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Hard Times 

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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1994  

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Harriet Walter ...  Rachel 4 episodes, 1994
Bill Paterson ...  Stephen Blackpool 4 episodes, 1994
Alan Bates ...  Josiah Bounderby 4 episodes, 1994
Beatie Edney ...  Louisa Gradgrind 4 episodes, 1994
Bob Peck ...  Thomas Gradgrind 4 episodes, 1994
Emma Lewis Emma Lewis ...  Sissy Jupe / ... 4 episodes, 1994
Richard E. Grant ...  James Harthouse 3 episodes, 1994
Christien Anholt ...  Tom 2 episodes, 1994
Dilys Laye ...  Mrs. Sparsit 2 episodes, 1994
Damian Hunt Damian Hunt ...  Young Tom 2 episodes, 1994
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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:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 April 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard Times See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Left-handed Christien Anholt (Tom) is seen writing with his right hand, as Tom is right-handed. See more »

Connections

Version of Hard Times (1915) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Star Power Isn't Enough
25 October 2007 | by tonstant viewerSee all my reviews

Bob Peck, Alan Bates, Richard E. Grant and Bill Paterson are all actors I admire a great deal. However their best work is elsewhere, and this video is in no way competitive with the 1977 Granada version which is finally out on DVD, and very much worth seeking out.

This 1994 version is truncated to the point of incoherence, sort of like reading Classics Illustrated comic books by flashes of lightning. None of the actors can survive the frenetic pace, with many scenes limited to just two lines of dialog. Characters can't be created in this kind of a rush, just sketched in, with Peck and Grant valiantly approximating real performances, Bates relying on tics and tricks, and Paterson actively bad. But I don't think it's really their fault.

The less-well known but far superior Granada version was adapted by Arthur Hopcraft and directed by John Irvin. Patrick Allen and Timothy West are iconic in their stovepipe hats as Gradgrind and Bounderby, Edward Fox gives a career-defining performance as Harthouse, and Alan Dobie is dry and restrained as Blackpool. Even Rosalie Crutchley as Mrs. Sparsit wins on points over the later version's scene-stealing Dilys Laye.

Skip this one and find the earlier Irvin-Granada version - you won't be disappointed.


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