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Vanity Fair 

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | TV Mini-Series (1998)
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An adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic story of parvenue Becky Sharp's rise from obscure & humble origins to her subsequent ignominious fall from Society; set amongst the ... See full summary »
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1998  
5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Natasha Little ...  Becky Sharp 6 episodes, 1998
Frances Grey ...  Amelia Sedley 6 episodes, 1998
Philip Glenister ...  William Dobbin 6 episodes, 1998
David Ross David Ross ...  Mr. Sedley 6 episodes, 1998
Nathaniel Parker ...  Rawdon Crawley 5 episodes, 1998
Anton Lesser ...  Mr. Pitt Crawley 5 episodes, 1998
Janine Duvitski ...  Mrs. Bute Crawley 5 episodes, 1998
Michele Dotrice ...  Mrs. Sedley 5 episodes, 1998
Jeremy Swift ...  Jos Sedley 4 episodes, 1998
Tom Ward ...  George Osborne 4 episodes, 1998
Frances Tomelty ...  Mrs. O'Dowd 4 episodes, 1998
Stephen Frost ...  Bute Crawley 4 episodes, 1998
Mark Lambert Mark Lambert ...  Major O'Dowd 4 episodes, 1998
Tim Woodward ...  Mr. John Osborne 4 episodes, 1998
Janet Dale Janet Dale ...  Miss Briggs 4 episodes, 1998
Sylvestra Le Touzel ...  Lady Jane Crawley 3 episodes, 1998
Miriam Margolyes ...  Miss Crawley 3 episodes, 1998
Abigail Thaw ...  Jane Osborne 3 episodes, 1998
Robert Cole Robert Cole ...  Little Rawdon 3 episodes, 1998
David Bradley ...  Sir Pitt Crawley 3 episodes, 1998
Eleanor Bron ...  Lady Bareacres 3 episodes, 1998
Daniel Hart Daniel Hart ...  Ensign Stubble 3 episodes, 1998
Zohren Weiss ...  Little Georgy 3 episodes, 1998
Gerard Murphy ...  Lord Steyne 3 episodes, 1998
John Surman John Surman ...  Horrocks 3 episodes, 1998
Graham Crowden ...  Lord Bareacres 3 episodes, 1998
Sarah Crowden ...  Lady Blanche 3 episodes, 1998
Bryan Pringle ...  Raggles 3 episodes, 1998
Linal Haft ...  Moss 3 episodes, 1998
Nick Dunning Nick Dunning ...  Wenham 2 episodes, 1998
Sara Powell ...  Miss Swartz 2 episodes, 1998
Felix Dexter Felix Dexter ...  Samuel 2 episodes, 1998
Paul Bigley Paul Bigley ...  Isidor 2 episodes, 1998
Joanna Scanlan ...  Lady Crawley 2 episodes, 1998
Casey O'Connor Casey O'Connor ...  Little Violet 2 episodes, 1998
Zoe Chester Zoe Chester ...  Little Rose 2 episodes, 1998
Pom Boyd Pom Boyd ...  Glorvina O'Dowd 2 episodes, 1998
Vicki Pepperdine Vicki Pepperdine ...  Ann Dobbin 2 episodes, 1998
Windsor Davies ...  General Tufto 2 episodes, 1998
Bill Thomas Bill Thomas ...  Mr. Chopper 2 episodes, 1998
Martin Hodgson Martin Hodgson ...  Ensign Spooney 2 episodes, 1998
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Storyline

An adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic story of parvenue Becky Sharp's rise from obscure & humble origins to her subsequent ignominious fall from Society; set amongst the backdrop of Regency England & in continental Europe during the Napoleonic War. Written by Jonnie Heldreich

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vanity Fair See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The beige, tan and maroon floral-stripe dress worn by Miss Crawley's maid at Queen's Crawley is the same costume worn by Alison Steadman at Longbourn in Pride and Prejudice (1995), Natasha Little (Augusta Leigh) during her pregnancy in Byron (2003), Hayley Conick in The Regency House Party (2004), and Janine Duvitski (Mrs. Meagles) for Arthur Clennam's visit in Little Dorrit (2008). The same costume is also worn by a servant at John Dashwood's London house in Sense & Sensibility (2008). See more »

Quotes

Becky Sharp: I'm afraid I will have to charge you rather a lot. My horses are all I own in the world, you know.
Joss Sedley: Money is no object to me, ma'am.
Becky Sharp: That's good. Six hundred pounds.
[Jos is taken aback, but promptly reaches for his pocketbook.]
Becky Sharp: Each.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of the Costume Drama: The Stars (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

The Last Rose of Summer
Traditional
By Thomas Moore
Performed by Pom Boyd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Almost perfect ! Delightful.
5 February 2007 | by DAHLRUSSELLSee all my reviews

This is brisk, fun production that doesn't take itself any more seriously than it should, and doesn't mind winking at us with a secret smile at the same time. The story of Becky Sharp, a girl who is never any better than she needs to be, and her friend Amelia who is much too good for her own good.

Natasha Little is simply perfect as Becky. Little is the kind of woman that women find hard to like: delicately beautiful, exceptionally talented – making her perfect to play Becky. It is the subtle nuances in her moments that give her performance great depth and complexity – needed for accessibility for a selfish character who is the smartest person in any room she is in. Becky is a woman who would agree with the quote of another brilliant beauty, Hedy Lamar: "Any woman can be glamorous. All she has to do is stand still and look stupid." Little's Beky is not as likable or vulnerable as Reese Witherspoon – who played Becky in a major motion picture film version made right around the same time – but with a miniseries we have time to understand her more. Besides, not many actresses are as likable as Witherspoon.

As the story begins, this production does not look lavish, but the casting is so wonderful, the script so strong, the costumes simple but just right, that we are given the ability to focus on getting to know the people we will be following through 6 episodes.

It is this initial simplicity that is the brilliance of the production design by Malcolm Thornton. In the early stages, poverty is cramped and messy; work is dark, cluttered and rotting, and wealth is clean, and bright and airy… like freedom. As we progress through the story, wealth becomes more complex, overstuffed and overdecorated, echoing the complexity of the lives of Becky and Rawdon. Rawdon played by the handsome and overwhelmingly talented Nathaniel Parker (INSPECTOR LINLEY, BLEAK HOUSE).

Breathtaking Andrew Davies, possibly the most brilliant adapter of the classics of all time, gifts us with a screenplay of grace and subtlety, weaving the ease of modern speech perfectly into the period action in a way that feels classic, but is totally accessible.

It all bounces along to the ohm-pa-pa of a brass band. This band is one of the anachronistic touches of the production. While it passes as a military band, it also has a the raw, slightly under-rehearsed sound of a New Orleans jazz band, and sometimes a 1940s dance hall… meanwhile Becky's musical choices are straight from the pub… to the delight of the men around her. The band is really the only downfall of the production, in the moments of great serious importance, the band hits us over the head with a blaringly repetitive theme that gets very annoying after 6 episodes. It is the only "wrong note" in an otherwise witty and wise score. One of the nice subtle touches is that even Becky's singing, which at first seems flawless and delightful, begins to sound a bit flat in the episodes where we see dark results of her behavior on those around her.

The music for Amelia and William is completely different. Plaintive melodies played as quietly as loyalty and love that things only of the good of the beloved. Philip Glenister as William carries the heart of the piece with affecting restraint. Miriam Margoles does her best work EVER here, and Jeremy Swift as Jos is absolutely delightful in every moment he is on screen!

This entire miniseries is just marvelous, aspects of the production in tune with each other, in service to the whole piece. FANTASTIC.


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