Nicholas Nickleby

May 29th, 2003


Nicholas Nickleby

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Still of Anne Hathaway and Charlie Hunnam in Nicholas NicklebyJamie Bell as SmikeStill of Alan Cumming in Nicholas NicklebyVincent Crummles (Nathan Lane) and Mrs. Crummles (Barry Humphries) bid adieu to Nichoas and Smike as they continue on their journey.(l to r) unknown, Anne Hathaway, Charlie Hunnam and Barry Humphries (as Mrs. Crummles)Still of Jamie Bell in Nicholas Nickleby

A young compassionate man struggles to save his family and friends from the abusive exploitation of his coldheartedly grasping uncle.

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 7.2/10 (5,910 voted)

Critic's Score: 71/100

Director: Douglas McGrath

Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Bell, Christopher Plummer

Young Nicholas and his family enjoy a comfortable life, until Nicholas' father dies and the family is left penniless. Nicholas, his sister and mother venture to London to seek help from their Uncle Ralph, but Ralph's only intentions are to separate the family and exploit them. Nicholas is sent to a school run by the cruel, abusive and horridly entertaining Wackford Squeers. Eventually, Nicholas runs away with schoolmate Smike, and the two set off to reunite the Nickleby family.

Writers: Charles Dickens, Douglas McGrath

Stella Gonet - Mrs. Nickleby
Andrew Havill - Mr. Nickleby
Henry McGrath - Child Nicholas Nickleby
Hugh Mitchell - Boy Nicholas Nickleby
Poppy Rogers - Child Kate Nickleby
Jessie Lou Roberts - Young Kate Nickleby
Charlie Hunnam - Nicholas Nickleby
Romola Garai - Kate Nickleby
Tom Courtenay - Newman Noggs
Christopher Plummer - Ralph Nickleby
Anne Hathaway - Madeline Bray
Jim Broadbent - Mr. Wackford Squeers
Angela Curran - Parent
Jamie Bell - Smike
Juliet Stevenson - Mrs. Squeers

Taglines: Every family needs a hero.


Official Website: Lighthose Pictures [Singapore] | MGM |

Release Date: 29 May 2003

Filming Locations: Churchill College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $42,864 (USA) (29 December 2002) (5 Screens)

Gross: $2,064,289 (Non-USA) (1 May 2003)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Miranda Richardson was set to play Mrs Squeers, but she declined so she could concentrate on three much more demanding roles in Spider.

Continuity: Just before Vincent Crummles announces that they're losing money with the current play, Mr. Folair can be seen grabbing the fire prop twice in two different shots.

[first lines]
Vincent Crummles: What happens when the light first pierces the dark dampness in which we have waited? We are slapped and cut loose. If we are lucky, someone is there to catch us and persuade us that we are safe. But are we safe? What happens if, too early, we lose a parent? That party on whom we rely for only everything? Why, we are cut loose again and we wonder, even dread whose hands will catch us now? There once lived a man named Nicholas Nickleby...

User Review

Wonderful adaptation, Horrendous Marketing

Rating: 9/10

Greetings again from the darkness. Truly exceptional adaptation of Dickens really shows how terrific writing can allow a film to work. Yes, the cast was very capable and in fact, Christopher Plummer was multi-layered, pure evil as Uncle Ralph. The Squeers team of veterans Jim Broadbent and Juliet Stevenson made escape from their "school" seem the only rational approach. Charlie Hunnam is gorgeous and capable as Nicholas, and herein lies the problem. While not for the youngest of kids, those 12 and up would probably enjoy the movie very much. As a way to touch Dickens, this is easily the least painful and most accessible for 7th through 12th graders. Why aren't audience was filled with 40 and 50 somethings who read the novel growing up and a few (like me) brought teenagers with them. My daughter and her friends loved it! Very frustrating that studios will sink millions into drawing crowds for trash like "Planet of the Apes", "XXX", "Blue Crush", etc but almost nothing into this. Of course, this offers an education in story structure and the supporting casting was inspired. In addition to Hunnam, Anne Hathaway ("Princess Diaries"), Jamie Bell ("Billy Elliot"), Nathan Lane and Alan Cumming were all excellent. Tom Courtenay was funny and pitiful at the same time. Yes, the story is like much of Dickens, it provides hope for those who seem to have little. Good prevails over evil. Personally, I like that approach.


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