When David's father dies, his mother remarries. His new stepfather Murdstone has a mean and cruel view on how to raise a child. When David's mother dies from grief, Murdstone sends David to... See full summary »
Edna May Oliver
Jane Eyre is an orphan, sent to Lowood school, and eventually becomes a governess at Thornfield hall to a girl named Adele. While she is there, many strange things happen and eventually she... See full summary »
A TV mini-series adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, following the life of young Copperfield as he grows up under the care of the cruel Murdstones, travels to London where he meets ... See full summary »
Director Delbert Mann emptied out the Hollywood British colony and a great deal of the United Kingdom itself of name players to bring this production of David Copperfield into being. For that reason alone one should see this film. It ain't often that one can see so many stars in one production.
There are some telling portrayals too, these are not just walk on roles that are essayed here. And this constellation of stars swirls around young Robin Phillips who is a most winning adult David Copperfield. Phillips fits my idea and I'm betting Charles Dickens's of what his young hero is all about.
Laurence Olivier was nominated for an Emmy for playing the cruel schoolmaster Mr. Creakle. But personally I like what Ralph Richardson did with Mr. Micawber. Talk about author's conception, I think Richardson was far closer to what Dickens had in mind than W.C. Fields as entertaining as Fields was in that role. Richardson was my favorite in the cast.
Followed closely by Edith Evans as Aunt Betsy Trotwood and Ron Moody as the unctuous Uriah Heep. I've always thought of Heep as one of the great characters of literature. I'll bet there's not one of us who has not run into a wormy character like Uriah Heep in our lives, I've known several.
The women in David's life are Pamela Franklin as the beautiful, but childlike Dora Spenlow and Susan Hampshire as the second wife Agnes Wickliffe whom he finally realizes is the woman he should have been with all along. The romantic involvements of David Copperfield have a strange parallel in real life with our 26th president. Theodore Roosevelt fell in love with a weak, but beautiful Alice Hathaway Lee who died young. A few years later TR married Edith Kermit Carow who had a thing for him for years. And they lived happily ever after just like in a storybook. Franklin especially is precious as the weak and softheaded Dora.
The whole novel of David Copperfield is a flashback, but Mann adopted the technique of bringing the older Copperfield back to writing his memoirs as a way of cutting a lot of extra material away and getting to the main events in the protagonist's life. It works quite well for drama though you'd better not use it if you're studying David Copperfield in school.
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