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Charles Dickens-Redux

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I love stories by Charles Dickens and as a result I love movies about stories by Charles Dickens. They really lend themselves to retelling on the screen. I love the large array of truly quirky characters--- I love the struggles against social injustice and against class---I love the overwhelming humanity of it all. We have a truly impressive collection of Dickens on film and a lot of them are excellent mini series---many of which have been done more than once. Amongst my favourite are:

Bleak House--- the 1985 with Diana Rigg and Denholm Elliot and the 2005 with Jillian Anderson and Charles Dance. Both are very good and this is a wonderful story.

Tale of Two Cities---ah, my favourite Dickens of all. We have the 1980 with Peter Cushing and the 1989 from Masterpiece Theatre. Oh, how I wish we had the original 1935 with Robert Colman taking on the role of Charles Darnay. But both of these others will work well.

David Copperfield---this has been done over the years at least 15 times. We have three versions; 1935 with Lionel Barrymore and Freddie Bartholomew; 1979 with nobody I have ever heard of and 2000 with no less than Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellan) and Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe). I like the 1935.

Great Expectations---now this is not one of my favourite stories as I think Miss Haversham just needs to lighten up a little. But it is a perennial favourite of both Hollywood and the BBC. We have two worth seeing. 1949 with Alec Guinness (can't go wrong with anything Guinness is ever in) and 1999 with Ioan Gruffund (Horatio Hornblower/Fantastic Four).

Oliver Twist---according to IMDB there are at least 24 versions of this one. CPL has no less than 6! Try either the 1949 (again with Guinness) or the wonderful 1966 musical with Oliver Reed (5 Oscars wins including Best Picture). There is also the animated Disney version with dogs as the orphaned street urchins.


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