The Pickwick Papers DVD
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Directed by Noel Langley
Produced in 1952
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - British Film
Orson Welles planned to adapt Charles Dickens's picaresque novel as his follow-up to Citizen Kane. However, W.C. Fields's schedule couldn't be amended and another tantalising project was consigned to Hollywood's alternative history.
James Hayter might not have had Fields's charisma, but the man who went on to voice the Mr Kipling commercials does make an exceedingly good Pickwick. What's more, he's ably supported by a splendid supporting cast of British stalwarts, with Alexander Gauge (Tupman), James Donald (Winkle) and Lionel Murton (Snodgrass) making up the other members of the Pickwick Club, whose misadventures both amuse and provide the odd salutory lesson.
However, Nigel Patrick steals the show as Mr Jingle, who exudes mischievous amorality, as he dupes the quartet into many of their scrapes - although Pickwick's breach of promise suit with Mrs. Bardell (Hermione Baddeley) is equally entertaining. That said, this results in his incarceration in the debtors' prison and director Noel Langley admirably tempers the tone to expose the darker side of Victorian England. Indeed, Langley (who also scripted Alastair Sim's Scrooge) does an excellent job throughout of compressing Dickens' text and keeping so many characters in focus.
David Parkinson on 1st March 2006
Author of 191 reviews
A lively adaptation of Dicken's comic novel 'The Pickwick Papers' with a renowned cast of British actors playing some of his most colourful characters. James Hayter plays Samuel Pickwick.
A group of bachelors who travel around Victorian England. Naming themselves the Pickwick Club after their founder, Samuel Pickwick, the gentlemens' journey brings them many surprises and a host of revelations about themselves and the current state of the world. Along the way they encounter a wealth of comic characters and are swindled, sued and thrown into a debtors' prison.
Publisher: Simply Media
Length: 104 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Cat No: 122925
Format: DVD B&W
- Digitally remastered.