An adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic story of parvenue Becky Sharp's rise from obscure & humble origins to her subsequent ignominious fall from Society; set amongst the ... See full summary »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1998  
5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Aristocrats (TV Mini-Series 1999)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

18th-century England and Ireland viewed through the eyes of four beautiful high-born sisters - Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, great-granddaughters of a king, daughters of a cabinet minister, and wives of politicians and peers.

Stars: Siân Phillips, Alun Armstrong, Ben Daniels
The Way We Live Now (TV Mini-Series 2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

At the center of the story is Augustus Melmotte, a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings. Trollope describes him as 'something in the city',... See full summary »

Stars: David Suchet, Matthew Macfadyen, Cillian Murphy
Vanity Fair (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Growing up poor in London, Becky Sharp (Witherspoon) defies her poverty-stricken background and ascends the social ladder alongside her best friend, Amelia.

Director: Mira Nair
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Romola Garai, James Purefoy
Middlemarch (TV Mini-Series 1994)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
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
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (TV Mini-Series 1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Based on a little known 1848 novel by Anne Bronte, Tara Fitzgerald stars as an enigmatic young woman who moves to 19th Century Yorkshire with a young son. Distancing herself from everyone ... See full summary »

Stars: Toby Stephens, Tara Fitzgerald, Rupert Graves
Daniel Deronda (TV Mini-Series 2002)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Set in Victorian London, Gwendolen Harleth is drawn to Daniel Deronda, a selfless and intelligent gentleman of unknown parentage, but her own desperate need for financial security may destroy her chance at happiness.

Stars: Jodhi May, Edward Fox, Amanda Root
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (TV Movie 1998)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A free-spirited yet naive country girl is caught between her wealthy, manipulative "cousin" Alec and the handsome, educated farmer Angel Clare in this Victorian tragedy from novelist Thomas Hardy.

Director: Ian Sharp
Stars: Justine Waddell, Jason Flemyng, Oliver Milburn
The Mayor of Casterbridge (TV Movie 2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

At a country fair, young hay-trusser Michael Henchard quarrels with his wife Susan, and in a drunken fit decides to auction off his wife and baby to a sailor for five guineas. The next day,... See full summary »

Director: David Thacker
Stars: Ciarán Hinds, Juliet Aubrey, Jodhi May
Under the Greenwood Tree (TV Movie 2005)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In this lighthearted romance from Victorian novelist Thomas Hardy, the beautiful new village school teacher is pursued by three suitors: a working-class man, a landowner, and the vicar.

Director: Nicholas Laughland
Stars: Keeley Hawes, James Murray, Terry Mortimer
Far from the Madding Crowd (TV Movie 1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A vain, pretty girl has recently taken over her uncle's farm. Her independent, naïve personality leaves her torn between the three men who wish to marry her.

Director: Nicholas Renton
Stars: Paloma Baeza, Nigel Terry, Nathaniel Parker
Wives and Daughters (TV Mini-Series 1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 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
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Becky Sharp (6 episodes, 1998)
Frances Grey ...
 Amelia Sedley (6 episodes, 1998)
...
 William Dobbin (6 episodes, 1998)
David Ross ...
 Mr. Sedley (6 episodes, 1998)
...
 Rawdon Crawley (5 episodes, 1998)
...
 Mr. Pitt Crawley (5 episodes, 1998)
Janine Duvitski ...
 Mrs. Bute Crawley (5 episodes, 1998)
...
 Mrs. Sedley (5 episodes, 1998)
...
 Jos Sedley (4 episodes, 1998)
Tom Ward ...
 George Osborne (4 episodes, 1998)
Frances Tomelty ...
 Mrs. O'Dowd (4 episodes, 1998)
...
 Bute Crawley (4 episodes, 1998)
Mark Lambert ...
 Major O'Dowd (4 episodes, 1998)
...
 Mr. John Osborne (4 episodes, 1998)
Janet Dale ...
 Miss Briggs (4 episodes, 1998)
...
 Lady Jane Crawley (3 episodes, 1998)
...
 Miss Crawley (3 episodes, 1998)
...
 Jane Osborne (3 episodes, 1998)
Robert Cole ...
 Little Rawdon (3 episodes, 1998)
...
 Sir Pitt Crawley (3 episodes, 1998)
...
 Lady Bareacres (3 episodes, 1998)
Daniel Hart ...
 Ensign Stubble (3 episodes, 1998)
Zohren Weiss ...
 Little Georgy (3 episodes, 1998)
...
 Lord Steyne (3 episodes, 1998)
John Surman ...
 Horrocks (3 episodes, 1998)
...
 Lord Bareacres (3 episodes, 1998)
...
 Lady Blanche (3 episodes, 1998)
Bryan Pringle ...
 Raggles (3 episodes, 1998)
Linal Haft ...
 Moss (3 episodes, 1998)
...
 Wenham (2 episodes, 1998)
Sara Powell ...
 Miss Swartz (2 episodes, 1998)
Felix Dexter ...
 Samuel (2 episodes, 1998)
Paul Bigley ...
 Isidor (2 episodes, 1998)
...
 Lady Crawley (2 episodes, 1998)
Casey O'Connor ...
 Little Violet (2 episodes, 1998)
Zoe Chester ...
 Little Rose (2 episodes, 1998)
Pom Boyd ...
 Glorvina O'Dowd (2 episodes, 1998)
Vicki Pepperdine ...
 Ann Dobbin (2 episodes, 1998)
Windsor Davies ...
 General Tufto (2 episodes, 1998)
Bill Thomas ...
 Mr. Chopper (2 episodes, 1998)
Martin Hodgson ...
 Ensign Spooney (2 episodes, 1998)
Edit

