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"Vanity Fair"
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"Vanity Fair" (1998) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1998-

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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
24 October 1999 (USA) See more »
An adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic story of parvenue Becky Sharp's rise from obscure... See more »
5 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The best production of Vanity Fair for all time? See more (14 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 29 of 41)

Natasha Little ... Becky Sharp (6 episodes, 1998)
Frances Grey ... Amelia Sedley (6 episodes, 1998)

Philip Glenister ... William Dobbin (6 episodes, 1998)
David Ross ... Mr. Sedley (6 episodes, 1998)

Nathaniel Parker ... Rawdon Crawley (5 episodes, 1998)

Anton Lesser ... Mr. Pitt Crawley (5 episodes, 1998)
Janine Duvitski ... Mrs. Bute Crawley (5 episodes, 1998)

Michele Dotrice ... Mrs. Sedley (5 episodes, 1998)

Jeremy Swift ... Jos Sedley (4 episodes, 1998)

Tom Ward ... George Osborne (4 episodes, 1998)
Frances Tomelty ... Mrs. O'Dowd (4 episodes, 1998)

Stephen Frost ... Bute Crawley (4 episodes, 1998)
Mark Lambert ... Major O'Dowd (4 episodes, 1998)

Tim Woodward ... Mr. John Osborne (4 episodes, 1998)
Janet Dale ... Miss Briggs (4 episodes, 1998)

Sylvestra Le Touzel ... Lady Jane Crawley (3 episodes, 1998)

Miriam Margolyes ... Miss Crawley (3 episodes, 1998)

Abigail Thaw ... Jane Osborne (3 episodes, 1998)
Robert Cole ... Little Rawdon (3 episodes, 1998)

David Bradley ... Sir Pitt Crawley (3 episodes, 1998)

Eleanor Bron ... Lady Bareacres (3 episodes, 1998)
Daniel Hart ... Ensign Stubble (3 episodes, 1998)
Zohren Weiss ... Little Georgy (3 episodes, 1998)

Gerard Murphy ... Lord Steyne (3 episodes, 1998)
John Surman ... Horrocks (3 episodes, 1998)

Graham Crowden ... Lord Bareacres (3 episodes, 1998)

Sarah Crowden ... Lady Blanche (3 episodes, 1998)
Bryan Pringle ... Raggles (3 episodes, 1998)
Linal Haft ... Moss (3 episodes, 1998)

Series Directed by
Marc Munden (6 episodes, 1998)
Series Writing credits
Andrew Davies (6 episodes, 1998)
William Makepeace Thackeray (6 episodes, 1998)

Series Produced by
Gillian McNeill .... producer (6 episodes, 1998)
Delia Fine .... executive producer: A&E Network (2 episodes, 1998)
Suzan Harrison .... executive producer (2 episodes, 1998)
Nigel Taylor .... associate producer (2 episodes, 1998)
Michael Wearing .... executive producer (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Original Music by
Murray Gold (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Cinematography by
Oliver Curtis (1 episode, 1998)
Series Film Editing by
William Diver (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Casting by
Kris De Meester (2 episodes, 1998)
Jill Trevellick (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Production Design by
Malcolm Thornton (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Art Direction by
Stevie Herbert (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Costume Design by
Rosalind Ebbutt (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Makeup Department
Christine Walmesley-Cotham .... hair designer / makeup designer (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Production Management
Kris De Meester .... assistant production manager (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nicola Blacker .... third assistant director (6 episodes, 1998)
Raoul Bolognini .... third assistant director (2 episodes, 1998)
Richard Burrell .... first assistant director (2 episodes, 1998)
Kris De Meester .... second assistant director (2 episodes, 1998)
Colin Wratten .... second assistant director (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Art Department
Gill Farr .... production buyer (1 episode, 1998)
Series Sound Department
Tim Alban .... re-recording mixer (2 episodes, 1998)
Jens Christensen .... adr recordist (2 episodes, 1998)
Felicity Cottrell .... foley artist (2 episodes, 1998)
Bernard O'Reilly .... dialogue editor (2 episodes, 1998)
Sandra Roth .... foley editor (2 episodes, 1998)
Jack Stew .... foley artist (2 episodes, 1998)
Bruce Wills .... sound mixer (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Stunts
Rowley Irlam .... stunt double (2 episodes, 1998)
Stuart St. Paul .... stunt coordinator (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Barry J. Holmes .... still photographer (6 episodes, 1998)
Tim Potter .... focus puller (6 episodes, 1998)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lee Clayton .... tailor (2 episodes, 1998)
Amanda Keable .... assistant costume designer (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Editorial Department
Chris Reynolds .... on-line editor (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Location Management
Simon Bird .... location manager (2 episodes, 1998)
Emma Pill .... location manager (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Music Department
Steve Parr .... music mixer / music recordist / ... (2 episodes, 1998)
Series Other crew
Charles Bodycomb .... armorer (2 episodes, 1998)
M Pink Christofalo .... script supervisor (2 episodes, 1998)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
50 min (6 episodes)
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The green velvet Spencer Natasha Little (Becky Sharp) wears walking with Amelia in Brighton is the same costume worn by an extra in the Assembly Rooms in Persuasion (2007) (TV).See more »
Becky Sharp:Revenge may be wicked. But it's natural.See more »
Movie Connections:
I'd Mourn the HopesSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
The best production of Vanity Fair for all time?, 15 January 2013
Author: trimmerb1234 from London

Thackeray prefaced his book with a short piece apparently explaining that the characters were just "puppets" who lived, ate and made love in a (fictional?) world that was neither moral nor immoral. Some have taken this at face value. However the book is generally seen as a savage satire and even today the appearance of Knight of the Realm, Sir Pitt Crawley, is rather shocking in that the reader just as much as the characters in the book, mistake him for a footman or even watchman such are his appearance and manners - breaking a convention that other Victorian writers such as Dickens and Trollope strictly observed. In the opening chapter the exceedingly disrespectful young Becky Sharp is again a character set against the Victorian archetype. Neither virtuous nor fallen woman (generally the literary alternatives at the time), Becky Sharp fights her way through life using her sharpness of perception and her bodily attractions - sometimes winning, sometimes losing badly.

Thackeray portrays a world where people can and do behave badly and act grossly. They are though not puppets - satire is not the portrayal of puppets, rather a clear-sighted, uncharitable and somewhat exaggerated version of reality. Thackeray is writing without rosy spectacles. The virtuous do not necessarily live happily ever after and the bad go unpunished. The weak, it seems, go to the wall. His preface then should be seen as a disingenuous disclaimer to quiet and fob off those who took exception to the sourness of his portrayal of humanity. But the book stands on its own two feet. The real Becky Sharp, on the make and none too scrupulous, existed then, she exists today, as do all the other characters but it requires the removal of the rose-tinted spectacles to see them - and perhaps some courage to write about them too.

This production plays the story entirely straight - an excellent cast portraying their characters realistically and without exaggeration, living according to their respective values and the hand Life deals them. It is left to the titles - the visuals and the music - to sound a ripe raspberry at their antics - and to remind us that this is not a puppet show but a sharp satire on how some people lived in England 200 years ago.

A pretty fine cast, not all though got an opportunity to shine, but memorable were Jeremy Swift as a perspiring great dumpling Jos Sedley; an unsmiling, uncharming and unsightly Lord Steyne, removing the noble from the nobility; Philip Glennister as the ever reliable Dobbin; Nathaniel Parker as the dashing officer/adventurer snared by adventuress, Becky Sharp. The problem however I had with Natasha Little was that she was no seductress, there was no sweetness (however false) that surely would have been an essential weapon in her fight to get what she wanted? Perhaps the book does not make clear the nature of her appeal to men, only her will, her lack of scruples and the mixed success she had. Was she too sharp to successfully mask it with sweetness? Was her practical, cool matter-of-factness attractive? Perhaps for all his sharp observation, Thackeray did not have intimate knowledge of such aggressively ambitious women?

Nobody mentions adapter Andrew Davies? Probably because he has done his job so well that nobody notices.

I rather doubt there will be a better version.

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