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Vanity Fair 

An adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic story of parvenue Becky Sharp's rise from obscure & humble origins to her subsequent ignominious fall from Society; set amongst the ... See full summary »
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1998  
5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Natasha Little ...  Becky Sharp 6 episodes, 1998
Frances Grey ...  Amelia Sedley 6 episodes, 1998
Philip Glenister ...  William Dobbin 6 episodes, 1998
David Ross David Ross ...  Mr. Sedley 6 episodes, 1998
Nathaniel Parker ...  Rawdon Crawley 5 episodes, 1998
Anton Lesser ...  Mr. Pitt Crawley 5 episodes, 1998
Janine Duvitski Janine Duvitski ...  Mrs. Bute Crawley 5 episodes, 1998
Michele Dotrice ...  Mrs. Sedley 5 episodes, 1998
Jeremy Swift ...  Jos Sedley 4 episodes, 1998
Tom Ward ...  George Osborne 4 episodes, 1998
Frances Tomelty Frances Tomelty ...  Mrs. O'Dowd 4 episodes, 1998
Stephen Frost ...  Bute Crawley 4 episodes, 1998
Mark Lambert Mark Lambert ...  Major O'Dowd 4 episodes, 1998
Tim Woodward ...  Mr. John Osborne 4 episodes, 1998
Janet Dale Janet Dale ...  Miss Briggs 4 episodes, 1998
Sylvestra Le Touzel ...  Lady Jane Crawley 3 episodes, 1998
Miriam Margolyes ...  Miss Crawley 3 episodes, 1998
Abigail Thaw ...  Jane Osborne 3 episodes, 1998
Robert Cole Robert Cole ...  Little Rawdon 3 episodes, 1998
David Bradley ...  Sir Pitt Crawley 3 episodes, 1998
Eleanor Bron ...  Lady Bareacres 3 episodes, 1998
Daniel Hart Daniel Hart ...  Ensign Stubble 3 episodes, 1998
Zohren Weiss Zohren Weiss ...  Little Georgy 3 episodes, 1998
Gerard Murphy ...  Lord Steyne 3 episodes, 1998
John Surman John Surman ...  Horrocks 3 episodes, 1998
Graham Crowden ...  Lord Bareacres 3 episodes, 1998
Sarah Crowden ...  Lady Blanche 3 episodes, 1998
Bryan Pringle ...  Raggles 3 episodes, 1998
Linal Haft Linal Haft ...  Moss 3 episodes, 1998
Nick Dunning ...  Wenham 2 episodes, 1998
Sara Powell ...  Miss Swartz 2 episodes, 1998
Felix Dexter Felix Dexter ...  Samuel 2 episodes, 1998
Paul Bigley Paul Bigley ...  Isidor 2 episodes, 1998
Joanna Scanlan ...  Lady Crawley 2 episodes, 1998
Casey O'Connor Casey O'Connor ...  Little Violet 2 episodes, 1998
Zoe Chester Zoe Chester ...  Little Rose 2 episodes, 1998
Pom Boyd Pom Boyd ...  Glorvina O'Dowd 2 episodes, 1998
Vicki Pepperdine Vicki Pepperdine ...  Ann Dobbin 2 episodes, 1998
Windsor Davies ...  General Tufto 2 episodes, 1998
Bill Thomas Bill Thomas ...  Mr. Chopper 2 episodes, 1998
Martin Hodgson Martin Hodgson ...  Ensign Spooney 2 episodes, 1998
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Storyline

An adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic story of parvenue Becky Sharp's rise from obscure & humble origins to her subsequent ignominious fall from Society; set amongst the backdrop of Regency England & in continental Europe during the Napoleonic War. Written by Jonnie Heldreich

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Feira das Vaidades See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The plaid Spencer worn by Sarah Crowden (Lady Blanche) in Brussels is the same costume worn by Susannah Harker (Jane Bennet) riding to Netherfield in the rain in Pride and Prejudice (1995), by Victoria Hopkins to go riding and in The Regency House Party (2004), and by Gemma Arterton (Elizabeth Bennet) in Amanda's bathroom in Lost in Austen (2008). See more »

