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The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders 

Story of a woman who merely wished to be a loving wife, but always had to live the life of crime.




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Complete series cast summary:
James Bowers James Bowers ...  Gaoler unknown episodes


In her filthy cell in Newgate prison Moll Flanders (Alex Kingston), dubbed "the wickedest woman in England" tells her story. Born in jail, after her mother is transported there, Moll is raised by the kindly Mayor of Colchester and his wife, whose two sons lust after her. She enjoys sex with handsome Rowland (Colin Buchanan), who teaches her that money talks, but, realizing he only wants her as a mistress, she marries his duller brother Robin (Ian Driver), who conveniently dies after five years, leaving her wealthy. She goes to London, briefly meeting highwayman James "Jemmy" Seagrave (Daniel Craig), and marries parvenu draper Daniel Dawkins (Christopher Fulford), but he has huge debts and must flee to France, leaving Moll alone and poor. Moll meets handsome young American sea Captain Lemuel Golightly (Tom Ward), who marries her and takes her to Virginia and a good lifestyle, along with his mother. They have two children and are blissfully happy until Moll discovers her mother-in-law (... Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A legendary master of disguise. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The fourth screen adaptation of Daniel Defoe's 1722 novel. See more »


When this mini-series first aired on British TV, in the final episode, Moll is led to what she believes is her death. The cart in which she travels passes behind a large blue van, clearly visible in the foreground. See more »

Alternate Versions

The miniseries was aired on PBS in both its two-part and four-part versions. Currently, the four-part edition deletes some scenes and extends some sexual sequences, but the four-part version aired on PBS was complete. See more »


Featured in The Story of the Costume Drama: The Stars (2008) See more »

User Reviews

Fun and moving social commentary
7 August 1999 | by gleepsSee all my reviews

You may find yourself watching this entire 4-hour movie all in one sitting like I did. Although it is a Mobil Masterpiece Theater presentation, it is also available on video. If you think you're in for some boring English drama, brace yourself, as it is very fast-paced, erotic, and often shockingly funny. Alex Kingston (now on "ER") delves into this role with a ferocity we rarely see on the screen. Although Moll does many bad things, we root for her the whole way. Diana Rigg is also a hoot as a mother-in-law that reveals herself to be something more. Daniel Defoe's condemnation of society as unforgiving of the monsters it creates is still as relevant today as when it was written. As long as you have an open mind about sex, nudity and immoral behavior onscreen, prepare to be fascinated.

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Official Sites:

PBS [United States]





Release Date:

13 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders See more »

Filming Locations:

Lacock, Wiltshire, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granada Television, WGBH See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(4 parts) | (entire miniseries)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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