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ConnieAnnKirk
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David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

[ Edited ]
Though the film does not begin airing on PBS Masterpiece Classic until March 15th, there is some material available about it (e.g. interviews with actors) ahead of time on the PBS website, here.  If you've seen the film before (this in an encore presentation), please resist talking about it before the airing of Part I on 3/15 so as not to "spoil" it for our members who have not seen it before.  Thanks!
Message Edited by ConnieK on 03-04-2009 11:31 AM
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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

I just checked, and David Copperfield apparently will be available for online viewing.  But I think the first broadcast will be on March 15, not March 16.   March 16, the next morning, is when the online viewing will become available. 


ConnieK wrote:
Though the film does not begin airing on PBS Masterpiece Classic until March 16th, there is some material available about it (e.g. interviews with actors) ahead of time on the PBS website, here.  If you've seen the film before (this in an encore presentation), please resist talking about it before the airing of Part I on 3/16 so as not to "spoil" it for our members who have not seen it before.  Thanks!

 

 

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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film


Everyman wrote:

I just checked, and David Copperfield apparently will be available for online viewing.  But I think the first broadcast will be on March 15, not March 16.   March 16, the next morning, is when the online viewing will become available. 


Good catch, Everyman.  Thanks; I've edited the date in my original post.

 

In addition, for anyone who might be interested, the DVD for this one is also available:

 

 

 

David Copperfield 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

Just a reminder--Part I of David Copperfield will air this coming Sunday evening (3/15) on most PBS TV stations in the U.S.. It will also be available online at the PBS website for a limited time, starting Monday, 3/16.
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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

I watched Part 1 last night. You're all in for a treat.

ConnieK wrote:
Just a reminder--Part I of David Copperfield will air this coming Sunday evening (3/15) on most PBS TV stations in the U.S.. It will also be available online at the PBS website for a limited time, starting Monday, 3/16.

 

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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film


Laurel wrote:
I watched Part 1 last night. You're all in for a treat.

ConnieK wrote:
Just a reminder--Part I of David Copperfield will air this coming Sunday evening (3/15) on most PBS TV stations in the U.S.. It will also be available online at the PBS website for a limited time, starting Monday, 3/16.

 


 

I saw it when it was first shown on Masterpiece, which I guess was a few years back, as Radcliffe has obviously grown a bit since then!  As a matter of fact, this presentation is referenced in the B&N Classics edition of the novel, near the back of the book where they talk about adaptations of the novel.  Apparently there also had been a much earlier Masterpiece Theatre production of the novel; I can't remember if I had ever seen it or not.  I think it said that the definitive version is still the old movie, with Freddie Bartholomew as David, W.C. Fields as Micawber, and Basil Rathbone as Murdstone, which was hailed as a very faithful adaptation when it was released.
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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film


Laurel wrote:


I watched Part 1 last night. You're all in for a treat.


I watched Part 1 last night, too, and I agree.  I cannot get over little Daniel Radcliffe as young David.  Adorable!  Is it just me, or was his performance--I don't know.  The word that keeps coming to mind for some reason is--pure?  On our station, it was a pledge break program, and during the breaks one of the interviews they had was with someone involved with the casting.  The woman said that Daniel was 10 years old and had no experience with acting.  They told him to "just play Daniel."  Somehow, I think that worked!

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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

I enjoyed part 1, too.  We had pledge breaks, too (*@#@*&!!!), and I probably saw the same interview clips that you did, Connie.  The woman who was talking about casting Daniel Radcliffe was Rebecca Eaton, the long-time producer of Masterpiece (and formerly Mystery, too).

 

The story was a bit compressed for time, but I think they are being quite faithful to the story.  I noticed that they changed Murdstone's business where David worked from a wine merchant to a boot-blacking factory, which I guess is closer to Dickens' own experience that he based that sequence in the novel on.

 

I loved the scene where Maggie Smith (Aunt Betsey) fell backwards in her garden, when David introduced himself!  She did it so perfectly, just like I imagined it in the book!

