7.8/10
1,410
15 user 3 critic

Vanity Fair 

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | TV Mini-Series (1998)
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 »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1998  
5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Vanity Fair (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Growing up poor in London, Becky Sharp 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
Vanity Fair (2018)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An adaptation of the 1848 novel by William Makepeace Thackeray.

Stars: Michael Palin, Olivia Cooke, Tom Bateman
Middlemarch (1994)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

This Masterpiece Theatre production, set at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, chronicles the life, loves, foibles and politics of the fictional English town of Middlemarch. Adapted ... See full summary »

Stars: Juliet Aubrey, Douglas Hodge, Robert Hardy
Vanity Fair (TV Series 1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In the time of Napoleon, Becky Sharp, a poor orphan girl, schemes for money and position. Her most-used stepladder is her old school friend, Amelia Sedley. Both women marry soldiers, and ... See full summary »

Stars: Eve Matheson, Rebecca Saire, Simon Dormandy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the mid 19th Century, an enigmatic young woman moves to Yorkshire with a young son. Distancing herself from everyone in the village and their prying questions, she remains totally aloof ... See full summary »

Stars: Toby Stephens, Tara Fitzgerald, Rupert Graves
Aristocrats (TV Mini-Series 1999)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

18th-century England and Ireland viewed through the eyes of four beautiful high-born sisters - Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, great-granddaughters of a king, daughters of a cabinet minister, and wives of politicians and peers.

Stars: Siân Phillips, Alun Armstrong, Ben Daniels
Daniel Deronda (TV Mini-Series 2002)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Set in Victorian London, Gwendolen Harleth is drawn to Daniel Deronda, a selfless and intelligent gentleman of unknown parentage, but her own desperate need for financial security may destroy her chance at happiness.

Stars: Jodhi May, Edward Fox, Amanda Root
The Way We Live Now (TV Mini-Series 2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

At the center of the story is Augustus Melmotte, a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings. Trollope describes him as 'something in the city',... See full summary »

Stars: David Suchet, Matthew Macfadyen, Cillian Murphy
Mansfield Park (TV Movie 2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

At age 10, Fanny Price is sent by her destitute mother to live with her aunt and uncle, Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram. As a child she was often made to feel that she was the poor relation but... See full summary »

Director: Iain B. MacDonald
Stars: Julia Joyce, Douglas Hodge, Maggie O'Neill
He Knew He Was Right (TV Mini-Series 2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Louis Trevelyan's refusal to trust his wife, Emily, destroys their marriage.

Stars: Oliver Dimsdale, Christina Cole, Laura Fraser
Little Dorrit (2008)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The series tells the story of Amy Dorrit, who spends her days earning money for the family and looking after her proud father, who is a long term inmate of Marshalsea debtors' prison in ... See full summary »

Stars: Claire Foy, Matthew Macfadyen, Tom Courtenay
The Crimson Petal and the White (TV Mini-Series 2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Set in 1870s London, a young prostitute finds potential power and status after becoming the mistress of a powerful patriarch.

Stars: Romola Garai, Chris O'Dowd, Amanda Hale
Edit

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 ...  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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vanity Fair See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The ivory silk evening gown worn by a guest at the Duchess of Richmond's Ball is the same costume worn by Kate Beckinsale (Emma Woodhouse) to the Crown Ball in Emma (1996), and by Julie Cox (Annabella Milbanke) to the ball in Byron (2003). See more »

Quotes

Becky Sharp: I am innocent. Before God, Rawdon, I AM innocent! Tell him I'm innocent!
See more »

Connections

Version of Vanity Fair (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

When I Am Laid In Earth
Traditional
By Henry Purcell
Performed by Natasha Little
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The best production of Vanity Fair for all time?
15 January 2013 | by trimmerb1234See all my reviews

Thackeray prefaced his book with a short piece apparently explaining that the characters were just "puppets" who lived, ate and made love in a (fictional?) world that was neither moral nor immoral. Some have taken this at face value. However the book is generally seen as a savage satire and even today the appearance of Knight of the Realm, Sir Pitt Crawley, is rather shocking in that the reader just as much as the characters in the book, mistake him for a footman or even watchman such are his appearance and manners - breaking a convention that other Victorian writers such as Dickens and Trollope strictly observed. In the opening chapter the exceedingly disrespectful young Becky Sharp is again a character set against the Victorian archetype. Neither virtuous nor fallen woman (generally the literary alternatives at the time), Becky Sharp fights her way through life using her sharpness of perception and her bodily attractions - sometimes winning, sometimes losing badly.

Thackeray portrays a world where people can and do behave badly and act grossly. They are though not puppets - satire is not the portrayal of puppets, rather a clear-sighted, uncharitable and somewhat exaggerated version of reality. Thackeray is writing without rosy spectacles. The virtuous do not necessarily live happily ever after and the bad go unpunished. The weak, it seems, go to the wall. His preface then should be seen as a disingenuous disclaimer to quiet and fob off those who took exception to the sourness of his portrayal of humanity. But the book stands on its own two feet. The real Becky Sharp, on the make and none too scrupulous, existed then, she exists today, as do all the other characters but it requires the removal of the rose-tinted spectacles to see them - and perhaps some courage to write about them too.

This production plays the story entirely straight - an excellent cast portraying their characters realistically and without exaggeration, living according to their respective values and the hand Life deals them. It is left to the titles - the visuals and the music - to sound a ripe raspberry at their antics - and to remind us that this is not a puppet show but a sharp satire on how some people lived in England 200 years ago.

A pretty fine cast, not all though got an opportunity to shine, but memorable were Jeremy Swift as a perspiring great dumpling Jos Sedley; an unsmiling, uncharming and unsightly Lord Steyne, removing the noble from the nobility; Philip Glennister as the ever reliable Dobbin; Nathaniel Parker as the dashing officer/adventurer snared by adventuress, Becky Sharp. The problem however I had with Natasha Little was that she was no seductress, there was no sweetness (however false) that surely would have been an essential weapon in her fight to get what she wanted? Perhaps the book does not make clear the nature of her appeal to men, only her will, her lack of scruples and the mixed success she had. Was she too sharp to successfully mask it with sweetness? Was her practical, cool matter-of-factness attractive? Perhaps for all his sharp observation, Thackeray did not have intimate knowledge of such aggressively ambitious women?

Nobody mentions adapter Andrew Davies? Probably because he has done his job so well that nobody notices.

I rather doubt there will be a better version.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed