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Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  27 June 2003 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 9,111 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 103 user | 80 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

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



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stella Gonet ...
Mr. Nickleby
Henry McGrath ...
Poppy Rogers ...
Jessie Lou Roberts ...
Angela Curran ...


Young Nicholas and his family enjoy a comfortable life, until Nicholas' father dies and the family is left penniless. Nicholas, his sister and mother venture to London to seek help from their Uncle Ralph, but Ralph's only intentions are to separate the family and exploit them. Nicholas is sent to a school run by the cruel, abusive and horridly entertaining Wackford Squeers. Eventually, Nicholas runs away with schoolmate Smike, and the two set off to reunite the Nickleby family. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Every family needs a hero.


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material involving some violent action and a childbirth scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

27 June 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

La leyenda de Nicholas Nickleby  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$42,864 (USA) (27 December 2002)


£826,126 (UK) (11 July 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Timothy Spall previously appeared in The Royal Shakespeare Company's landmark 9-hour stage adaptation of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1980), playing Mr. Folair and Young Wackford. He had left the company by the time it was filmed for television as The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1982) and thus does not appear in that mini series. See more »


The movie is set in the early-to-mid-1800s, but characters sing the hymn "God is working His purpose out" which was written in 1894, 24 years after the death of Charles Dickens. See more »


[first lines]
Vincent Crummles: What happens when the light first pierces the dark dampness in which we have waited? We are slapped and cut loose. If we are lucky, someone is there to catch us and persuade us that we are safe. But are we safe? What happens if, too early, we lose a parent? That party on whom we rely for only everything? Why, we are cut loose again and we wonder, even dread whose hands will catch us now? There once lived a man named Nicholas Nickleby...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to everyone at One Aldwych. See more »


References King Lear (1983) See more »


On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at
Traditional Yorkshire folk song; sung to the Methodist hymnal tune "Cranbrook" (1805) (uncredited), written by 'Thomas Clark'
Performed by Kevin McKidd (uncredited), Helen Coker (uncredited), and Jim Broadbent (uncredited)
Sung by John Browdie and Tilda while on their honeymoon in a London public house, accompanied by Mr. Wackford Squeers
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User Reviews

Dickens stripped bare... but still worthwhile because of a few good actors
11 March 2005 | by (Den Haag, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Having read the novel NN a couple of times I know how rich and full of funny characters and episodes this novel is. This adaptation greatly reduces the number of events compared to the novel; though I understand a director has to make a choice what elements of a story he should put to the screen I think the director has been a bit too drastic in doing so. No reference at all to the Mantalini's, or to the downfall of the Squeerses and the closure of Dotheboys hall -I sorely missed those episodes! But what I missed story-wise was partly made up by the acting of Christopher Plummer as Ralph Nickleby and the heartrending performance of Jamie "Billie Elliot' Bell as Smike. A pity that the director also puts the accent mostly on the melodramatic aspects of a story which is full of delicious humor. This adaptation has it charms but check out the royal Shakespeare's Company's version for a faithful adaptation that does Dickens real justice!

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Nicholas + Smike Joeytrom@aol.com
Did you actually like this? crazy_girl2
Was Mrs. Crummles supposed to be played by a guy? Joan_Shooter
Bah! How come this movie received NO marketing?! Floop1977
A Question Concerning Ralph Nickleby... Celtic_Celia
I love this film, but have a few problems with it... Severus_Snape666
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