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Nicholas Nickleby (Classic 1947)
Nicholas Nickleby
Classic 1947
Actor: Mary Merrall, Sally Ann Howes and Cedric Hardwicke Derek Bond
Director: Alberto Cavalcanti
Genres: Drama
2006     1hr 47min

After the death of his father, Nicholas Nickleby (Derek Bond), and his mother (Mary Merrall) and sister (Sally Ann Howes) are cared for by his greedy uncle Ralph (Cedric Hardwicke), who accepts the duty rather unwillingly....  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Mary Merrall, Sally Ann Howes and Cedric Hardwicke Derek Bond
Director: Alberto Cavalcanti
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: Vision Video
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 09/18/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0

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Movie Reviews

1993 vs 2002 vs 1977 vs 1947
bookloversfriend | United States | 01/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The 1993 version of Nicholas Nickleby should not be considered. It is not merely the snake-faced appearance of the actor who plays the lead, nor the fact that he speaks as though he has a bad cold with a stuffed-up nose. But he is also a contemporary character, not a nineteenth-century character. And that's just for starters.

The 2002 version is not bad. With widescreen and surround sound and good photography, this is a good production for what appears to be a limited budget. Problems begin with the casting. The American actor who plays the lead speaks in a carefully articulated generic English accent, but that won't do, nor the fact that his manner and mannerisms are those of a contemporary rather than a period character. Christopher Plummer is an accomplished actor, but his effort here seems half-hearted, as though he didn't think much of this production. The actor who plays Smike mumbles his lines as though he is bucking for the role of Hamlet. The story is powerful enough that this movie is not a washout, but none of it is particularly well done.

What the above versions lack is comedy. Dickens was fond of mixing hilarious comedy with the most heart-rending drama, and Nicholas Nickleby is no exception. The above versions are merely drama. But the biggest crime is in the character of Mrs. Nickleby. Mrs. Nickleby is one of the great comic characters of world literature. Unfortunately, she is also politically incorrect. The above versions simply throw out her character and replace it with a blah nonentity.

The 1977 version. At over 5 hours, this version brings in more of the minor characters of this long story and treats the story according to the book. As often with the BBC, there is lavish attention to sets and their accuracy and little attention to anything else. The music is nonexistent. The photography is not bad indoors but the few outdoor scenes are overexposed. And the acting is marginal at best. Nigel Havers is much too old for the role of Nicholas but does an adequate job. The ending is satisfying. All in all, well worth seeing, especially for readers of the book. The emphasis is on drama. There is humor in the character of Mrs. Nickleby and an attempt at humor in a couple of the minor characters.

The 1947 version was made before the Dhimmist ideology came to dominate movie-making, and here we find Mrs. Nickleby in all her mind-boggling glory. In fact, all of the characters in this movie have that Dickensian edge that makes them larger, or at least more effective, than life. Good scripting and good direction make for a hard-hitting, heart-touching and occasionally side-splitting experience. The actors and actresses don't TRY to speak in an upper-middle-class British accent; they simply speak and behave as they normally would and it is true to the period. The pace is fast, and the script had to streamline some of the events, but all of the major events are here and are effectively presented. The ending is far more dramatic than in the other versions.
Brisk production, poor video quality
The Music Man | United States | 06/28/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Vision Video Classics, the distributors of this 1947 British production, has put out a very poor-quality copy of this fine film. Cedric Hardwicke is suitably striking as the title character, and all of the actors are wonderful, with the director giving the lengthy story a brisk, energetic pace.

But the print itself is very dull and muddy, with tons of scratches and video clutter, and as far as extras, there are NONE, not even so much as chapter breaks, or a menu screen, other than a brief advertisement for their other "Christian" videos with a toll-free number to call. Too bad a better print of this excellent Dickens adaption couldn't be put out by a company who would do a better job of cleaning and restoring these worthwhile period films."
Poor Quality DVD
Sam Clemens | Earth | 05/08/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I love this movie and gave it 4 stars, but the DVD from Vision Video is of such poor quality, I had to return it. I have other old Dickens like Lean's Oliver Twist, so I thought this would be as good, but, golly, it's so faded you can hardly view it. And no skipping to scenes. If you have the VHS tape, hang on to it and wait for a better release. Critereon take a hint."
Poor Editing
Klaus Pohle | 02/18/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The movie is very good and the acting excellent. However, this is the most poorly edited film I've seen. Sequences have been cut wholesale, for seemingly no good reason, which make much of the story unintelligible. Don't buy this version."