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Hard Times 

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Thomas Gradgrind, a wealthy, retired merchant in the industrial city of Coketown, England, devotes his life to a philosophy of rationalism, self-interest, and fact. He raises his oldest ... See full summary »
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1977  
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Patrick Allen ...  Thomas Gradgrind 4 episodes, 1977
Timothy West ...  Josiah Bounderby 4 episodes, 1977
Rosalie Crutchley ...  Mrs. Sparsit 4 episodes, 1977
Jacqueline Tong ...  Louisa Gradgrind 4 episodes, 1977
Michelle Dibnah Michelle Dibnah ...  Sissy Jupe 4 episodes, 1977
Richard Wren Richard Wren ...  Tom Gradgrind 4 episodes, 1977
Alan Dobie Alan Dobie ...  Stephen Blackpool 3 episodes, 1977
Ursula Howells Ursula Howells ...  Mrs. Gradgrind 3 episodes, 1977
Barbara Ewing Barbara Ewing ...  Rachael 3 episodes, 1977
Edward Fox ...  Capt. James Harthouse 3 episodes, 1977
Sean Flanagan Sean Flanagan ...  Bitzer 2 episodes, 1977
Harry Markham Harry Markham ...  Sleary 2 episodes, 1977
Peter Martin ...  Waiter 2 episodes, 1977
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Storyline

Thomas Gradgrind, a wealthy, retired merchant in the industrial city of Coketown, England, devotes his life to a philosophy of rationalism, self-interest, and fact. He raises his oldest children, Louisa and Tom, according to this philosophy and never allows them to engage in fanciful or imaginative pursuits.

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 May 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les temps difficiles See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Connections

Version of Hard Times (1915) See more »

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User Reviews

Admirable adaptation of a lesser-known Dickens creation
29 October 2002 | by valleycatsSee all my reviews

Unlike Charles Dickens's better known works like David Copperfield, Great Expectations and Oliver Twist which mainly deal with social ills such as poverty and / or the hardships faced by orphans or children displaced from their parents, Hard Times deals with the effects of upper middle class affluence, force-fed "Facts" based education and authoritarian - almost dictatorial- parenting on the development of children. Mr. Gradgrind's misplaced but well meaning and relentless "education" of his children ultimately yield tragic consequences. Repeated readings of this book have convinced me that this is Dickens's indictment of the loss of human values and the growing emphasis on material interests and accumulation of scientific knowledge (the "Facts" that Mr. Gradgrind places so much emphasis on) which were ushered in by the Industrial Revolution. Gone is the bloom, the blush and the romance of 'The Arts' as the cold, grey, grimy new self-conscious affluence is ushered in. This aspect of the book is extremely well captured by the screenplay and cinematography. Great moving performances by everyone involved in this production - especially from Edward Fox (a long time favourite actor of mine) who plays the slick, opportunistic Mr. Harthouse, a symbol of the times. Rosalie Crutchley turns in another stellar performance. It is a shame that neither the book nor this production have received the attention so richly deserved.


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