A young, compassionate man struggles to save his family and friends from the abusive exploitation of his cold-hearted, grasping uncle.


(as George O. Nichols)




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Inda Palmer ...
N.Z. Wood ...
Smike (as N.S. Woods)
Schoolmaster Squeers (as David H. Thompson)
Isabel O'Madigan ...
Mrs. Grace Eline ...
Harry Marks ...
Vincent Crummles (as Harry A. Marks)
Louise Trinder ...
Grace Eline ...
Crummles' Youngster
Will Morgan ...
Crummles' Child


The impoverished widow Mrs. Nickleby takes lodgings in the house of Miss La Creevy on the Strand, together with her adult children Nicholas and Kate. She asks her brother-in-law, the wealthy Ralph Nickleby, to help her son find employment. Nicholas is soon hired as an assistant at Mr. Squeers's Academy in Dotheboys Hall outside London. When he sees Mr. Squeers flogging the pupils, he tries to stop it, gets into a fight with the school master, and is fired. Back in London he finds his sister Kate being insulted by her uncle's friends. When Nicholas objects, Ralph Nickleby orders him to leave London. Otherwise the uncle will stop providing for the mother and the sister. Nicholas joins Crummlers' Theatrical Company as an actor, and is a huge success as Romeo. He returns to London to stop the continuing sexual harassments of his sister. When he finds employment with the Cheeryble Brothers, the family isn't dependent on Ralph Nickleby anymore. Nicholas falls in love with Madeline Bray, who... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Short





Release Date:

19 March 1912 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Version of Nicholas Nickleby (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

Shot in Corners
24 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

Honestly, this isn't good even for 1912. I'd rank it as a rather average production for its time: better than just filming a stage performance such as "Queen Elizabeth" or the "Richard III" films (1911 and 1912), for example, but certainly far short of "The Cameraman's Revenge" (Mest kinematograficheskogo operatora) or "Desdemona" (For Åbent Tæppe), both of which remain intelligently conceived despite having been made in 1912. Nor does this "Nicholas Nickleby" demonstrate anything close to the advanced film technique of D.W. Griffith, whose 1912 output included "The Musketeers of Pig Alley" and "An Unseen Enemy". Indeed, average seems to be a fair remark.

To fit Dickens' long novel into 20 minutes on screen, obviously there is a lot of condensing. In this respect, the filmmakers here do well to construct a coherent, if dull, narrative. Moreover, if this had been a feature-length production, as there were a few being made by 1912 (although not so many in the US), the film probably would be rather intolerably boring based on its dated production values and acting and severely limited role for the camera. Every indoor scene here takes place in a two-walled corner from a fixed, long view camera position—a very confining space, for which the purpose was surely to keep set construction costs low. The stage performance scene is the worst.

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