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Charles Dickens Movies & TV

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Simply, the best adaptation of Dickens's Christmas classic – stage or screen – of all time, period. Gonzo plays narrator Charles Dickens. And if Baby Kermit doesn't tear your heart out with his portrayal of Tiny Tim, well then you, sir, have no soul.

Great Expectations (1998)

Dickens might not recognize the altered details of his classic novel – Pip is now named Finn, and the story takes place on the American Gulf Coast instead of broody England – but the bones of the story are the same. This adaptation of what is arguably Dickens's best novel is a weird, lovely, haunting version of the story. It stars Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Oliver! (1968)

Do you like singing orphans? I said, Do you like singing orphans?? If you answered yes, then get ready for the best two hours of your life. In all fairness, this musical adaptation of Oliver Twist is a really sweet movie (it won Best Picture at the 1969 Oscars) and you will find yourself rooting for Oliver and Nancy just as passionately as you hate Bill Sikes and Mr. Bumble.

Little Dorrit (2008)

Dickens grew up visiting his father during the old man's stints in debtor's prison. Those memories inspired Little Dorrit, a novel about little people who pay brutally for small financial mistakes, while the wealthy and powerful commit far greater crimes and get away with it. When this excellent PBS miniseries appeared in 2008, Bernie Madoff had just ruined thousands of people's lives with his fraudulent investment scheme, proving the Dickens's work is still relevant today.

Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

Nicholas Nickleby isn't one of Dickens's best-known novels, but it sure makes a good movie. This adaptation by director and writer, Douglas McGrath, streamlines the book into a compelling narrative that features all of Dickens's most familiar devices: a scrappy, orphaned protagonist, heartless adults, poverty, and morals. Okay, so it doesn't sound very exciting when we put it like that. But trust us, it's good.

The Mystery of Charles Dickens (2000)

This is the film version of the English actor Simon Callow's one-man show about Charles Dickens. The script blends anecdotes from Dickens's biography with scenes from his novels. Callow performs the role of Dickens himself, as well as those of several of his characters.

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