The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby

Overview

Filmed in 1982, this Tony award winning production of Charles Dickens classic Nicholas Nickleby clocks in with an intimidating running time of nine hours, though it is considered to be one of the best adaptations of the original novel. Roger Rees plays the young Nicholas, who, along with his mother (Jane Downs), and sister (Emily Richard), are forced to seek financial assistance from Nicholas's smarmy uncle (John Woodvine). Ralph does provide Nicholas with a job, but it may have been kinder to leave him on the ...
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Overview

Filmed in 1982, this Tony award winning production of Charles Dickens classic Nicholas Nickleby clocks in with an intimidating running time of nine hours, though it is considered to be one of the best adaptations of the original novel. Roger Rees plays the young Nicholas, who, along with his mother (Jane Downs), and sister (Emily Richard), are forced to seek financial assistance from Nicholas's smarmy uncle (John Woodvine). Ralph does provide Nicholas with a job, but it may have been kinder to leave him on the street--the school he has been sent to work for is run by a sadistic schoolmaster who delights in savagely beating his students. Nicholas leaves the school alongside Smike (David Threlfall), a limping, crooked-backed little boy who had been victim to much of the school's abusive policies. Once unemployed, Nicholas must find a way to to protect his family and come to terms with his own complicated emotions. ~ Tracie Cooper
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/17/2014
  • UPC: 773848600830
  • Original Release: 1982
  • Rating:

  • Source: Millennium
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 5:00:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 9,932

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Roger Rees Nicolas Nickleby
Emily Richard Kate Nickleby
David Threlfall Smike
John Woodvine Ralph Nickleby
Jane Downs Mrs. Nickleby
Technical Credits
Jim Goddard Director
David Edgar Screenwriter
Stephen Oliver Score Composer, Songwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
1. Episode One [1:55]
1. Episode Two [2:24]
1. Episode Three [13:16]
Disc #2 -- The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
1. Episode Four [1:26]
1. Episode Five [6:57]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
   Play All
   Episodes
Disc #2 -- The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
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   Episodes
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Brilliant, Must Watch

    It took me a while to get started on this series. Perhaps because I had never watched a stage show captured for television. I expected it to be a series of exhausting conversations in a dismal setting that seldom changed. But, I was wrong on all accounts. The ‘Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby’ is a classic and outstanding show. Every character from Nicholas and Smike to Ralph and Crummles has done tremendous justice to their roles. The display of emotions, clarity of dialogues, and intensity of expressions are astonishing. I assume there must have been thirty to thirty-five actors in the show. The number of characters in the play is definitely higher. The dexterity with which actors have played multiple roles is phenomenal. Despite the limited resources and space constraints inherent in such shows, the setting changed swiftly and fittingly. Not once did I feel the dreariness of a stagnant location. The sound effects, from the knock of doors to Newman Noggs’s snapping fingers, are very natural. This is a magnificent rendering of Dickens’s novel and a must watch. I suggest watching one part a day, because it gives sufficient break to chew over that episode, and absorb the performances in their entirety.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Theatre doing what it does best

    The Movie Guide review above hardly does this adaptation justice, even pointing to its 9-hour running time as a liability when, in fact, it is a primary part of the enjoyability and quality of the production. With so much leisure at their disposal in which to tell the sprawling and dramatic tale of young Nicholas and his various friends, enemies, and acquaintances, writer David Edgar and directors Trevor Nunn and John Caird, who originally staged this production with the Royal Shakespeare Company, are able to develop Dickens' characters with real depth and subtlety and to reveal his story in all its intricacy and intimacy. Once settled in for a run of a week's worth of evening viewings, the viewer is truly able to enjoy the time spent among these wonderfully realized characters. The production lacks all the pomp and panoramic glory of the average BBC costume drama and instead relies on the imagination of its audience and the aplomb of its actors, most of whom play multiple roles (more than 100 roles amongst 39 actors) to create the mood and setting. And the actors do a splendid job of it. Most of these seasoned RSC veterans are excellent in their numerous roles, but Alun Armstrong as Wackford Squeers, Edward Petherbridge as Newman Noggs, and Bob Peck as John Browdie and Sir Mulberry Hawk are standouts. This is unabashed, unadorned theatre. It does not try to imitate film and benefits greatly from its embrace of this "weakness." There is nothing to match a live performance on the stage, but this comes as close as filmed versions of theatre can. I defy anyone to find a more compelling and cathartic portrayal of Ralph Nickleby's descent into solitude and madness than that portrayed on the final disc of this production. It is pure humanity--and pure theatre!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews