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Little Dorrit (1987)

Arthur Clennam returns to London after working abroad for many years with his now deceased father. Almost at once he becomes involved in the problems of his mother's seamstress Amy Dorrit ... See full summary »




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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Max Wall ...
Patricia Hayes ...
Luke Duckett ...
Sarah Pickering ...
Amelda Brown ...
Daniel Chatto ...
Bill Fraser ...
Mollie Maureen ...
Diana Malin ...
Mr. Casby's Maid


Arthur Clennam returns to London after working abroad for many years with his now deceased father. Almost at once he becomes involved in the problems of his mother's seamstress Amy Dorrit and of her father residing in the Marshalsea debtors' prison. Pursuing their cause Arthur comes across a successful business opportunity and also gains a number of new acquaintances, while his and Amy's paths continue to cross. A reversal of fortune lays him low, but to fully understand how, this story must now be seen through Little Dorrit's eyes. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Little Dorrit's Story  »

Box Office


$1,025,228 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sarrina Caruthers later became a Page 3 girl from 2000 to 2004. See more »


Near the end of part 1, Mr Pancks puts his finger through Arthur's coat's right lapel button hole and pulls him toward the stairs. In the next shot, at the bottom of the stairs, his finger is through a hole in the left lapel. See more »


Version of Novela: La pequeña Dorrit I (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

A neglected gem
13 December 2004 | by (San Rafael, CA) – See all my reviews

Little Dorrit is thought by many critics to be Dickens most important book, a blistering attack on the evils of the Victorian world in which he lived. Quite a bit of it came from real life. Dickens' father had spent some time in the Marshalsea debtors prison, and several of the corrupt landlords and incompetent officials of the book were based on prominent real people. The establishment was NOT amused, and neglected it so aggressively that it has always been much less well-known than most of his work.

This film has also dwelt in the shadows. As a pair of 3-hour films that are best viewed in a single day (with a break), nobody could figure how to handle it commercially. Also, it only exists today as a long-out-of-print VHS tape and 4-disc laser set. Maybe someday the Critereon Collection will issue a DVD, but I'm not holding my breath.

Nonetheless, it was one of Alec Guinness's very best performances, and, if you love - or even just like - Dickens, the whole 6 hour total-immersion experience is magical.

Roger Ebert's review from 1988, which is online several places, really captures how special "Little Dorrit" is.

50 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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