 

I had forgotten all the actors who are in this production, like Imelda Staunton, Zoe Wanamaker, and Nicholas Lyndhurst.  I noticed that Dawn French is in it, but I don't believe she has appeared yet, so I can't wait to see whom she plays (don't give it away if you know!).

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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

I think pure is a good word for it. It's mostly his facial expressions that melt one. You can hear Radcliffe tell how the casting came about here. I didn't think that Peggoty, Ham, and Dan'l Peggoty were cast just right, but I enjoyed the Peggoty we got.

ConnieK wrote:

Laurel wrote:


I watched Part 1 last night. You're all in for a treat.


I watched Part 1 last night, too, and I agree.  I cannot get over little Daniel Radcliffe as young David.  Adorable!  Is it just me, or was his performance--I don't know.  The word that keeps coming to mind for some reason is--pure?  On our station, it was a pledge break program, and during the breaks one of the interviews they had was with someone involved with the casting.  The woman said that Daniel was 10 years old and had no experience with acting.  They told him to "just play Daniel."  Somehow, I think that worked!


 

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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

I watched to the first pledge break last night, and watched the rest this morning. 

 

It is, as Laurel said, a delight.  Some things are, of course, shortened or left out as must be the case with a limited treatment of such a lengthy and complex book, but overall it seems very true to Dickens, and the minor alterations, such as work in a blacking factory instead of a wine bottling one (and I don't recall anyone mentioning that it was Mr. Murdstone's business) was not a major change.  I missed the enjoyable episodes of Mr. Micawber's activities while in the debtor's prison, but I understand why that was cut as being a nice part of the book but not essential to the movement of the story.

 

I liked most of the casting.  Radcliffe is perfect as the young David; I think "pure" is an excellent description.  Peggoty was perfect, as was Clara and both the Murdstones.  Aunt Betsy is wonderful!  

 

I didn't much care for the young Agnes; her smile seemed a fake pasted on smile, but she only appeared briefly, so it wasn't a big issue.  I also wasn't taken with the Barkis they presented; he didn't seem to be the sort of person I would have liked Peggoty to wind up with.  (And if I'm right, it was on a different occasion when he asked David to convey the word that he was willing', but again, a minor condensation is going to be necessary).  

 

Some of the background music seemed a strange choice, but it usually wasn't intrusive.

 

Overall, this is certainly so far one of the more successful adaptations of this Classics season. 

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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

I loved this quote from Zpoe Wanamaker, who played Miss Murdstone:

 

"I've scoured the book, on every page ... and there is no redeeming feature in Jane Murdstone at all," laughs Zoë Wanamaker. "I find Jane a woman without a modicum of niceness in her ... and that's fabulous."

 

 

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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

I really love the fact that British filmmakers seem much more willing than American to cast on the basis of talent rather than looks.  In Hollywood, everybody has to look good, be lovely or handsome -- even if the makeup turns them plain looking or even ugly, it's clear that they are really not, but just playing that.  But Peggoty, for example, is just an ordinary looking woman who is a very fine actress.
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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film


Everyman wrote:

I watched to the first pledge break last night, and watched the rest this morning. 

 

It is, as Laurel said, a delight.  Some things are, of course, shortened or left out as must be the case with a limited treatment of such a lengthy and complex book, but overall it seems very true to Dickens, and the minor alterations, such as work in a blacking factory instead of a wine bottling one (and I don't recall anyone mentioning that it was Mr. Murdstone's business) was not a major change.  I missed the enjoyable episodes of Mr. Micawber's activities while in the debtor's prison, but I understand why that was cut as being a nice part of the book but not essential to the movement of the story.

 

I liked most of the casting.  Radcliffe is perfect as the young David; I think "pure" is an excellent description.  Peggoty was perfect, as was Clara and both the Murdstones.  Aunt Betsy is wonderful!  

