Yesterday marked the bi-centennial of Charles Dickens’ birth. Dickens is one of the few writers that I read as a kid that I still read, which either means I was a child prodigy or I’m now an old fart or both.
Anyway, I’d like to pose a mid-week question: what’s your favorite Dickens novel, film based on one of his novels and teevee adaptation? It’s a hard one for me because not only did the great man write so many brilliant books but his work adapts so well to both the big and small screen.
I’m going to cheat and list a favorite as well as a runner-up. It’s hard y’all.
Novel:Great Expectations. Runner-up:David Copperfield. The latter is my first Dickensian love but I re-readGreat Expectationsat least every other year.
Film: David Lean’sGreat Expectations (1947,) which is on my list of the greatest films ever made. I’ve seen this one at least 15 times. Runner-up: the 1934 version ofDavid Copperfieldis a sentimental favorite because of WC Fields as Mr. Micawber and Basil Rathbone as the cold hearted blaggart Mr. Murdstone.
Teevee; Dickens and the mini-series were made for one another andMartin Chuzzelwit(1994) is my favorite. Tom Wilkinson as the slippery Mr. Pecksniff steals every scene he’s in. Runner-up:Bleak House(2005.) The endless litigation of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce tells you everything you need to know about why “the law is an ass.”
Okay, readers, it’s your turn.