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The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (2001)

TV Movie  |  Comedy, Drama  |  29 January 2002 (USA)
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Nicholas Nickleby is an impoverished young man making his way in life in the cruel and unjust world of early Victorian England. His good looks, kind heart and gentlemanly manner are fine ... See full summary »



(novel), (adaptation)
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Title: The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (TV Movie 2001)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Dallimore ...
Diana Kent ...
George Innes ...
Abigail McKern ...
Archie Preston ...
Small Boy
Berwick Kaler ...
Lee Ingleby ...
Chris Roebuck ...
Debbie Chazen ...


Nicholas Nickleby is an impoverished young man making his way in life in the cruel and unjust world of early Victorian England. His good looks, kind heart and gentlemanly manner are fine qualities, but will they be enough for what awaits him? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

29 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nicholas Nickleby  »

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Did You Know?


The green Spencer worn by one of the millinery ladies in the London street is the same costume Sylvestra Le Touzel (Fanny Price) wears riding in Mansfield Park (1983). See more »


Referenced in Dickens (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant adaptation
14 January 2007 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

I've not read the book in ages and I haven't seen much of the 2002 film version, but I love this wonderful adaptation of Charles Dickens' "The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby".

The acting is first rate for all involved. James D'Arcy as Nicholas Nickleby and Sophia Myles as Kate Nickleby both give a lot of strength and dignity to their roles. Although both characters are presented as quite pure and face a lot of adversity, they are played with such strength you know that they won't let anything destroy them. Charles Dance is compelling as the cold hearted Ralph Nickleby and the many comic grotesques are all very enjoyable and distinctly painted. The pig-like Squeers family in particular- Gregor Fisher, best known for playing Rab C. Nesbitt does fantastic as the monstrous one-eyed Wackford Squeers, Pam Ferris gives good value as drunken Mrs. Squeers, a pre-'Tittybangbang' Debbie Chazen is hilarious as Fanny Squeers- her argument after a game of cards to her much more attractive best friend Tilda is a highlight). The rather dopey Mrs. Nickleby, the air headed dressmakers, the fancy, flamboyant circus-like theatre troupe, the twin Cherrybles, the lecherous old man and the cackling old hag Peg Silderskew (played by the always brilliant Liz Smith) are all great.

This is the first thing I saw Lee Ingleby in. I was very impressed. He does a remarkable job as the tragic Smike. He gives a very moving performance here, conveying the suffering and the innocence of the character very well.

Everything works to set the scene. The scenery shows a lot of wild countryside, the costumes, which earned designer Barbara Kidd a BAFTA are particularly good- even the food used adds to the overall feel of the story. The biggest weakness is the bombastic incidental music. It often drowns the actors out and distracts from the events in the story. Background music should be just that- left in the background to enhance the feel of the scenes rather than dominate them.

A brilliant adaptation by the late Stephen Whittaker as director and Martyn Hesford who adapted it as a script. A credit to TV drama.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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