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Little Dorrit (1987)

Arthur Clennam returns to London after working abroad for many years with his now deceased father. Almost at once he becomes involved in the problems of his mother's seamstress Amy Dorrit ... See full summary »

Director:

Christine Edzard

Writers:

Charles Dickens (novel), Christine Edzard
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Derek Jacobi ... Arthur Clennam
Joan Greenwood ... Mrs. Clennam
Max Wall ... Flintwinch
Patricia Hayes Patricia Hayes ... Affery
Luke Duckett Luke Duckett ... Young Arthur
Alec Guinness ... William Dorrit
Cyril Cusack ... Frederick Dorrit
Sarah Pickering Sarah Pickering ... Little Dorrit
Amelda Brown Amelda Brown ... Fanny Dorrit
Daniel Chatto Daniel Chatto ... Tip Dorrit
Miriam Margolyes ... Flora Finching
Bill Fraser Bill Fraser ... Mr. Casby
Roshan Seth ... Mr. Pancks
Mollie Maureen Mollie Maureen ... Mr. F.'s Aunt
Diana Malin Diana Malin ... Mr. Casby's Maid
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Storyline

Arthur Clennam returns to London after working abroad for many years with his now deceased father. Almost at once he becomes involved in the problems of his mother's seamstress Amy Dorrit and of her father residing in the Marshalsea debtors' prison. Pursuing their cause Arthur comes across a successful business opportunity and also gains a number of new acquaintances, while his and Amy's paths continue to cross. A reversal of fortune lays him low, but to fully understand how, this story must now be seen through Little Dorrit's eyes. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Little Dorrit's Story See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,025,228
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sands,Sands Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sarrina Caruthers later became a Page 3 girl from 2000 to 2004. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of part 1, Mr Pancks puts his finger through Arthur's coat's right lapel button hole and pulls him toward the stairs. In the next shot, at the bottom of the stairs, his finger is through a hole in the left lapel. See more »

Connections

Version of Klein Doortje (1917) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fine period piece, a little unwieldy
9 July 1999 | by RosabelSee all my reviews

This sprawling movie can take a lot of discipline to watch in its entirety, but it is worth seeing just for the performances of Derek Jacobi in the first half and Alec Guinness in the second. Jacobi is wonderful as the gentle, unlucky Arthur Clennam, who keeps finding that through nobody's fault, he keeps missing out on happiness. It is sweetly heartbreaking to follow his growing affection for Minnie Meagles, only to watch her throw herself away on a conceited young fool, whom even she seems to realize cannot equal Clennam in worth. Jacobi has a great actor's ability to tell a story without saying a word, as when he gently drops Minnie's roses into the river and watches them float away, and we realize he is saying goodbye to love. The scene later on in prison, when he discovers that he has missed his chance for love again, but this time it is he who all unaware has been the object of another's love, is breathtaking. Once again, without a word, Jacobi is able to portray his anguish and the chaos of memories and ideas that suddenly assail him, until he is almost suffocating, trapped and helpless in his little cell in the Marshalsea.

The second half of the movie suffers from the absence of Jacobi, and I found myself eagerly looking forward to every chance appearance of his, but Alec Guinness also gives a fine performance as the indigent William Dorrit, whose sudden acquisition of a legacy not only frees him from debtor's prison, but also turns him into a heartless snob and social climber. Among the other performances in this film worth noting, is that of Miriam Margolyse as the aging coquette, Flora Finching, a kindly, ridiculous scatterbrain, talking nonstop while taking little nips out of the medicine bottle to keep up her spirits.


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