Quotes

Becky Sharp: I'm afraid I will have to charge you rather a lot. My horses are all I own in the world, you know.
Joss Sedley: Money is no object to me, ma'am.
Becky Sharp: That's good. Six hundred pounds.
[Jos is taken aback, but promptly reaches for his pocketbook.]
Becky Sharp: Each.
See more »

Connections

Version of Vanity Fair (1922) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule, Britannia!
By Thomas Augustine Arne
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User Reviews

 
Thackeray would have been proud
20 December 2000 | by CinemasitterSee all my reviews

Rarely has a classic work of literature been adapted for television so well. This is a marvellous retelling of William Thackeray's 19th century novel, successful in almost every possible way. Purists may quibble that any attempt to adapt this sprawling bane of literature students' lives will always be doomed to failure simply because of the sheer size of it. But what makes this so good, particularly for those familiar with the novel, are two things: its total commitment to the spirit of 'Vanity Fair', and joyously perfect casting and acting.

As readers of VF will know, the narrator plays a very important part in the book. His sly comments on the 'puppets' (as he often refers to the characters) that perform in his 'play' are frequently funny, exciting and always engaging. If VF is indeed 'a novel without a hero', it is no less engrossing for it. For the story is literally a Fair: characters come and go as the narrator sees fit while we the audience look on with amusement. We start with both Becky Sharp (the main character but not the traditional heroine as Thackeray's contemporary audience would have expected) and Amelia Sedley, and we follow their fortunes and interaction with other characters over some twenty or thirty years. Characters come, characters go; some die, some are born. But nearly always the narrator is there to invite us to feel something towards them: sympathy, repulsion, anger, love. And though he is notable by his absence in the book's most powerful scenes, he will return shortly to talk about something else that another character is getting up to. This is where this adaptation nails the spirit of VF so precisely; it never forgets that these characters are puppets in a play, performing for our entertainment. Traditional bandstand music plays over scenes to reinforce this impression. The comedy elements make us laugh (Jos Sedley and his enormous, well-fed behind trying to mount a horse or carriage), the battle scenes are visceral, the dramatic scenes are engrossing. And the sly comments of the narrator are subtly retained in bizarre camera shots: the fat pig snuffling outside Queen's Crawley, or the beggar playing 'Rule Britannia' with his little bells as the soldiers march off to fight the Battle of Waterloo.

But this would have been for nought if the casting had not been spot on. Natasha Little IS Becky Sharp. Beautiful, alluring, charming, witty, cunning, deceptive and manipulative, she is every man's dream on the outside (I fell in love with her, and I can see all she is getting up to!). One look from her eyes is all that is required to get her climbing the social ladder, which ultimately is all that she wants. Frances Grey is also perfect as Amelia; not as beautiful as Becky, but still pleasant, sweet and kind-hearted, and forever doting on George Osborne. Tom Ward as Osborne was not what I was expecting, yet he got it right: a dashing English officer, strikingly handsome, and not totally devoid of morals, but very easily succumbs to his vanity and pride. Philip Glenister as the only genuinely heroic character in the book (though still not without faults), Dobbin, again is not how I pictured the character, but again nails it perfectly: slightly clumsy, socially awkward, but clear thinking, level-headed and always ready to do the right thing. The rest of the cast play their respective grotesques with equal perfection and relish - to single out each and every one is impossible, though all deserve it.

As a lover of this book, I congratulate all on a job well done. I cannot comment on how someone who has not read VF will like this series, but I can understand that they may be a little bewildered by it all: the occasional dizzy camerawork and loud brass band music. So long as you understand that we are the audience of a colourful, vibrant fair populated by a rich assortment of people, all with faults, all with redeeming features (however materialistic they might be), then I think you should derive great pleasure from it, because more than anything, this is great fun.


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