An all-star ensemble brings to life this Charles Dickens's classic. Sir Lawrence Olivier (Mr. Creakle) Sir Ralph Richardson (Mr. McCawber) Sir Richard Attenborough (Mr. Tungay) Dame Edith Evans (Aunt Betsy) and Ron Moody ... more »(Uriah Heep) help make this performance one of the best of its kind. We follow along with David Copperfield (Robin Phillips) as he looks back at his life. He grows from orphan child to manhood in Victorian England with a combination of good advice and abusive acts against him. Acclaimed actors and a story as important today as it was 100 years ago make this production one of the finest renditions of this book ever brought to the screen.System Requirements: Running Time 120 MinFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA Rating: NR UPC: 787364406098 Manufacturer No: 44060-9« less
"This DVD seemed a bargain, as it was a period piece with a most illustrious cast. Being a lover of period pieces and a fan of Charles Dickens, I immediately snapped it up. Well, you get what you pay for. Despite the illustrious cast, this body of work is dead on arrival.Robin Phillips gamely plays the part of David Copperfield. He is, however, a rather colorless chap and is not strong enough to hold this film together, which is unfortunate, as he is the linchpin around which this drama revolves. Told in a series of flashbacks, this contrivance is one of the weaknesses in the film, as it tends to be confusing and adds nothing to the film, but rather, detracts a great deal. This retropsective of David Copperfield's life shows him losing his mother at an early age and being left in the hands of an unloving stepfather. Pulled out of school to toil in a factory as a young child, he runs away and makes it to the home of his loving aunt who raises him. The viewer watches him grow up in Victorian England and sees how he fairs against the vicissitudes of life. The cast of characters with whom he interacts is vibrant, and it is they who manage to keep this two hour film somewhat afloat. Ultimately, however, it tanks. The all star ensemble is a plethora of riches, with screen greats Richard Attenborough, Ron Moody, Lawrence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Michael Redgrave, Dame Edith Evans, Wendy Hiller, Susan Hampshire, and Pamela Franklin lighting up the screen at different moments. Even their individual, luminous performances, however, are not enough to make this turkey work, so poorly put together and choppy is the film.The DVD is offers some special features, such as a classic cartoon, a movie trivia game, and a DVD dictionary. The picture quality is sometimes grainy, though the sound quality is good."
Could not even finish watching it! ZERO STARS!
Robert Amsel | 11/09/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I would give it zero stars if I could. Despite its "illustrious cast" this movie is the worst film adaptation of any Dickens work I have ever seen. I purchased the DVD on ebay thinking "DVD" meant "quality" but I couldn't have been more wrong. The DVD picture and sound quality is so incredibly awful you think you are viewing a poorly copied video tape (one that sat in a hot car for a few hours or got lost in a sandbox!). I couldn't understand every other word and the "visual noise" (scratches, spots, lines, etc.) were so numerous and distracting it was like trying to watch a movie in a room full of buzzing insects. Besides the poor picture and sound the movie itself was simply unbearable. It was incredibly slow, dull and one of the most boring movies I ever attempted to endure. I finally gave up and called it quits. I won't even try to give away my copy. It's not even worth watching if its free. I will never purchase another DVD or video by Brentwood Home Video again!"
Don't Judge the Movie by the DVD
Robert Amsel | Steelton, PA USA | 12/03/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw this made-for-TV production over 20 years ago, when it was bright, shiny, new, and sported a dream cast of British pros, many of whom are no longer with us. Unfortunately, there are only two DVD releases of this production and BOTH are equally wretched, whichever you choose. The DVD has extremely poor color and looks as if it were taken from an old, faded video print, with lots of serious color bleeds and other problems you'd find in a video that's ready to be discarded. Any night shots, many indoor shots, and anything in which the color red is dominant will cause your eyes to positively ache. For example, the scene where Steerforth's drowned body is discovered originally had some emotional impact, but on the DVD, the body is so unrecognizable that ones only reaction is annoyance. And the sound quality is so tinny and horrible you'll miss a great deal of the dialogue. If this production is ever released on a decent DVD, one will be able to relish some incredible performances, especially those of Ron Moody as Uriah, Laurence Olivier as Creakle, Ralph Richardson and Wendy Hiller as the Micawbers, Edith Evans as Betsy Trotwood, Pamela Franklin as Dora, and Susan Hampshire as Agnes, to name just a few. Even so, there are those who might find the non-linear approach to this story confusing, since it is told in flashbacks, but I think the real confusion here rests with the viewer's inability to see and the listener's inability to hear. When you add a non-linear structure to THAT mix, you're done for. In short, don't buy this DVD -- it's cheap but no bargain. Hope instead that some day a decent copy will be available, because this version is an insult to all the talent who originally contributed to this production."
Terrific Cast, slow moving production
Jim Jr | Buffalo, NY United States | 07/23/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD of Dickens "David Copperfield" is a well made version of the book with a wonderful cast of British superstars.Lawrence Olivier in what is basically a cameo is Mr. Creakle, the school master, Ralph Richardson is a wonderful McCawber, Dame Edith Evans shines as Aunt Betsy, Ron Moody is creepy as Uriah Heep - all contribute wonderful performances to this modestly priced DVD. With a cast like this, it is a real bargin. But, it does have some flaws. It is very slow paced. It seems like it is being stretched at some points to fill a 2 hour running time. Robin Phillips is a rather passionless title character.The color is subdued as fits the period. The direction by Delbert Mann is also subdued, but fitting in a number of scenes. Even with the all star cast, there is no upstaging or scene stealing. Each star contributes a finely drawn character.The disk does not contain any extras for the film itself, but does have a movie trivia game and a vintage Warner Brothers cartoon.All in all it is a nice addition to a DVD collection of a Dickens masterpiece."
The Greatest Version Ever Made
Donald J. Keck | Powder Springs, Georgia USA | 01/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Those reviewers who criticize this DVD are absolutely correct. It is a terrible transfer. The picture is awful and the sound is worse. That said, it is still the only copy we have of this wonderful film. Those reviewers who criticise the film itself simply don't know what their talking about. This is, by far, the best version of David Copperfield ever filmed. Later versions are longer, more lavish, with better DVD transfers; but none has ever surpassed this gem of a movie. Director Delbert Mann captures the spirit of Dickens' classic novel better than any other version ever produced. Its all here: the sheer evil of the Murdstones, Mr. Creakle, Steerforth & Uriah Heep, the mad humour of Micawber, Barkis & Mr. Dick, the generosity, kindness and loyalty of Aunt Betsy, Peggotty, the Micawbers & Mr. Wickfield, the foolish innocence of Little Emily & Dora, the self sacrificing love of Dan Peggotty, Ham & Agnes. And the cast is magnificent (including Robin Phillips as David Copperfield). How can you beat a cast that includes Edith Evans, Ralph Richardson, Lawrence Olivier, Anna Massey, Richard Attenborough, James Donald, Cyril Cusack, Sinead Cusack, Michael Redgrave, Susan Hampshire, Emlyn Williams, Wendy Hiller, Pamela Franklin & Ron Moody (who is superlative as Uriah Heep)? You can't! And it has never been done. This is simply the greatest film version of David Copperfield ever made. "