Storyline

An adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic story of parvenue Becky Sharp's rise from obscure & humble origins to her subsequent ignominious fall from Society; set amongst the backdrop of Regency England & in continental Europe during the Napoleonic War. Written by Jonnie Heldreich

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

24 October 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Feira das Vaidades  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The yellow gown worn by a guest at the Duchess of Richmond's ball is the same costume worn by Fiona Victory (Caroline Enys) at the London ball in Poldark (1996), and by Tanya Samuel at dinner in The Regency House Party (2004). See more »

Quotes

Becky Sharp: I'm afraid I will have to charge you rather a lot. My horses are all I own in the world, you know.
Joss Sedley: Money is no object to me, ma'am.
Becky Sharp: That's good. Six hundred pounds.
[Jos is taken aback, but promptly reaches for his pocketbook.]
Becky Sharp: Each.
See more »

Connections

Version of Vanity Fair (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Bleak and Barren was the Moor
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Almost perfect ! Delightful.
5 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is brisk, fun production that doesn't take itself any more seriously than it should, and doesn't mind winking at us with a secret smile at the same time. The story of Becky Sharp, a girl who is never any better than she needs to be, and her friend Amelia who is much too good for her own good.

Natasha Little is simply perfect as Becky. Little is the kind of woman that women find hard to like: delicately beautiful, exceptionally talented – making her perfect to play Becky. It is the subtle nuances in her moments that give her performance great depth and complexity – needed for accessibility for a selfish character who is the smartest person in any room she is in. Becky is a woman who would agree with the quote of another brilliant beauty, Hedy Lamar: "Any woman can be glamorous. All she has to do is stand still and look stupid." Little's Beky is not as likable or vulnerable as Reese Witherspoon – who played Becky in a major motion picture film version made right around the same time – but with a miniseries we have time to understand her more. Besides, not many actresses are as likable as Witherspoon.

As the story begins, this production does not look lavish, but the casting is so wonderful, the script so strong, the costumes simple but just right, that we are given the ability to focus on getting to know the people we will be following through 6 episodes.

It is this initial simplicity that is the brilliance of the production design by Malcolm Thornton. In the early stages, poverty is cramped and messy; work is dark, cluttered and rotting, and wealth is clean, and bright and airy… like freedom. As we progress through the story, wealth becomes more complex, overstuffed and overdecorated, echoing the complexity of the lives of Becky and Rawdon. Rawdon played by the handsome and overwhelmingly talented Nathaniel Parker (INSPECTOR LINLEY, BLEAK HOUSE).

Breathtaking Andrew Davies, possibly the most brilliant adapter of the classics of all time, gifts us with a screenplay of grace and subtlety, weaving the ease of modern speech perfectly into the period action in a way that feels classic, but is totally accessible.

It all bounces along to the ohm-pa-pa of a brass band. This band is one of the anachronistic touches of the production. While it passes as a military band, it also has a the raw, slightly under-rehearsed sound of a New Orleans jazz band, and sometimes a 1940s dance hall… meanwhile Becky's musical choices are straight from the pub… to the delight of the men around her. The band is really the only downfall of the production, in the moments of great serious importance, the band hits us over the head with a blaringly repetitive theme that gets very annoying after 6 episodes. It is the only "wrong note" in an otherwise witty and wise score. One of the nice subtle touches is that even Becky's singing, which at first seems flawless and delightful, begins to sound a bit flat in the episodes where we see dark results of her behavior on those around her.

The music for Amelia and William is completely different. Plaintive melodies played as quietly as loyalty and love that things only of the good of the beloved. Philip Glenister as William carries the heart of the piece with affecting restraint. Miriam Margoles does her best work EVER here, and Jeremy Swift as Jos is absolutely delightful in every moment he is on screen!

This entire miniseries is just marvelous, aspects of the production in tune with each other, in service to the whole piece. FANTASTIC.


23 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Dobbin man_of_stars
Musical Score teepe54
Stephen Hitchings' comments are STUPID and should be ignored agt44
costume and make-up differences between '98 and '04? simone-mac
Vanity Fair '98 VS Vanity fair '04 ReganRebecca
Rating? AranelArwen
Discuss Vanity Fair (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?