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David Copperfield
David Copperfield
Actor: Maggie Smith; Daniel Radcliffe; Ian McKellen; Bob Hoskins
Director: Simon Curtis
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
UR     2002     3hr 0min

The classic David Copperfield was not just Charles Dickens' favorite work. It has been the most popular of his books since it was first published 150 years ago. Micawber, Peggotty, Betsey Trotwood, Uriah Heep, Mr. Creakle,...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Maggie Smith; Daniel Radcliffe; Ian McKellen; Bob Hoskins
Director: Simon Curtis
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Period Piece, Drama
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 10/01/2002
Original Release Date: 04/16/2000
Theatrical Release Date: 04/16/2000
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 3hr 0min
Screens: Color,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
See Also:

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Movie Reviews

Yup, it's good
Caraculiambro | La Mancha and environs | 12/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A sumptuous, wonderful adaptation; unexpectedly and disarmingly excellent.

I was a little hesitant going into this: having read the novel a couple of times and declared it my own, I had long fondly imagined the scenes and characters without any need for assistance, thank you very much.

Consequently, I felt the way many Tolkien fans must have felt before those three recent movies came out: leery that my coveted imaginings would be sullied by what might prove to be a jarrring and irreversible contamination.

These fears were misplaced, however. The full vitality of Dickens's bittersweet classic -- all the heaping joys and sorrows of life -- comes through quite powerfully in this handsome BBC version. After about 25 minutes I was literally on the edge of my seat.

Oh, and speaking of this version: they spent some money on it, you'll be happy to know. It's not one of those innumerable stuffy BBC dramas that take place (for budget considerations if nothing else) in an intolerable series of drawing rooms and antechambers. No, they did this one right: the blokes went outside and built some proper sets, and it shows.

Yes, though fully prepared to dislike it, I find myself here with little ammunition for complaint. I wish Traddles hadn't suffered deletion; he is one character I have difficulty picturing and could have used some help. Also, the actress who played Dora was not exactly my conception of her . . . but this is nitpicking."
David Copperfield is family entertainment of a high order.
Russell Fanelli | Longmeadow, MA USA | 12/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The first half of David Copperfield was good enough, I think, to please Dickens himself. This is due in part to the excellent portrayal of young David by Daniel Radcliffe, who provides just the right amount of spunk and vulnerability to do justice to the character. Treavor Eve is also excellent as David's nemesis, his stepfather, Murdstone. Just a look from Eve's Murdstone is enough to frighten David first into silence and then, as he is being savagely beaten for failing his lessons, into instinctive rebellion, biting Murdstone's hand. For this crime David is sent to Murstone's blacking factory in London. The blacking factory is a dreadful place and would certainly have broken David's spirit and ruined his life if it were not for the introduction of Mr. Micawber, his guardian in London, exceptionally well played by the talented Bob Hoskins.

This great novel is filled with a variety of subplots, many of which are included in the film. Three that are worth mentioning are David's flight from the blacking factory and his journey to his Aunt Betsey Trotwood, beautifully performed by the great English actress Maggie Smith. Aunt Betsey takes David in and champions his cause in a dramatic scene where she throws out Murdstone and his sister Jane from her home. Aunt Betsey then takes David to live with a lawyer and his daughter Agnes and the lawyer's evil clerk Uriah Heep, who pretends to be humble yet never stops scheming to steal everything the lawyer owns. In another great scene, Macawber, now working for Heap, confronts the villain as a Heap of infamy. This dramatic encounter is the climax of the film. Lastly, another story worth mentioning concerns David's nanny Peggotty. She and her family are betrayed by Steerforth, a boy that befriended David in his first school and who saved him from the dreadful headmaster Mr. Creakle, wonderfully played by Ian McKellen.

Unfortunately, when David grows up the story loses some of its force and energy. The adult David, Ciaran McMenamin, is the weakest actor in the cast. Even so, the story is so well dramatized that I found myself engaged from beginning to end.

David Copperfield is a long book and four hours is not quite enough time to do it justice, but what the producers have included is done well and will certainly give viewers a good sense of the exceptionally varied and entertaining cast of characters in a story, somewhat autobiographical, that Dickens himself considered his favorite and best work. This film is family entertainment of a high order. Highly recommended."
Faithful and Entertaining Production of Dickens' Classic
Bryan G. Roberts | Sunnyside, WA | 06/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Originally airing in the U.S. on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre, I came across this one night during a fit of cable boredom. Thinking it would allow me to kill some time until something "good" came on I started watching. An hour and a half later I was cueing up my home video tape to insure that I would not miss the next night's conclusion! I could not wait to see it! I have read Charles Dickens and I am especially fond of Great Expectations but could never quite throw myself fully into David Copperfield. This is a shame since Copperfield is supposed to be Dickens' pseudo autobiography. I found the photography visual captivating with the feeling of the time period masterful rendered. The acting was great (Hoskins is amusing) with the boy who plays young Copperfield a definite standout. The story finally comes to life and the plot and its intricacies are finally revealed (to those who lack the patience to read the book!). Copperfield is truly a rags to riches story in a very convuluted and ironic manner, very much like life itself. Young Copperfield must make his way in the world after his widowed mother passes away and he is left to the whims of his ill tempered and miserly step-father and step-aunt. How Copperfield goes from being a neglected, uncared for urchin to a well thought of writer will have you watching in fascination. Of course, along the way he has several adventures and makes friends with quite a few colorful and tragic characters. If you haven't had the inclination to actually read this story, this is definitely the video version you should watch. I liked it so much I just have to own the tapes (2 tape set). Enough said. Go watch it now!"
The Best Adaption!
Bryan G. Roberts | 08/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a magical, heartwarming version of the Dickens' tale from Exxon Mobil Masterpiece Theatre. David Copperfield is a young English boy living a life of happiness, but sometimes pain. The pain from his wicked step-father and the London school teacher (whom also gives a comedic twist to the movie at points). The happiness from his maid and mother and the joyful man who takes him in (Bob Hoskins). After being taken in by this man, David runs away into the country and encounters his aunt who hates boys but learns to love them when she takes in David. Tape 2 brings us to face David's adult years in which he falls for his first love. Tape 2 is a wonderful tape and gives us a villan to overcome our fears by.**************************************************************** This is a very heartwarming tale about love, kindness and the feelings you should give to people who are nice back at you. The cast is very well chosen, the plot is just wonderous and the moral that it gives you is good too. Purchase this video, guys. You'll cherish always. RECOMMENDATIONS OF MASTERPIECE THEATRE: Moll Flanders, Oliver Twist, 'Upstairs, Downstairs.'"