Nicholas Nickleby

Nicholas Nickleby

Douglas McGrath (2002)

PG Certificate


Our Score
The actors in any film of a novel by Charles Dickens have to guard against caricature - so extreme in vice or virtue are his characters. However, there's not a hint of parody in this bustling, personality-packed account. Young Nicholas (Charlie Hunnam) is the innocent at large in a world controlled by Uncle Ralph Nickleby (Christopher Plummer), one of the most evil men in English literature. First there is the tour to the lower depths of educational hell at Dotheboys Hall, run by Wackford Squeers (Jim Broadbent) and his wife (Juliet Stevenson). But then there is the light at the end of the tunnel in the shape of the charitable Cheeryble brothers (Timothy Spall and Gerard Horan), the hope of love with Madeline Bray (Anne Hathaway) and acting with a touring company that has the astonishing Dame Edna Everage as co-proprietor Mrs Crummles. Nicholas's protection of the abused Smike (Billy Elliot's Jamie Bell) is still as noble an act as we're likely to see while the undermining of Uncle Ralph by his alcoholic servant, Newman Noggs (Tom Courtenay), is a disloyalty we can cheer. Adapted and directed by Douglas McGrath, this is a slight - and necessary - truncation of the original tale, but it's still a treat.


A family left penniless by the father's death heads for London to seek the help of a wealthy uncle - only to realise he cares little for the plight of his relatives. Son Nicholas ends up teaching in a school for unfortunate boys, but the brutality he witnesses forces him to flee, taking a timid orphan with him. Dickens drama, starring Charlie Hunnam, Christopher Plummer, Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay, Jamie Bell, Nathan Lane, Barry Humphries and Alan Cumming.

Cast & Crew

Nicholas Nickleby Charlie Hunnam
Ralph Nickleby Christopher Plummer
Smike Jamie Bell
Wackford Squeers Jim Broadbent
Newman Noggs Tom Courtenay
Sir Mulberry Hawk Edward Fox
Mrs Squeers Juliet Stevenson
Vincent Crummles Nathan Lane
Mrs Crummles Barry Humphries
Charles Cheeryble Timothy Spall
Mr Folair Alan Cumming
Kate Nickleby Romola Garai
Madeline Bray Anne Hathaway
Ned Cheeryble Gerard Horan
John Browdie Kevin McKidd
Lord Verisopht Nicholas Rowe
Miss Lacreevy Sophie Thompson
Mrs Nickleby Stella Gonet
Brooker Philip Davis
Nigel Bray David Bradley (2)
Fanny Squeers Heather Goldenhersh
Director Douglas McGrath
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century FoxGuidance: Contains some violence. Available on: video and DVDReleased on: 27 Jun 2003