Mr. Samuel Pickwick, a retired businessman is determined that after a quiet life of enterprise the time has come to set off on an unforgettable excursion accompanied by his three friends - Nathaniel Winkle, who fancies him... more »self as a sportsman, Augustus Snodgrass a passionately natured poet and Tracy Tupman, a plump bachelor who is quite fond of the ladies. The four ramblers travel through the English countryside seeking all forms of adventure and getting into trouble wherever possible.« less
Judy E. (Judella) from SAINT PAUL, AR Reviewed on 2/26/2015...
The humor in this movie is so subtle that it took me awhile to catch on to it. I was busy doing other thingsfor the first half or so. By the end I was enjoying it emensely. I see that Pickwick wanted everyone to be happy and he was so pleased when it went his way. It was so cute when he was angered to the point of wanting to brandish his offender with blows. Now I am looking forward to watching it again while seated in front of the tv with a bowl of pop corn. It will take a few bowls as it is long. I liked it a lot.
A sheer delight for Dickens fans
Richard in Indy | 08/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At last on DVD, Charles Dickens' "Pickwick Papers" is brought to life in this great BBC double-sided disc. With a playing time of about six hours, there is much more detail than is to be found in the 1952 film version. And the characters look just like those by Phiz in the original nineteenth century illustrations. The pacing and dialogue is near perfect. The sets and location shots are wonderful. The disc is divided into twelve 30 minute episodes with opening and closing credits between each episode. There's also a bonus feature with Simon Callow doing a reading (in full Dickens garb) of the courtroom scenes from the story. I highly recommend this DVD."
Good color and sets
bookloversfriend | United States | 10/17/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Pickwick Papers is a superb story, filled with comic situations and building to a climax and satisfying conclusion. Everyone should see a movie version of Pickwick. The question is which version, the 1985 BBC version or the 1952 version.
The 1985 version is a little over 5 hours long or 300+ minutes. There is also a 30 minute reading attached (Simon Callow posing as Dickens, if you can stomach that). The 1952 version is two hours long or 110 minutes.
It never helps a comedy, still less a farce, to adopt a slow pace. And to stop the show every 25 minutes to show titles and credits and to have some idiot tell you what you have just seen and what you are going to see next--this is detrimental to a comedy. The pace of the 1985 is about three times slower than the 1952 version, which moves at a rapid pace.
The result of this pacing is that there is very little in the longer version that is not also in the shorter version, the Christmas celebration at Wartles and a few other touches, like the (unseen) cricket match, the political campaign, and the hunting scenes.
But the most serious problem with the 1985 version is the casting/acting. None of the cast have particularly comic features, and all of them play their parts straight instead of playing them with that touch of the comic that makes such characters amusing. The exception is Sam Weller, who is played better in the 1985 version than in the 1952 version. The actor who played Pickwick was tolerable and sometimes bordered on the comic, but mostly his version of the character ranged from foolish to irritating.
The 1985 version tries to show you a character who exhibits good will. The 1952 version makes you feel good will. (And incidentally, some of the best one-liners in the 1952 version are not even in the book! For those who've read the book, I'll leave it to you to find them. You'll be surprised.)
The problem is that the 1952 version is only on VHS and LP speed at that. Send dunning letters to the copyright owners to put this version on DVD."
E. Malmberg | Romulus, MI | 02/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Pickwick Papers is one of my favorite books - and this production does it well. The casting of Nigel Stock as Mr. Pickwick, as well as the casting of his friends of the Pickwick Society are well-played and well-chosen.
For me, Patrick Malahide as Mr. Jingles, was an enriching choice. His phrasing of Mr. Jingle's strange syntax is insanely comedic. Another mention is the perfectly hammy Phil Daniels as servant/savior Sam Weller. There is no holding-back of any of the main or secondary characters. In this, Dickens has the unique ability to round-out so many characters that the casting of actors to portray his books is especially important.
I think it was done very, very well in "The Pickwick Papers".
I'm afraid I wore through my first copy and ordered the second today.
I have to admit the stop and start between episodes, as is true of most BBC series from the mid-1980's, is unfortunate. (I take the time as I would during commercials on the television.)
At the risk of sounding precious, I do call this portrayal of "The Pickwick Papers" a joyful hill and dale adventure."
Well dash my vestkit
Rev. E. Antonio Hernandez | 02/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This precious, must-be-owned TV version of "Pickwick" is incomparable by any and all standards. Here in this several hours-long minseries you'll see the seeds of inspiration for later big-time films such as "Emma", "Sense & Sensibility", "Persuasion", and "Pride & Prejudice". Every one of these films from the 1990s took from this excellent 1986 TV offering.
Nigel Stock is charming as Samuel Pickwick, and the entire work does the novel good justice. A few things are excluded, sadly, but such is the necessary devilry that is screenwriting. This is so much fun that my wife and I make a date to settle in and watch it over weekends. It IS that good. Get it, or don't dare call yourself a film afficionado!"
Sweetness and Meanness meet here
R. D. Humphrey | Dryad, WA USA | 03/06/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The innocence of an ackward turn of phrase, and slight misunderstanding of meaning, the firm resolve not to embarass another. They may lead to nothing but in the Pickwick Papers they lead to hilarity. A typical Dickens collection of absurd characters including one of his most kindly and upright and his best wag are sympathetically portrayed in this fine production. Get a group together for some old fashioned hurrahs, boos, and hisses as villain and saint compete in a world only Dickens can create."