Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House (1985)
"Bleak House" (original title)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Drama | Crime
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 233 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 1 critic

The great case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce drags on, an obsession to all involved. Then a question of inheritance becomes a question of murder.

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Sundance 2015

Watch our IMDb & AIV Sundance Studio Interviews with Keith Simanton

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 307 titles
created 05 Jun 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 01 Dec 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 18 Dec 2012
 
a list of 229 titles
created 09 Feb 2013
 
a list of 101 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House (1985– )

Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House (1985– ) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House.

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1985  
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Martin Chuzzlewit (TV Mini-Series 1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A well loved BBC adaptation of one of Charles Dickens lesser read novels. It revolves around some very greedy and selfish relatives who are all after the failing old Martin Chuzzlewits ... See full summary »

Stars: Emma Chambers, Julia Sawalha, Keith Allen
Hard Times (TV Series 1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Stars: Harriet Walter, Bill Paterson, Alan Bates
Wives and Daughters (TV Mini-Series 1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The daughter of a country doctor copes with an unwanted stepmother, an impetuous stepsister, burdensome secrets, the town gossips, and the tug on her own heartstrings for a man who thinks of her only as a friend.

Stars: Francesca Annis, Justine Waddell, Bill Paterson
Middlemarch (TV Mini-Series 1994)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

This Masterpiece Theatre production, set at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, chronicles the life, loves, foibles and politics of the fictional English town of Middlemarch. Adapted ... See full summary »

Stars: Juliet Aubrey, Douglas Hodge, Robert Hardy
David Copperfield (TV Movie 2000)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.

Director: Peter Medak
Stars: Hugh Dancy, Michael Richards, Eileen Atkins
Our Mutual Friend (TV Mini-Series 1998)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Intertwining tales of love, greed, and secret identities in Charles Dickens's 1860s London.

Stars: Paul McGann, Keeley Hawes, Dominic Mafham
He Knew He Was Right (TV Mini-Series 2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Louis Trevelyan's refusal to trust his wife, Emily, destroys their marriage.

Stars: Oliver Dimsdale, Christina Cole, Laura Fraser
Vanity Fair (TV Mini-Series 1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Stars: Natasha Little, Frances Grey, Philip Glenister
Great Expectations (TV Mini-Series 1981)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Stars: Gerry Sundquist, Tim Munro, Derek Francis
Jane Eyre (TV Mini-Series 1983)
Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young governess falls in love with her mysterious employer, but a terrible secret puts their happiness at risk.

Stars: Zelah Clarke, Timothy Dalton, Carol Gillies
Little Dorrit (TV Mini-Series 2008)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The series tells the story of Amy Dorrit, who spends her days earning money for the family and looking after her proud father, who is a long term inmate of Marshalsea debtors' prison in ... See full summary »

Stars: Claire Foy, Matthew Macfadyen, Tom Courtenay
Bleak House (1920)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Lady is suspected of killing a blackmailing lawyer who learned of her child by an earlier marriage to a criminal.

Director: Maurice Elvey
Stars: Constance Collier, Berta Gellardi, E. Vivian Reynolds
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Lady Honoria Dedlock (7 episodes, 1985)
...
 John Jarndyce (7 episodes, 1985)
Suzanne Burden ...
 Esther Summerson (7 episodes, 1985)
Jonathan Moore ...
 William Guppy (7 episodes, 1985)
Chris Pitt ...
 Jo (6 episodes, 1985)
Robin Bailey ...
 Sir Leicester Dedlock (6 episodes, 1985)
Lucy Hornak ...
 Ada Clare (6 episodes, 1985)
Philip Franks ...
 Richard Carstone / ... (5 episodes, 1985)
Sylvia Coleridge ...
 Miss Flite (5 episodes, 1985)
Bernard Hepton ...
 Krook (5 episodes, 1985)
...
 Snagsby / ... (5 episodes, 1985)
Pamela Merrick ...
 Hortense (5 episodes, 1985)
...
 Tulkinghorn (5 episodes, 1985)
...
 Harold Skimpole (4 episodes, 1985)
Brian Deacon ...
 Allan Woodcourt (4 episodes, 1985)
...
 Lord Chancellor (4 episodes, 1985)
Eileen Davies ...
 Judy Smallweed (4 episodes, 1985)
Charlie Drake ...
 Smallweed (4 episodes, 1985)
Dave King ...
 Sergeant George (4 episodes, 1985)
Heather Tobias ...
 Jenny / ... (4 episodes, 1985)
Frank Windsor ...
 Gridley (4 episodes, 1985)
Robert Urquhart ...
 Laurence Boythorn (3 episodes, 1985)
Felicity Finch ...
 Rosa (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Charley Neckett (3 episodes, 1985)
Harry Jones ...
 Phil Squod (3 episodes, 1985)
...
 Guster (2 episodes, 1985)
Jack Carr ...
 Brickmaker / ... (2 episodes, 1985)
Peter-Hugo Daly ...
 Lizzy's Man / ... (2 episodes, 1985)
Gabrielle Daye ...
 Mrs. Rouncewell (2 episodes, 1985)
Arthur Hewlett ...
 Waggoner (2 episodes, 1985)
Ian Hogg ...
 Inspector Bucket (2 episodes, 1985)
Stephen Kemble ...
 Footman (2 episodes, 1985)
...
 Housemaid (2 episodes, 1985)
Katharine Page ...
 Mrs. Smallweed (2 episodes, 1985)
Rebecca Sebborn ...
 Young Esther (2 episodes, 1985)
George Sewell ...
 Ironmaster Rouncewell (2 episodes, 1985)
James Snell ...
 Barrister (2 episodes, 1985)
...
 'Nemo' (2 episodes, 1985)
Wanda Toubas ...
 Lizzy (2 episodes, 1985)
Edit

