Down 483 this week

Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  27 June 2003 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 9,035 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 103 user | 79 critic | 32 from

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



(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


TV Spotlight: The Top 10 Episodes of "The Walking Dead"

We've curated a list of the top 10 episodes of "The Walking Dead" according to the IMDb user ratings.

Read More

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 28 Aug 2011
a list of 42 titles
created 27 Jan 2012
a list of 33 titles
created 20 Jul 2012
a list of 23 titles
created 18 Dec 2012
a list of 48 titles
created 09 May 2013

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

Nicholas Nickleby (2002) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Nicholas Nickleby.
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Frank Bartlett has been tortured, embarrassed, and humiliated by his brother Bruce -- usually on film -- his entire life. Now that Bruce is finally off drugs and has turned his life around, things should be different. They are not.

Director: Jordan Roberts
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Chris O'Dowd, Lizzy Caplan
Abandon (2002)
Drama | Music | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A senior at an elite college, already under severe pressure to complete her thesis and land a prestigious job, must confront the sudden reappearance of her old boyfriend, after his two year... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Gaghan
Stars: Katie Holmes, Benjamin Bratt, Charlie Hunnam
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

John Groberg, a farm kid from Idaho Falls, crosses an ocean to become a missionary in the remote and exotic Tongan islands during the 1950's.

Director: Mitch Davis
Stars: Christopher Gorham, Anne Hathaway, Joe Folau
The Ledge (2011)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A police officer looks to talk down a young man lured by his lover's husband to the ledge of a high rise, where he has one hour to contemplate a fateful decision.

Director: Matthew Chapman
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Terrence Howard, Patrick Wilson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Stephen Whittaker
Stars: John Dallimore, James D'Arcy, Sophia Myles
Daniel Deronda (TV Mini-Series 2002)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Set in Victorian London, Gwendolen Harleth is drawn to Daniel Deronda, a selfless and intelligent gentleman of unknown parentage, but her own desperate need for financial security may destroy her chance at happiness.

Stars: Hugh Dancy, Romola Garai, Hugh Bonneville
Vanity Fair (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Growing up poor in London, Becky Sharp (Witherspoon) defies her poverty-stricken background and ascends the social ladder alongside her best friend, Amelia.

Director: Mira Nair
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Romola Garai, James Purefoy
Deadfall (2012)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A thriller that follows two siblings who decide to fend for themselves in the wake of a botched casino heist, and their unlikely reunion during another family's Thanksgiving celebration.

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Stars: Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Charlie Hunnam
Becoming Jane (2007)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A biographical portrait of a pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman.

Director: Julian Jarrold
Stars: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters
Emma (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In rural 1800s England things go bad for a young matchmaker after she finds a man for another woman.

Director: Douglas McGrath
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, James Cosmo, Greta Scacchi
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (TV Movie 1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A free-spirited yet naive country girl is caught between her wealthy, manipulative "cousin" Alec and the handsome, educated farmer Angel Clare in this Victorian tragedy from novelist Thomas Hardy.

Director: Ian Sharp
Stars: Justine Waddell, Jason Flemyng, Oliver Milburn
Our Mutual Friend (TV Mini-Series 1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Intertwining tales of love, greed, and secret identities in Charles Dickens's 1860s London.

Stars: Paul McGann, Keeley Hawes, Dominic Mafham


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 »


Version of Nicholas Nickleby (1957) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

sparkling Dickensian effort
14 August 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Writer/director Douglas McGrath has done a splendid job bringing Charles Dickens' delightful novel 'Nicholas Nickleby' to the big screen.

'Nickleby' is quintessential Dickens in its mixture of sentiment and satire; its finely drawn characters and caricatures; its clear cut delineation of good and evil, hero and villain; its melodramatic and coincidence-ridden plotting; and its championing of the downtrodden underclass of 19th Century England. Like many of Dickens' protagonists, Nicholas is a young man who is forced by circumstances (in this case the death of his father) to leave the comfort and security of his home and family and to venture forth to make his way in the world. On his journey he meets many vivid and colorful characters, all of whom reveal to him both the goodness and the cruelty inherent in human nature. These picaresque tales almost always end up with the hero a bit wiser and less naïve for his experiences - but more committed than ever to righting wrongs and seeking justice for those less able to do so on their own. And 'Nicholas Nickleby' is no exception.

In his approach to the material, McGrath has employed an amazing economy that allows him to effectively compress a 500-page novel into a 2 hour and 12 minute film. With so much storyline to work with, McGrath wastes no time in setting the scene and defining the characters, then moving merrily along from one dramatic incident and encounter to the next. Yet, the film never feels rushed or telescoped as movies derived from lengthy novels so often do. Each character, whether major or minor, is given the opportunity to make his or her mark on the scene. It's true that, in Dickens' world, the villains and eccentrics are generally far more intriguing and memorable than the comparatively pallid heroes and heroines, but McGrath has succeeded in making even those latter characters moving and interesting. Above all, the film is blessed with a cast made up of first-rate performers who bring each of the author's creations to vivid life. Charlie Hunnam, despite his having to embody a character who is a fairly one-dimensional, conventional 'pretty boy,' manages to make Nicholas a bit more active and a bit less passive than he might have become in lesser hands. Nathan Lane and Barry Humphries make a delightful couple as Mr. and Mrs. Crummles, the leaders of the fifth-rate theatrical troupe that, for a short while, becomes a family for young Nicholas. Jim Broadbent enacts a fine comic villain as Mr. Squeers, the brutal but henpecked schoolmaster with whom Nicholas quite literally comes to blows. The film's finest performance comes from the ubiquitous Christopher Plummer as Nicholas' evil Uncle Ralph. Plummer understands that the key to conveying villainy effectively is by underplaying the role. By doing so, he helps to ground the film with a much-needed center of gravity.

Special recognition should go to the handsome production and costume design, to the fine cinematography and to the lovely score by Rachel Portman. In fact, everyone involved in the making of 'Nicholas Nickelby' should take a bow for converting such a fun, entertaining novel into such a fun, entertaining film. Dickens, I believe, would feel honored and proud.

23 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Nicholas + Smike
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
Discuss Nicholas Nickleby (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: