Little Dorrit (1987)

G  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  21 October 1988 (USA)
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Reviews: 13 user | 10 critic

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?


The last film role of Joan Greenwood, who portrays "Mrs. Clennam." 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 Little Dorrit (1913) See more »

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User Reviews

Thoroughly Excellent and engrossing.
9 March 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Have you ever wondered what they meant when they said "Debtor's Prison?" This line as pretty common place in British Films, however none more so than in The Movie "SCROOGE", with the excellent Alistair Sims. This is where the person who had taken a loan and wouldn't be able to repay it was afraid of going to "Debtor's Prison", saying " I can't take me wife to Debtor's Prison?" Scrooge then turned on him and told him it had nothing to do with his wife or with himself or that matter. And wished a god Day. Remember? Well since that time I have always wondered about "Debtor's Prison" and just what does this place do and so on. This then is what Little Dorrit is based upon, life in Debtor's Prison. Alec Guinness was absolutely Brilliant as Mr. William Dorrit, whom after having fallen on hard times, tried to maintain an air of Aristocracy, Class and Distinction even if he was in Debtor's Prison. We Watch Little Dorrit come into the world in this place and discover hat there are others who are just as bad off, yet all maintain themselves as best as they can. We see Little Dorrit grow into a fine young lady and we see what it must have been like, living in the Victorian age, of Pomposity, and Airs of Superiority and Aristocracy. "One must Maintain appearances", would say William Dorrit and so it went. This is a rather slow paced film, which only serves to add to the impression of the time. To me, this film is the ultimate look into what it must have been like to live in wretched poverty, in Debtor's prison all the while maintaining one's position in life and one's sense of integrity. Mr. Guinness was Unbelievable as William Dorrit. You knew what he was trying to do, but you also knew " As did he" how futile it all was. But as it goes along, you find your self, drawn into the movie, it doesn't speed up for you,rather it calms you and bring's you unto itself. The true mark of excellence in a truly good movie. I would highly recommend this movie, most especially as a Family viewing affair. Get out the popcorn, get all the drinks ready and anything else that you could want and when your ready, step into the magnificent world of 18th century England and live a little in a place called Debtor's prison, for about 1 and 1/2 Hrs. The cast are absolutely excellent in their individual roles. I could name them all and tell you why, but it's much better if you see them for yourself. This Film is a real Gem and a very rare treat. Happy Viewing. Warmest Regards Aaron

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