Storyline

The great case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce drags on, an obsession to all involved. Then a question of inheritance becomes a question of murder.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 April 1985 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Last TV drama role of Gerald Flood. See more »

Connections

Referenced in NCIS: Heart Break (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Superb
10 September 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

There will always be inevitable comparisons to which adaptation of Bleak House people prefer, this or 2005. From a personal point of view, there is no real preference as both adaptations are outstanding in their own way. And not just as adaptations, but also on their own as well, which is every bit as important. The book is compelling, atmospheric and rich in characterisation. It is a mammoth book, and one of Dickens' least accessible(from first-time personal experience, the law stuff took its time to get completely). Both are well-made, tell the story extremely well indeed and brilliantly written and acted, the 2005 adaptation's characterisation is a little richer but this adaptation is a little more atmospheric.

Not everybody will find the 70s-80s Dickens serial adaptation their cup of tea. They may find them slow, long and with a lot of talk. That isn't the case with me. Of the ones seen, they respect their source material(even with omissions and changes here and there), are detailed, very evocative and Dickenesian and are well-made, written and acted. And that is the case with this Bleak House exactly. The costumes and sets look beautiful and very detailed, succeeding also in capturing the bleak nature of the book. They are also full of atmosphere and don't come across as too clean. The music is a pleasing mix of haunting overtones and delicate chamber-music-like, and fit with each scene excellently(if occasionally a little overdone in the final episode, some may prefer the more understated nature of the 2005 adaptation).

Bleak House(1985) scores very highly in the writing stakes too. Throughout the dialogue is intelligently adapted, there are scenes with a lot of talk but they weren't that tedious to me. The heartfelt tragedy, poignancy, sharp observations and nobility of Dickens' writing comes through loud and clear- some of Dickens' other books were also whimsical and had some nice comic scenes, The Old Curiosity Shop springs to mind- and the writing in the adaptation is distinctively Dickenesian in style. Bleak House(1985) is highly successful in how it tells this great story, characters are splendidly drawn and crucial scenes have their impact.

The adaptation is long, nearly seven hours, but there's a lot of characterisation and plotting going on so interest is always maintained. Things can unfold slowly, the first episode in particular, but that shouldn't be a turn-off. The book is also huge and has so much to tell, the long length was necessary and so was the pacing. Adaptation-wise, even with the omissions of a few minor characters, it is faithful in spirit to the book and to Dickens. The acting is very fine from all, three at least even are outstanding. Diana Rigg's Lady Dedlock is haunting and aristocratic as well as haughty and anguished. Denholm Elliot is a noble, gentle and moving Mr Jarndyce. And Peter Vaughan is splendidly sinister as Tulkinghorn. Coindentally, those characters were also performed the best in the 2005 adaptation as well.

Suzanne Burden plays Esther with backbone instead of being insipid or too meek, if not as warm as Anna Maxwell Martin. And Jonathan Moore is delightful as Guppy. All the characters are beautifully performed, much pleasure can be seen in those of the Smallweeds, Mrs Flite, Inspector Bucket, Sir Leicester Dedlock, Krook, Harold Skimpole and Jo too. All in all, a superb adaptation. 10/10 Bethany Cox


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?