Kennedy, and her devoted companion, Esther Summerson Anna Maxwell Martin -- he vows to shield them from its pernicious effects by bringing them to the safety of his estate, the eponymous Bleak House. Richard, however, becomes obsessed with the unattainable Jarndyce inheritance, to the detriment of his career and mental health. Esther, meanwhile, remains haunted by her origins; the product of a scandalous pregnancy, she was raised by her aunt and knows nothing about her dead mother's identity. Meanwhile, imperious noblewoman Lady Dedlock Gillian Anderson plots to hide the evidence of her own mysterious past -- a quest that leads her to the intrigue surrounding Jarndyce and Jarndyce. She is but one of dozens of characters who find themselves drawn into the lawsuit's web of corruption, blackmail, and murder. Bleak House debuted October 27, 2005, on BBC One. It received its U.S. premiere on January 22, 2006, on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre, where the 15 British episodes were combined into six longer blocks. Britain's Royal Television Society named the series Best Drama Serial of 2005. A previous adaptation of Dickens' novel ran on Masterpiece Theatre in 1985.
Read More Show Less

Special Features

Interviews with Gillian Anderson, Denis Lawson and Charles Dance; Commentaries with writer Andrew Davies, producer Nigel Stafford-Clark and directors Justin Chadwick and Susanna White; Photo gallery
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A seemingly interminable lawsuit has mid-19th-century English high society all a-twitter, and its labyrinthine complications envelop a good many people. Among them is a brittle beauty, Lady Dedlock Gillian Anderson, who guards a dark secret that makes her vulnerable to Tulkinghorn Charles Dance, an unscrupulous, scheming lawyer. In recent decades Charles Dickens's Bleak House has become recognized as the true progenitor of the classic detective novel an honor previously bestowed upon Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone, and in every way this marvelous BBC drama does justice to the original story. To begin with, it's been structured like an old-fashioned movie serial: 15 episodes, all but one a half hour in length. The novel's enormous "cast" has been retained, and the screenwriters have done an admirable job of giving the various characters their proper prominence in the narrative -- something that could never have been done in a two-hour feature film. The acting is beyond reproach; even the smallest part is played with perfect pitch, with Anderson almost unrecognizable to fans as The X-Files' Dana Scully and Dance being particularly effective among the principal players. Period d├ęcor has been perfectly captured, and careful lighting enhances the vaguely gothic atmosphere that makes the story nice and creepy. Telecast in the U.S. in early 2006 on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre, this elaborate production is a triumph from beginning to end.
All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Enlivened by top-flight British character acting and an admirably nuanced performance from Gillian Anderson, this labyrinthine Charles Dickens adaptation seems neither rushed nor overstuffed -- a major achievement considering the epic source material. Although it functions as a deconstruction of the Victorian class and legal systems, Bleak House is, above all, a compelling story. Combining elements of mystery, drama, comedy, and romance, producer Nigel Stafford-Clark weaves dozens of characters and countless interlocking subplots into a nearly seamless tapestry. Like most Victorian fiction, the original novel was serialized, and Stafford-Clark retains that structure in 15 episodes whose time constraints and cliffhanger endings lend shape to what could have been a sprawling mess. As the imperious yet conflicted Lady Dedlock, Anderson betters her previous stellar work in the Edith Wharton adaptation House of Mirth; yet she's only one light among many. The real discovery is Anna Maxwell Martin, whose turn as Esther Summerson, the moral center of the story, never devolves into a virtuous Victorian stereotype. Eight hours long, Bleak House requires a bit of an investment, but the dividends are worth it.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/5/2009
  • UPC: 883929066094
  • Original Release: 2005
  • Rating:

  • Source: Bbc Warner
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Special Edition / Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Time: 7:45:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 8,404

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gillian Anderson Lady Dedlock,
Patrick Kennedy Richard Carstone
Carey Mulligan
Nathaniel Parker
Sevan Stephan Mr. Tangle
Alistair McGowan Mr. Kenge
Burn Gorman Guppy
Charles Dance Mr. Tulkinghorn
Denis Lawson John Jarndyce
Anna Maxwell Martin Esther Summerson
Timothy West Sir Leicester
Patrick Kennedy
Technical Credits
Justin Chadwick Director
Susanna White Director
Andrew Davies Screenwriter
Rebecca Eaton Executive Producer
Simon Elliot Production Designer
Sally Haynes Executive Producer
Kate Rhodes James Casting
Paul Knight Editor
John Lunn Score Composer
Laura Mackie Executive Producer
Kieran McGuigan Cinematographer
Nigel Stafford-Clark Producer
Read More Show Less

