Arthur Clennam returns to London after working abroad for many years with his now deceased father. Almost at once he becomes involved in the problems of his mother's seamstress Amy Dorrit ...
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This mini-series tells the story of Amy Dorrit, who spends her days earning money for the family and looking after her proud father, who is a long term inmate of Marshalsea debtors' prison ... See full summary »
An impoverished woman who has been forced to choose between a privileged life with her wealthy aunt and her journalist lover, befriends an American heiress. When she discovers the heiress is attracted to her own lover and is dying, she sees a chance to have both the privileged life she cannot give up and the lover she cannot live without.
Helena Bonham Carter,
Following the theft of a postal-order, a fourteen-year old cadet is expelled from Naval College. To save the honour of the boy and his family, the pre-eminent barrister of the day is engaged to take on the might the Admiralty.
Arthur Clennam returns to London after working abroad for many years with his now deceased father. Almost at once he becomes involved in the problems of his mother's seamstress Amy Dorrit and of her father residing in the Marshalsea debtors' prison. Pursuing their cause Arthur comes across a successful business opportunity and also gains a number of new acquaintances, while his and Amy's paths continue to cross. A reversal of fortune lays him low, but to fully understand how, this story must now be seen through Little Dorrit's eyes.Written by
Near the end of part 1, Mr Pancks puts his finger through Arthur's coat's right lapel button hole and pulls him toward the stairs. In the next shot, at the bottom of the stairs, his finger is through a hole in the left lapel. See more »
Welcome to the Marshalsea, Sir. I have welcomed many gentlemen to these walls, please sit down Mr. Clennam. My daughter Amy may have mentioned that I am the father of this place. You'' excuse the primitive customs to which we are reduced here.
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Little Dorrit is thought by many critics to be Dickens most important book, a blistering attack on the evils of the Victorian world in which he lived. Quite a bit of it came from real life. Dickens' father had spent some time in the Marshalsea debtors prison, and several of the corrupt landlords and incompetent officials of the book were based on prominent real people. The establishment was NOT amused, and neglected it so aggressively that it has always been much less well-known than most of his work.
This film has also dwelt in the shadows. As a pair of 3-hour films that are best viewed in a single day (with a break), nobody could figure how to handle it commercially. Also, it only exists today as a long-out-of-print VHS tape and 4-disc laser set. Maybe someday the Critereon Collection will issue a DVD, but I'm not holding my breath.
Nonetheless, it was one of Alec Guinness's very best performances, and, if you love - or even just like - Dickens, the whole 6 hour total-immersion experience is magical.
Roger Ebert's review from 1988, which is online several places, really captures how special "Little Dorrit" is.
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