103 user 80 critic

Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

PG | | Drama, Romance | 27 June 2003 (UK)
2:14 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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



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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
    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
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
David Copperfield (TV Movie 2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.

Director: Peter Medak
Stars: Hugh Dancy, Michael Richards, Eileen Atkins
The Ledge (2011)
Drama | Romance | 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
David Copperfield (TV Mini-Series 1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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.

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Trevor Eve, Michael Elphick
The Buccaneers (TV Mini-Series 1995)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Four American girls go to England to find husbands.

Stars: Carla Gugino, Alison Elliott, Mira Sorvino
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
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
Bleak House (TV Mini-Series 2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A suspenseful tale about the injustices of the 19th-century English legal system

Stars: Anna Maxwell Martin, Denis Lawson, Carey Mulligan
Northanger Abbey (TV Movie 2007)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young woman's penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart.

Director: Jon Jones
Stars: Geraldine James, Michael Judd, Julia Dearden
Emma (TV Mini-Series 2009)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Emma Woodhouse seems to be perfectly content, a loving father whom she cares for, friends, and a home. But Emma has a terrible habit - matchmaking. She cannot resist finding suitors for her... See full summary »

Stars: Romola Garai, Michael Gambon, Jonny Lee Miller


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)


$1,309,849 (USA) (7 February 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Despite the Victorian setting. Charlie Hunnam manages to take off his shirt for a "beefcake" scene. See more »


As Nicholas and Madeleine kiss for the first time, the angle of his head in relation to hers changes instantly across several cuts. 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 (1903) 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

Wonderful adaptation, Horrendous Marketing
19 January 2003 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Truly exceptional adaptation of Dickens really shows how terrific writing can allow a film to work. Yes, the cast was very capable and in fact, Christopher Plummer was multi-layered, pure evil as Uncle Ralph. The Squeers team of veterans Jim Broadbent and Juliet Stevenson made escape from their "school" seem the only rational approach. Charlie Hunnam is gorgeous and capable as Nicholas, and herein lies the problem. While not for the youngest of kids, those 12 and up would probably enjoy the movie very much. As a way to touch Dickens, this is easily the least painful and most accessible for 7th through 12th graders. Why aren't audience was filled with 40 and 50 somethings who read the novel growing up and a few (like me) brought teenagers with them. My daughter and her friends loved it! Very frustrating that studios will sink millions into drawing crowds for trash like "Planet of the Apes", "XXX", "Blue Crush", etc but almost nothing into this. Of course, this offers an education in story structure and the supporting casting was inspired. In addition to Hunnam, Anne Hathaway ("Princess Diaries"), Jamie Bell ("Billy Elliot"), Nathan Lane and Alan Cumming were all excellent. Tom Courtenay was funny and pitiful at the same time. Yes, the story is like much of Dickens, it provides hope for those who seem to have little. Good prevails over evil. Personally, I like that approach.

37 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: