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Nicholas Nickleby (1912)

Not Rated | | Drama, Short | 19 March 1912 (USA)
A young, compassionate man struggles to save his family and friends from the abusive exploitation of his cold-hearted, grasping uncle.

Director:

George Nichols (as George O. Nichols)

Writer:

Charles Dickens (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Benham ... Nicholas Nickleby
Mignon Anderson ... Madeline Bray
Frances Gibson ... Kate Nickleby
Inda Palmer Inda Palmer ... Nicholas' Mother
Justus D. Barnes ... Nicholas' Uncle Ralph
N.Z. Wood N.Z. Wood ... Smike (as N.S. Woods)
David Thompson ... Schoolmaster Squeers (as David H. Thompson)
Isabel O'Madigan Isabel O'Madigan ... Mrs. Squeers
Marie Eline ... Squeers' Son, Wackford
Mrs. Grace Eline Mrs. Grace Eline ... Fannie Squeers
Etienne Girardot ... Gryde
Harry Marks Harry Marks ... Vincent Crummles (as Harry A. Marks)
Louise Trinder Louise Trinder ... Mrs. Crummles
Grace Eline Grace Eline ... Crummles' Youngster
Will Morgan Will Morgan ... Crummles' Child
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Storyline

The impoverished widow Mrs. Nickleby takes lodgings in the house of Miss La Creevy on the Strand, together with her adult children Nicholas and Kate. She asks her brother-in-law, the wealthy Ralph Nickleby, to help her son find employment. Nicholas is soon hired as an assistant at Mr. Squeers's Academy in Dotheboys Hall outside London. When he sees Mr. Squeers flogging the pupils, he tries to stop it, gets into a fight with the school master, and is fired. Back in London he finds his sister Kate being insulted by her uncle's friends. When Nicholas objects, Ralph Nickleby orders him to leave London. Otherwise the uncle will stop providing for the mother and the sister. Nicholas joins Crummlers' Theatrical Company as an actor, and is a huge success as Romeo. He returns to London to stop the continuing sexual harassments of his sister. When he finds employment with the Cheeryble Brothers, the family isn't dependent on Ralph Nickleby anymore. Nicholas falls in love with Madeline Bray, who... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Short

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 March 1912 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New Rochelle, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of The Life and Adventures of Nick Nickleby (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the first films to capture the spirit of Dickens
11 February 2007 | by DPMaySee all my reviews

First let's get the obvious stuff out of the way - the film was made a long long time ago when movie-making techniques were still been refined. A lot has changed since then so OF COURSE the film is very dated now. And, condensing the plot of Nicholas Nickleby down to a mere 20 minutes, OF COURSE it's not going to be perfect.

However, by the standards of 1912, this is a really good production. The story flows well with minimal intrusion from captions, the characters are clearly defined, the sets are quite lavish for the time (not a painted backdrop in sight)and the direction is quite good, albeit primitive by modern standards - for instance the camera is static in every shot - normal at the time but it wouldn't happen now.

What really struck me about this film is the casting - the actors have clearly been chosen carefully and don't just play their roles but LOOK the part too. We're used to seeing odd-looking Dickens characters on the screen now but this must be one of the first-ever films to really make his characters stand out visually.

The good news is that this film is available on DVD in the British Film Institute's compendium release "Dickens Before Sound" along with many other silent film versions of the great man's works.


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