David Copperfield

David Copperfield


Reviewed by: Andrea Mullaney

This version of Charles Dickens' classic was made for the American TV network Hallmark - yes, the same people who make those syrupy greetings cards - and it's as gorgeous and dull as the picture on a box of Quality Street chocolates.

The settings and costumes are quite beautiful, rich with colour. But the adaptation is heavy-handed and crushes the life out of the story, just as the chortling, intrusive musical score kills off anything that approaches being a funny scene stone dead.

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The Americans in the cast - Sally Field, who can't quite master the accent, as Betsy Trotwood and Michael Richards, who turns Micawber into a crazy variation on his manic Kramer character from Seinfeld - are joined by some reliable British types including Paul Bettany as Steerforth, Eileen Atkins as Jane Murdstone and Hugh Dancy as grown-up David. Anthony Andrews gives his usual stick-up-the-bottom performance as Edward Murdstone, who in this version is a recurring evil villain - a strange change which doesn't really work.

It came out in 2000, just a year after the superior BBC version (with Daniel Radcliffe) which you'd be far better seeking out instead.

Reviewed on: 11 Aug 2004
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Sharp-looking but dull American adaptation of the Dickens classic.
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Director: Peter Medak

Writer: John Goldsmith, based on the novel by Charles Dickens

Starring: Sally Field, Michael Richards, Hugh Dancy, Anthony Andrews, Paul Bettany, Eileen Atkins, Max Dolbey, Frank MacCusker, Edward Hardwicke

Year: 2000

Runtime: 180 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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