Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Patrick Allen, Rosalie Crutchley, Michelle Dibnah, Jacqueline Tong, Timothy West
Director: John Irvin
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
An indictment of materialism and a triumph of the human spirit This critically acclaimed adaptation fully and faithfully realizes the Charles Dickens classic in all its emotional depth and timeless relevance. Above 19th-ce... more »
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Very good but not perfect
J. Herbers | 08/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This unrelentingly gritty version of Dicken's novel does full justice to the book's tone
and the characters. I was especially impressed with Timothy West's performance as
the self-centered and blustery Bounderby. Jacqueline Tong (Daisy from Upstairs Downstairs)
also does a very good job playing the repressed Louisa. Less successful, though, are
Edward Fox as Harthouse (he gets the ennui right, but his passions are not convincing)
and Patrick Allen (the transition from grim authoritarian to loving father doesn't work).
Other minor characters (Tom, Rachel, and Stephen) do a fine job with their relatively
underdeveloped parts. Rosalie Crutchley makes the most of the thankless Mrs. Sparsit
role, but I would have liked to see her shaking her hand at Bounderby's portrait more
I was especially impressed with the look and feel of in this film. It
seems always to be winter in Coketown, never summer. The sky is always gray,
the air smoky, and the streets filthy. Factory workers wear patched and fraying
clothes and even the dresses worn by the wealthy folk are drab; the furnishings
are far from sumptuous and the vehicles looks worn as well. In short, the sets
and props are perfectly matched to Dickens' tone.
What a shame that the scriptwriters left out some of the irony in the book.
I was looking forward to Bounderby's humiliation when his mother is revealed
to be alive and loving! Ah well, something always has to go when Dickens
is adapted to the screen.
This film was made 30 years ago, and it has held up quite well. I recommend
it heartily to Dickens fans."
Great version of Hard Times
Amateur Stargazer | 08/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent TV version of Dickens' novel. The actors portraying Gradgrind and Bounderby showed their respective fact-stressing and insensitive natures very well. Louisa was well shown as a woman whose feelings had been kept inside all of her life. There is also the gloom of Coketown, an atmosphere impossible for its citizens to escape from. This adaptation is very close to the book and there are no great departures from the original story. There is another version of Hard Times available (which I have not seen) that had some poor reviews, so I chose to purchase this one instead. Surprisingly, this one was not included in any other Dickens DVD collection, but it is available separately here. If you love Dickens, this is well worth getting since it's one of the best miniseries created. There's not much technology since the series was made back in 1977 on a limited budget, but in the viewing experience there's a great story brought to the screen with some wonderful drama."