×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Little Dorrit

Little Dorrit is a remarkable achievement. For writer/director Christine Edzard the epic project [from the novel by Charles Dickens] was obviously a labor of love, and what she has accomplished on a small budget is astounding.

With:
Alec Guinness Derek Jacobi Cyril Cusack Sarah Pickering Joan Greenwood Max Wall

Little Dorrit is a remarkable achievement. For writer/director Christine Edzard the epic project [from the novel by Charles Dickens] was obviously a labor of love, and what she has accomplished on a small budget is astounding.

The project is in fact two films, each three hours long [I: Nobody’s Fault, 177 mins; II: Little Dorrit’s Story, 183 mins], with the latter being virtually a remake of the former. A large cast of uniformly excellent British actors is topped off by quite brilliant portrayals by Alec Guinness as William Dorrit, and Derek Jacobi as Arthur Clennam.

In the second part you see from a different angle the story of the family’s plight, and why they are in prison. Sarah Pickering bestows Amy Dorrit with the gentle firmness to look after her father, brother and sister, and when Jacobi appears on the scene slowly falls in love with him.

The family travels abroad and during a plush dinner in Rome to celebrate the marriage of Fanny Dorrit (Amelda Brown) and Sparkler (Simon Dormandy), Guinness finally goes mad, and delivers a speech as if he were still in the Marshalsea.

Pic then follows Pickering discovering Jacobi is in prison and her efforts to raise the money to free him.

Six hours of viewing obviously allows full characterization and depth of story – though some characters from the novel are still missing – but the style of showing virtually the same story through two people [Clennam and Amy] allows charming reinterpretations of certain scenes, and presents a fully rounded piece as never usually found in the cinema.

The pic, which is set in the 1820s, was shot entirely in a studio owned by Sands Films in the middle of Dickens territory, in Rotherhithe close to the Thames, and the painted sets give the film a rich theatrical texture while not deflecting from the story.

1988: Nominations: Best Supp. Actor (Alec Guinness), Adapted Screenplay

Little Dorrit

UK

Production: Sands/Cannon. Director Christine Edzard; Producer Richard Goodwin, John Brabourne; Screenplay Christine Edzard; Camera Bruno de Keyzer; Editor Oliver Stockman, Fraser Maclean; Music Michel Sanvoisin (arr.)

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 360 MIN.

With: Alec Guinness Derek Jacobi Cyril Cusack Sarah Pickering Joan Greenwood Max Wall

More Film

  • Jimi Hendrix sound check Monterey Pop

    Film Constellation Adds ‘Show Me the Picture’ to Berlin Market Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    London-based sales and financing house Film Constellation has added Alfred George Bailey’s feature documentary “Show Me the Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall” to its Berlin market slate. The film will screen to buyers at the European Film Market ahead of its SXSW Film Festival premiere. Submarine Entertainment is handling distribution in North America. The [...]

  • 'Sink or Swim,' 'Custody' Lead Race

    'Sink or Swim,' 'Custody' Lead Race for France's Cesar Awards

    French actor-turned-director Gilles Lellouche’s “Sink or Swim” and Xavier Legrand’s feature debut “Custody” lead the race for this year’s Cesar Awards, France’s equivalent of the Oscars, with 10 nominations each, including best picture and best director. “Sink or Swim” (“Le Grand Bain” in France), a star-driven dramedy about a men’s synchronized swimming team, world-premiered at [...]

  • Face to Face with German Films

    Face to Face with German Films Unveils the Six ‘Faces’ of 2019 (EXCLUSIVE)

    Teutonic promotional organization German Films has announced that its annual initiative supporting German filmmaking internationally, Face to Face With German Films, will focus on actors and actresses as the campaign enters its fourth year. Six of Germany’s leading thesps – Maria Dragus, Christian Friedel, Luise Heyer, Jonas Nay, Jördis Triebel and Fahri Yardim – will [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    'Green Book' Lands Post-Oscars Theatrical Release in China

    Fresh off Monday’s news that it had picked up five Academy Award nominations, best picture favorite “Green Book” is set for more good luck. The film will hit Chinese theaters on March 1, the first weekend after the Oscars, which fall on Feb 24, Alibaba Pictures announced on its official social media account. The film [...]

  • Fan Bingbing

    Chinese Celebrities Pay $1.7 Billion in Back Taxes Following Fan Bingbing Scandal

    Chinese film and TV stars have paid about $1.7 billion (RMB11.7 billion) in additional taxes, following last summer’s scandal surrounding actress Fan Bingbing. The figure was announced late Tuesday by China’s State Tax Administration. Chinese authorities launched a probe into the tax affairs of the entertainment sector last October. Companies and individuals were asked to [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Film News Roundup: AMC, Regal to Leave 'Roma' Out of Best Picture Showcases

    In today’s film news roundup, “Roma” will not be in the best picture showcases at AMC and Regal, “Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church” gets a release and SAG-AFTRA’s David White has a new appointment. ‘ROMA’ SPURNED AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas are leaving Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” out of their upcoming annual showings of the contenders for [...]

  • First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban

    First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban-Inspired After-Party (EXCLUSIVE)

    Celebrities at this year’s SAG Awards won’t have to go far for some tropical fun. Sunday’s annual post-show gala, hosted by People magazine for the 23rd year, is set to feature a Cuban-themed party space adjacent to the Shrine Auditorium. “We’re kind of going back to more of a thematic element. I have some close [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content