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Bleak House
1. Jarndyce & Jarndyce [7:03]
2. The Heart of the Case [6:33]
3. Lodgings [4:36]
4. Judgement Day [8:42]
5. Whose Hand? [2:56]
6. A Perfect Child [5:53]
7. The Growlery [6:53]
8. Gallant Conduct [11:56]
1. Fortune Telling [5:39]
2. Inquest [8:32]
3. Lady's Maid [7:16]
3. Mr. Bayham Badger [7:29]
1. An Engagement [6:54]
2. No Further Interest [6:13]
3. Jealousy [6:56]
4. Help for Lady Dedlock [8:38]
1. Lincolnshire [7:47]
2. Church [7:54]
3. Evidence [5:16]
4. A Present for Krook [7:59]
1. Discretion [7:49]
2. Gridley Needs Help [5:03]
3. Esther Gets a Maid [7:20]
4. Peace Warrant [8:43]
Disc #2 -- Bleak House
1. Mr. George's Debts [7:15]
2. Miss Barbary [6:16]
3. News of Richard [5:37]
4. Private & Confidential [10:08]
1. Smallpox [6:56]
2. Worries [4:34]
3. Mr. Krook's Inquest [7:21]
4. No Letters [10:04]
1. Duty to the Living [6:18]
2. Jarndyce Struggles With His Feelings [6:59]
3. The Ghost Walker [6:53]
4. Esther Learns the Truth [8:44]
1. Secrets [9:45]
2. The Letters Are Found [4:55]
3. Not At Liberty to Say [5:42]
4. Consent Is Given [8:24]
1. Beware [7:25]
2. Guppy's Change of Heart [7:36]
3. Esther Refuses to Go [6:03]
4. So Many Expenses [7:48]
Disc #3 -- Bleak House
1. Esther & Ada Have Words [7:25]
2. Woodcourt Returns [7:36]
3. Jo Is Ill [6:04]
4. The Agreement Is Broken [7:56]
1. Clamb's Discovery [6:07]
2. Esther Visits Caddy [8:05]
3. Happy Birthday [6:04]
4. Savage Amusements [8:31]
1. Boiling Up Nicely [6:18]
2. A Letter [6:44]
3. Ada Has a Secret [6:27]
4. Hortense Has Evidence [9:25]
1. No Harm Done [6:10]
2. Fifty Fifty [8:40]
3. Lovey Dovey [5:46]
4. Find Her [8:19]
1. Resting Place [6:13]
2. Woodcourt Proposes [6:21]
3. A Good & True Will [7:37]
4. Everythings Come Clear [8:48]
Read More Show Less

Menu

Disc #1 -- Bleak House
   Play All
   Episode Selection
      Episode 01
      Episode 02
      Episode 03
      Episode 04
      Episode 05
   Set Up
      Audio
         Episode 1 Commentary On/Off
      Subtitles
         English Subtitles On/Off
   Gillian Anderson Interview
Disc #2 -- Bleak House
   Play All
   Episode Selection
      Episode 06
      Episode 07
      Episode 08
      Episode 09
      Episode 10
   Set Up
      Subtitles
         English Subtitles On/Off
   Charles Dance Interview
Disc #3 -- Bleak House
   Play All
   Episode Selection
      Episode 11
      Episode 12
      Episode 13
      Episode 14
      Episode 15
   Set Up
      Audio
         Episodes 11 & 15 Commentary On/Off
      Subtitles
         English Subtitles On/Off
   Denis Lawson Interview
   Photo Gallery
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A Richly filmed piece of classic literature.

    Fabulous movie that you will want to savor. Every shot is gorgeous, the acting is spectacular and really encapsulates the feeling of the book. Well Done!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A great adaptation of the wonderful story by Charles Dickens

    The casting for this story was flawless and the writing stayed very true to the book.

    We were held absolutely spellbound from start to finish.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 29, 2011

    Stick with you, you will be glad you did

    I attempted to watch this series about 5 times, turning it off well in the beginning, mainly because it didn't move fast enough for Me. It is a bit slow at the beggining, but it is because it needs time to familirize the viewer with all the characters and their importance, but once it gets moving along it is wonderful! I didn't care for "Our Mututal Friend" but I really enjoyed this series!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Bleak House

    This is a very well done series. Well acted. It is enlightening on how people lived during that time and their prejudices. The only annoying part was the character carried on a bed who keeps demanding "shake me up Judy". The point was made he was uncomfortable but to keep saying it 10 times in every scene he was in was very aggravating and totally unnecessary.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    OUTSTANDING!

    I couldn't stop watching. Beautifully filmed, very true to the novel with a superb cast. Gillian Anderson was so immersed in the role, I didn't know it was her for the first half hour.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Reluctant Reviewer

    I review this film reluctantly because I know that with the exception of Scrooge quite of bit of Dickens work involves the darker side of things. With that said this adaptation or any other probably has an audience that's already built in. It's the kind of story that one is either interested in or isn't. This particular version for those who are interested is absolutely magnificent! Some may even like it for it's soap opera qualities. Must possess the ability to focus on the film-not the kind of story you can run out on every 5 minutes!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing Televison Adaptation of Dickens' Novel

    I first heard about this adaptation of Bleak House from a magazine that showered it with glowing reviews for its superb cast, witty dialogue, and fast pace. I decided then to give Bleak House a try and found it to live up to its glowing reviews and then some. I found the original book by Charles Dickens rather slow and somewhat sentimental, but this adaptation is "fast-moving, daring, gripping television." We are presented with a myriad of sup-plots, each eventually interweaveing into the next: a murder mystery, a love story, hidden identity, and scandal. We are shown all of Dickens'comic genious and the tantalizing scandal of his novel, but, stripped of its sentimentality. I found myself swept along by a pulsating and edgy drama that has been missing from television for some time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Bleak House a Masterpiece!

    Bleak House is well made and addicting to watch suspenseful and mysterious, but calm and easy-paced. Wonderful cast and performances. A most see!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews