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An elderly shop-keeper and his grand-daughter are threatened by the rich, mean-spirited dwarf Quilp, and decide to flee across England to escape him. They are pursued both by Quilp and by the shop-keeper's long-lost brother, who wants to find them for a different reason.Written by
"The Old Curiosity Shop" is a mostly straightforward adaptation of one of Charles Dickens' most melodramatic stories. The novel was extremely popular in its day, but now comes across as completely old-fashioned. This film version does try faithfully to reproduce the atmosphere and main characters of the original story, so that anyone who enjoyed the book will also like this movie.
The story concerns an elderly shopkeeper and his grand-daughter Nell, who are menaced by the rich, cruel Quilp. They decide to run away and abandon their shop, and are pursued by Quilp, even as the shopkeeper's long-estranged brother is also looking for them, for an entirely different purpose. There are quite a few characters, some of them very interesting, that get involved as the pair move from one place to another. Events lead up to a finale that, while eventful, is rather exaggerated and dated.
The movie does a decent job of creating a Dickens/Victorian feel. But there are quite a few other Dickens novels that seem much less quaint today, and his "The Old Curiosity Shop" is today mostly itself a curiosity. This film version is still worth watching for those who do enjoy very old-fashioned melodramas.
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