Little Dorrit (BBC, 2008) View large image

Film Details

Directed by: Diarmuid Lawrence Adam Smith Adam Smith Dearbhla Walsh

Produced: 2008

Countries & Regions: United Kingdom

DVD Details

Certificate: 12

Studio: 2 Entertain

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 26 January 2009

Cat No: BBCDVD2773

Languages(s): English
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Little Dorrit (BBC, 2008)

Cast: Robert Hardy , Tom Courtenay , Judy Parfitt , Alun Armstrong , Andy Serkis , Eddie Marsan , Russell Tovey , Rosie Cavaliero , Matthew Macfadyen , Claire Foy , Emma Pierson

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Andrew Davies’s adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens tale of hardship and struggle in 1820s London. The Dorrit family has spent... Read More




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Andrew Davies’s adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens tale of hardship and struggle in 1820s London. The Dorrit family has spent years in a debtors’ prison due to the financial mess in which father William (Tom Courtenay) managed to land himself as a youth. Youngest daughter Amy (Claire Foy), known as Little Dorrit, finds work with the wealthy Mrs Clenham (Judy Parfitt) but knows that her father will, in all probability, spend the remainder of his life in gaol. However, when Arthur Clenham (Matthew Macfadyen), recently returned from abroad, comes to suspect that his late father was in part responsible for the Dorrits’ plight, he becomes determined to make amends. But as he continues to delve into the mysteries of the Dorrits’ and his parents’ shared past, he is unaware that his own mother’s house has been placed in peril by the arrival of a sinister stranger.

Following the success of Bleak House, Little Dorrit is the BBC’s latest Dickens offering, here serialised for television by Andrew Davies. Ever relevant, the rags-to-riches story centres around the fickle nature of money and its treacherous effect on people. As the tale unfolds we trace the vacillating fortunes of the Dorrit family after the kindhearted Arthur Clennam (Matthew Macfadyen) follows his father’s dying wish to set the mysterious wrongs of his family right. He is led to Amy Dorrit and her family in Marshalsea Debtors’ prison.

The picks of the large and star-studded cast (which mixes veteran actors such as Roy Hudd and John Alderton with more recent names such as Freema Ageyman and Ruth Jones) are Judy Parfit, who is magnificent as the crumbling, resolutely mean Mrs Clennam, and Alun Armstrong, who steals the show with his unmitigatedly evil and highly manipulative Jeremiah Flintwinch.

Presented, as Dickens originally intended, in instalments, this fourteen-part serial is perfect for the season.

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