I'm enjoying my trip to visit my friend and am really enjoying watching the films in the BBC Charles Dickens collection which her aunt owns. These are mostly old adaptations but some are very good!
Dombey and Son, adapted for the BBC in 1983 is very like the older Jane Austen adaptations of the same time period. It moves slower like a stage play and has simple sets and costumes and very few props. The acting though is first rate and there's plenty of time to develop the story.
Synopsis: Paul Dombey Sr. is a wealthy businessman who thinks of nothing but having a son and heir to carry on the family name and raise is his greedy Scrouge-like ways. His wife dies in childbearing and his baby son Paul and older daughter Florrie are brought up by servants and an old aunt. Florrie is neglected by her father and aunt while Paul is coddled and given every benefit. Despite their different upbringings young Paul is devoted to Florrie looking on her as his own mother and she in return loves and cares for her whole family no matter how she's treated by them. Other characters are introduced when Florrie is rescued by young Walter Gay and his uncle Saul Gills and again when Mr. Dombey decides to marry again. Many trials befall Florrie and the other characters until all is set to rights!
I couldn't find many photos from the adaptation but there were these three below:
Paul Darrow as Mr. James Carker
Young Mr. Biler Tootle
Major Bagstock visits Mrs. Skewton and her daughter Edith
Faces you might recognize from other period films:
- Julian Glover as Paul Dombey Sr. - The Young Victoria, The Impressionists (as Degas), Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna, Ivanhoe 1982, The Secret Garden 1987, Wuthering Heights 1970.
- Lysette Anthony as Florrie Dombey - Ivanhoe 1982, The Lady and the Highwayman, A Ghost In Monte Carlo, The Emperor's New Clothes, Poirot: The Hollow, Oliver Twist 1982, Oliver Twist 1985.
- Zelah Clarke as Susan Nappier - Jane Eyre 1983 (as Jane Eyre), Lady Jane.
- Shirley Cain as Miss Tox - Pride & Prejudice 1980, The Pickwick Papers, Upstairs Downstairs.
And many of the other actors are bit players in several other BBC period films.
Music in the films is an afterthought for the most part but the main themes are interesting. I've compiled a YouTube vid featuring the themes which you can watch below.
Definitely recommend for anyone who loves Charles Dickens and the older period dramas. This film kept my attention fixed on the story and had characters that are much to be admired and loved. There were also some very tender moments that made me teary-eyed toward the end of the miniseries!
I'm working on viewing The Pickwick Papers 1985 (a very comic set of tales) and some of the other adaptations in the Charles Dickens Collection Volume One and Volume Two. I've decided that when I can afford them these two sets will be well worth the money! I'll try and do some more reviews of the ones I have time to watch.
Hope you're having a bright day!