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Bleak House
Bleak House
Actors: Diana Rigg, Denholm Elliott, Suzanne Burden, Jonathan Moore, Chris Pitt
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2005     6hr 31min

Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 09/06/2005 Rating: Nr


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Movie Details

Actors: Diana Rigg, Denholm Elliott, Suzanne Burden, Jonathan Moore, Chris Pitt
Creators: Kenneth MacMillan, Betty Willingale, John Harris, Arthur Hopcraft, Charles Dickens
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: BBC Warner
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/06/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1985
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 6hr 31min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A superb adaptation of Bleak House | 11/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Excellent leading portrayals by Elliott Denholm and the great Diana Rigg. The general mood and the dark, misty ambiance of the film reflect the true reality of the Victorian era, its urban plight and pollution. It is truly a cinematic and poignant film about how the different lives were entangled under the whirlpool of the Chancery court. This adaptation has a different ending regarding cousin Richard, which is more dramatic and realistic on the screen. Whether or not you read the book, the ending will be a surprise. By the way, it is a very long book. The performance of Ms. Rigg is a piece of fine art, and it really shows her metier as a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Only she could have portrayed her undeniable love for Sir Leicester with such a delicate nuance and pure sincerity. Coupled with a haunting chamber music, it is the best 6 hs. one can spend, where one can be entertained with a fine piece of art and at the same time reflect about life's vicissitudes and historical periods. The conflicts and human relations depicted in this masterpiece of Charles Dickens are as timeless as the human condition."
Nice DVD Presentation of an Engaging Dickens Adaptation
Thomas M. Croft | Fort Collins, CO USA | 09/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Others here have done a good job of reviewing this excellent mini-series adaptation of Bleak House, so I will focus briefly on the DVD from BBC/Warner. Bleak House is conveniently divided into eight episodes of about 50 min. each. Four episodes appear on each side of a two-sided disc. Each episode is in turn divided into chapters that can be accessed quickly from the menu. The 4:3 (fullscreen) presentation looks pretty good for the most part, and I didn't notice any problems with dust or scratches on the source print. The picture does, however, vary somewhat in sharpness from scene to scene. Colors and contrast, for the most part, look very good. For a made-for-TV production, the overall video quality is quite watchable. The audio is also nice and clear. Though there are no subtitles, this DVD is closed-captioned, which comes in very handy when certain characters with strong accents speak. No extras of any kind are included (personally, I place little value on DVD extras anyway). This DVD will likely please those who love this nearly seven-hour Dickens feast. Highly recommended for Dickens fans and fans of period dramas in general."
Rigg gives haunting performance in Bleak House
Thomas M. Croft | 12/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Diana Rigg as Lady Deadlock, and Denholm Elliot as a kindly uncle to his three wards are the stars of this Dickens saga. Rigg portrays a beautiful, intelligent woman who married for position and wealth twenty years before. She has been a faithful wife to her elderly husband, but her secret is about to be discovered, leading to blackmail, murder, and a tragic death Denholm Elliot is convincing as the avunculer benefactor who warns his wards about being consumed by the lawsuit that has been dragging on since before they were born and shows no sign of being settled. Dickens provides a savage satire of the evils of the law which grinds human dreams to dust, takes their money and lives. The scenery of Victorian England, the evils of industrialization, and the harshness of poverty are realistically and memorably depicted. Despite the young actors who appear as Esther Summerson, Ada, Rick, and the doctor it is the mature actors who give stellar performances. Wonderful adaptation of Dickens' novel!"
Compelling and Faithful
Thomas M. Croft | 05/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It isn't easy, bringing the range of a Dickens work to any screen. Characters have to be sacrificed, and the brilliant descriptive powers of CD must be, somehow, translated to the visual.
But BLEAK HOUSE succeeds. The early scene of Lawyer Tulkinghorn in the Dedlock drawing room, the fuse to the smoldering fire of the novel's plot, is as stunningly set forth here as it is on paper. Rigg is the best Lady Dedlock I could hope for: haughty, she nonetheless conveys the anguish of her life. The other players are uniformly very fine, with special praise for the gentleman portraying Mr. Guppy.
This is gripping drama, from start to finish. Bravo to the BBC for it."