David Copperfield (1999)

TV Mini-Series  |  Unrated  |   |  Drama
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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




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



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Release Date:

16 April 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Copperfield Dávid  »

Box Office


£4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


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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 ...
See more »


Version of David Copperfield (1986) See more »


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

Wonderful, unforgettable adaptation of Dickens.
24 April 2000 | by See all my reviews

I have yet to read the book, so I don't know how faithful this film was to the original novel, but I really don't care. When you have such a fine cast and such a great production overall, who cares about being faithful? Bob Hoskins as the eccentric, debt-ridden Mr. Micawber, the inimitable Maggie Smith as Aunt Betsey Trotwood, and Ian McKellen as the sinister headmaster Creekle head the wonderful cast, which includes other great performances from Trevor Eve as evil stepfather Mr. Murdstone, Claire Holman as tortured Rosa Dartle, Pauline Quirke as the beloved nurse Peggoty, and Nicholas Lyndhurst, truly terrifying as the "'umble" clerk Uriah Heep. Not to be left out, Daniel Radcliffe and Ciaran McMenamin are fine as young and old David Copperfield himself, respectively, though as Russell Baker noted in his "Masterpiece Theater" introduction, David is the least interesting character; the others are whom we remember. The production also looks great, from the seaside to the drawing rooms to the offices. Fine direction, script, everything. The BBC and Masterpiece Theater have done it again!

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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