 

I didn't much care for the young Agnes; her smile seemed a fake pasted on smile, but she only appeared briefly, so it wasn't a big issue.  I also wasn't taken with the Barkis they presented; he didn't seem to be the sort of person I would have liked Peggoty to wind up with.  (And if I'm right, it was on a different occasion when he asked David to convey the word that he was willing', but again, a minor condensation is going to be necessary).  

 

Some of the background music seemed a strange choice, but it usually wasn't intrusive.

 

Overall, this is certainly so far one of the more successful adaptations of this Classics season. 


The "Murdstone and Grinby" name was visible on the labels that David was pasting on the jars.  If they had changed the trade to another one, I probably would have been slightly irritated, but making it more true to Dickens' own life, I thought, was a nice touch, if they did have to change it.

 

I think that you're right about the timing of the Barkis 'proposal', as it struck me the same way, but it was handled well, considering the need to condense the plot.  And, talking about condensation - the Micawber twins were condensed into one infant! :smileyvery-happy:

 

I like the quote you found from Zoe Wanamaker.  I thought she looked just perfect as Jane Murdstone, with those black-button eyes.

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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

Not fair!  Part 1 doesn't air for me until tonight (3/17) and Part 2 doesn't air until 3/24. It's not like I live in the middle of nowhere.   Just from the list of actors and the comments that you all have made so far, I cannot wait to see it. I'm also enjoying the book but since I'm only 2/3 done, have refrained from making comments on the book chat since I don't want to read the spoilers.
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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

Don't worry.  I'm not in the middle of nowhere, and Part 1 doesn't air here until Sunday the 22nd!  That's O.K. though.  I am only on page 200 of the book, so I could definitely use  the extra time...:smileywink: 
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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

If you have a fast connection (cable or DSL), you should be able to watch them on line at your convenience and without pledge breaks starting on Tuesday morning. Here is the web site.  Scroll down to and click on David Copperfield, then click on Watch Online.  I doubt that they have figured out how to limit access to people who are in areas where it doesn't air on Sunday night.


Lmfwhite wrote:
Not fair!  Part 1 doesn't air for me until tonight (3/17) and Part 2 doesn't air until 3/24. It's not like I live in the middle of nowhere.   Just from the list of actors and the comments that you all have made so far, I cannot wait to see it. I'm also enjoying the book but since I'm only 2/3 done, have refrained from making comments on the book chat since I don't want to read the spoilers.

 

 

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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

Oh, so sorry, Susan and lmf.  Yes, as Everyman says, it's available online (for a limited time) on the PBS website if you have a connection that can see it that way easily.  It's even divided into "chapters" there, so you can watch bits of it at a time at your convenience.
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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

I'm watching Part 2 right now, and for the life of me, I didn't realize it before but is that Anthony Hopkins who is doing the narrating?

 

Also, in our last pledge break (this is another one with pledge breaks for our station), they had another interview with Daniel Radcliffe where he talks about working with Maggie Smith in DC and then again in Harry Potter.  He tells a charming story of being told to say when he met Maggie, "Shall I call you Dame?"  The little Daniel won over Dame Smith from that moment on.  Charming!

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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film


ConnieK wrote:

I'm watching Part 2 right now, and for the life of me, I didn't realize it before but is that Anthony Hopkins who is doing the narrating?

 

Also, in our last pledge break (this is another one with pledge breaks for our station), they had another interview with Daniel Radcliffe where he talks about working with Maggie Smith in DC and then again in Harry Potter.  He tells a charming story of being told to say when he met Maggie, "Shall I call you Dame?"  The little Daniel won over Dame Smith from that moment on.  Charming!


 

Well, you've probably answered your own question by now, but I just saw the credits, and the narrator was Tom Wilkinson.

 

I also loved that anecdote about Daniel Radcliffe and Maggie Smith!

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Re: David Copperfield: The PBS Masterpiece Film

I wasn't able to watch it last night, and will have some trouble fitting it in for the next day or two becasue of family obligations, but I'm really looking forward to Part 2.  Hope it's worth it!
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