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

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Drama | Crime
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 228 users  
Reviews: 12 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

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available starting today. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 25 titles
created 31 Aug 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 01 Dec 2012
 
a list of 475 titles
created 02 Apr 2013
 
a list of 57 titles
created 10 Aug 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House (1985– )

Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House (1985– ) on IMDb 7.4/10

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... 

Our Mutual Friend (TV Mini-Series 1998)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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

Stars: Paul McGann, Keeley Hawes, Dominic Mafham
Nicholas Nickleby (TV Mini-Series 1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After the death of his father, Nicholas Nickleby along with his sister Kate and their mother find themselves in difficult conditions. They relocate to London in the hope that Uncle Ralph ... See full summary »

Stars: Nigel Havers, Peter Bourke, Derek Godfrey
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
Mother Love (TV Mini-Series 1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A British yuppie couple have a presumably idyllic existence. Yet there is one troubling factor in their lives - an eccentric, and possibly, difficult mother-in-law. Her odd behavior is ... See full summary »

Stars: Diana Rigg, James Wilby, David McCallum
The Pickwick Papers (TV Series 1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Stars: Nigel Stock, Clive Swift, Alan Parnaby
In This House of Brede (TV Movie 1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A well-to-do London businesswoman gives up her comfortable life, including the man who loves her, to become a cloistered Benedictine nun.

Director: George Schaefer
Stars: Diana Rigg, Pamela Brown, Gwen Watford
The Barchester Chronicles (TV Mini-Series 1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Janet Maw, Nigel Hawthorne
He Knew He Was Right (TV Mini-Series 2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Stars: Oliver Dimsdale, Christina Cole, Laura Fraser
Bleak House (TV Series 2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A suspenseful tale about the injustices of the 19th-century English legal system

Stars: Anna Maxwell Martin, Denis Lawson, Carey Mulligan
Bleak House (TV Series 1959)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Diana Fairfax, Colin Jeavons, Andrew Cruickshank
Bleak House (1920)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 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
Diana (TV Series 1973)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Lovely Diana Smythe moves from London to begin a new life in New York City.

Stars: Richard B. Shull, Diana Rigg, Carole Androsky
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

Version of Bleak House (1959) 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:
?