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Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

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

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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 »



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After the death of his father, Nicholas Nickleby along with his sister Kate and their mother find themselves in difficult conditions. They relocate to London in the hope that Uncle Ralph ... See full summary »

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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)


$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 »


Madeline Bray can be seen clearly with pierced earring holes. Pierced ears were not of regular use until more than a decade later. At the time, only rich women pierced their ears. 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 (1977) 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 »

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User Reviews

21 January 2003 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens is a rather complicated novel. To even try to put a dent on the narrative is a task for someone very ambitious indeed. The film treatment directed and written by Douglas McGrath tries to condense it. In many ways he has succeded.

The story of how Nicholas avenge his dead father and in the process finds love and happiness is told with great assurance from the director and his notable players, some of the most brilliant figures in the English stage and films.

Christopher Plummer as the evil uncle, Ralph Nickleby, is excellent. This is an actor's actor. He plays this villain with relish and a panache not easily found in many other actors. Jim Broadbent appears as the lunatic Wackford Squeers in another star turn. Another performance that is subtle, yet very effective is by Tom Courtenay, as Newman Noggs, who at the end helps Nicholas get to the truth. Juliet Stevenson plays Mrs. Squeers with the right amount of bitchiness and evil. How about Nathan Lane?. He is outstanding again, as is Barry Humphreys, playing his wife.

The only problem are the younger roles. Charlie Hunnan is a likeable performer, but out of his league in this company. The role of Smike, a key figure in the novel, is handled with the clumsiness the role requires by Jamie Bell. Anne Hathaway as Madeline Bray, and Ramola Garai as Kate, are adequate.

All in all this makes a pleasant occasion, if somehow tamed, at the movies.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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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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