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David Copperfield (1999)

TV Mini-Series  |  Unrated  |   |  Drama
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Reviews: 31 user | 4 critic

Charles Dickens' haunting semi-autobiographical tale of a boy who is sent away by his stepfather after his mother dies but manages to triumph over incredible adversities.

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Normington ...
James Thornton ...
Patsy Byrne ...
Laura Harling ...
Jacqueline Tong ...
 Lady in coach


David Copperfield lives a nearly idyllic existence with his beautiful mother Clara and their housekeeper Peggotty. His life changes forever when his mother re-marries. Mr. Murdstone is a no-nonsense businessman and a strict disciplinarian who believes in corporal punishment. David is soon sent to a strict boarding school but when his mother dies, his stepfather sends him to London to work in a foul smelling factory. He forms a close friendship with Mr. Micawber and moves in with the man and his loving family but as the Micawbers are forced by circumstance to relocate, he seeks out his aunt Betsey Trotwood. She sends him to fine school and he lodges with Mr. Wickfield and his daughter Agnes. As he grows older David is apprenticed to a law firm where he soon meets the senior partner's daughter, Dora. Life's challenges continue to confront him but with the help of friends and family, he overcomes adversity including his aunt's loss of her savings, the death of his wife and the ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Release Date:

16 April 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Copperfield Dávid  »

Box Office


£4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Daniel Radcliffe's first filmed project. In his first role, he would co-star with no less than six of his future co-stars of the "Harry Potter" film series: Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall), Zoë Wanamaker (Madame Hooch), Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge), Dawn French (The Fat Lady in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)), Paul Whitehouse (Sir Cadogan in "Prisoner of Azkaban" (scenes deleted)), and Simpson McKendry (who played a Beauxbatons girl in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)). See more »


The younger Davy is right-handed; the elder Davy is left-handed. See more »


Murdstone: This boy, you should know, Miss Trotwood, has a sullen, rebellious spirit, a violent temper and an intractable disposition.
Miss Murdstone: Of all the boys in the world, this is the worst boy.
Betsey Trotwood: Strong, Miss Murdstone.
Miss Murdstone: But not at all too strong for the situation.
Betsey Trotwood: Indeed? Well, sir?
Murdstone: I placed this boy in a respectable business. He ran away from it. The facts, I propose, speak for themselves.
Betsey Trotwood: About this respectable business, a blacking factory, I believe. If he had been your own boy, you would have put him to it ...
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Version of David Copperfield (1986) See more »


From John Playford's 'The English Dancing Master', First Edition (1651)
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User Reviews

A must for young Potter/Radcliffe Fans
2 February 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This is Daniel Radcliffe's first movie, and he is wonderful in it!

Charles Dickens, who wrote this story, lived in the 1800's. He is the only author whose popularity has come near to equalling that of JK Rowling! In his day, books were often published as serials in the newspaper. Dicken's books were so popular that people would queue in the street, waiting for the papers to arrive so they could read the next chapter. When a child died in one of the stories, people in both England and America went into mourning!

In the book, David Copperfield tells his own story, from his birth (which is both sad and funny) to his marriage. Dicken's based the story of David Copperfield partly, but not exactly, on his own life. The dear, funny, optimistic Mr McCawber who cannot pay his debts, is based on Dicken's own father who was thrown in prison for unpaid bills.

The terrible school and factory that David is put into by his cruel stepfather are taken from Dicken's life.

Daniel plays David as a child. He is perfectly suited to the role. Among the other characters we find Zoe Wannamaker (Madame Hooch) as his horrible aunt and Imelda Staunton (who has just been chosen as Umbridge) playing the poor wife with soooo many kids who is in despair over her penniless husband.

But the biggest star of the show is Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagal) who plays the very eccentric but lovable Betsy Trotwood, who comes to adore David, but cannot stand donkeys under any circumstance!

There is another lovely crazy character called Mr Dick and the ultimate crreeep called Uriah Heep. He is the slimiest, sneakiest, smarmiest person that you can imagine! There is just one real disappointment- the young man who plays the grown-up David! He doesn't look enough like Daniel. He has a very smug expression. His accent is wrong! His acting is not at all convincing! I really wish that they had chosen someone else! For young people who can read great big complex books like The Order of the Phoenix, this is for YOU! Mandyjam

6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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