Bleak House (Special Edition) DVD

Susanna White, Justin Chadwick, 2005


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2 Reviews // 2 Lists

Film Details

Directed by Susanna White, Justin Chadwick

Produced in 2005

Main Language - ENGLISH

Countries & Regions - British Film

MovieMail's Review

Hailed as one of Dickens' greatest novels, Bleak House is the story of the legendary legal case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. A slant on the corrupt nature of the Victorian judicial system, the plot is motivated by money and its surplus or deficit, and cemented by some wholeheartedly genuine characters and a few drops of pure unadulterated evil.

This adaptation ensnares its viewers immediately, submerging the viewer relentlessly in the gritty heart of Victorian London. This is the best BBC costume drama broadcast in a long time, proving that they still have the ability to do Dickens better than anyone else. The shifty camera work, constantly switching angles, compels viewers to believe that some new unidentified horror is lurking just around the corner, with deceit temporarily masked by the ever-lingering fog. Despite the authenticity of the costumes and production design, the filming technique and the sound effects used at the change of scenes give a welcome contemporary edge.

The cast, without exception, portray their characters flawlessly. Charles Dance's Mr Tulkinghorn truly is the personification of all that is evil and malicious, while the drunken and repulsive Mr Krook could have been specially written with Johnny Vegas in mind. Gillian Anderson meanwhile portrays an enigmatic Lady Deadlock, frail under the weight of her enormous, dreadful secret.

When shown on TV, there were complaints that the episodes were not long enough and the cliffhangers were too intense, so it's an absolute pleasure to watch it on DVD where we are free to cheat and not face another week before finding out the new intricate twists of this macabre tale.

on 26th January 2006
Author of 8 reviews

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Film Description

Andrew Davies adapted one of Dickens' great depiction of Victorian London for the BBC. The result was a fresh, imaginative, yet faithful adaptation with a contemporary edge. At its heart is the story of the icily beautiful Lady Dedlock, who nurses a dark secret, and the merciless lawyer Tulkinghorn, who seeks to uncover it. This was also the first TV costume drama to be shot in hi-def video.

DVD Details

Certificate: PG

Publisher: BBC

Length: 480 mins

Format: DVD Colour

Region: 2

Released: 13th November 2006

Cat No: BBCDVD2243

DVD Extras

  • 3 discs. Audio commentaries from writer Andrew Davies, producer Nigel Stafford Clark and the directors Justin Chadwick & Susanna White
  • Interviews with cast members Gillian Anderson, Charles Dance & Denis Lawson (60 mins)
  • Photo gallery.

Film Stills

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Community Reviews

by Anon on 15th August 2006

Andrew Davies’ excellent adaptation of Dickens’ novel adopts the modern soap opera format of 30-minute chunks, which brings back both the original serialised format an... Read on


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