When young Nell Trent's (Sally Walsh's) grandfather (Sir Peter Ustinov) loses the investment money of wharf owner Daniel Quilp (Sir Tom Courtenay) with cards, Quilp develops an everlasting urge to get him put in the madhouse. Nell and her grandfather flee the city.
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Nell Trent lives with her grandfather, the proprietor of the Old Curiosity Shop. Grandfather has a disquieting secret, a gambling addiction fed by high-interest loans from the bully Daniel Quilp. The villainous Quilp wants to get possession of the shop, and Nell. In league with his lawyer Samson Brass and Samson's sister Sally, Quilp seizes Grandfather's assets. But Nell organizes an escape from the shop in the dead of night, and she and Grandfather begin a harrowing odyssey through the English countryside with their nemesis in hot pursuit. Convinced that there is a family fortune to be gained, Nell's brother Fred and his friend Dick Swiveller join in the chase. Meanwhile, Nell and Grandfather encounter a slew of eccentric characters, including Mrs. Jarley, who runs a lurid traveling waxworks where Nell and Grandfather earn a meager wage for a brief time. Nell and her grandfather are eventually forced to beg for survival. Will Nell's young friend Kit Nubbles and a mysterious stranger ...
Fantastic adaptation of a Dickens' classic -Toby Jones is superb !
I was fortunate enough to catch this on ITV last night, and I must say it was one of the finest dramas I have seen on television in a very long time, certainly the best this year ! I don't normally watch much Dickens and have read only Great Expectations, so thought it might be hard-going ! However, how wrong could I be ! Toby Jones was absolutely brilliant as Daniel Quilp and, in my opinion, stole every scene he appeared in. His accent and mannerisms all gave his character so much depth you forgot you were watching the same actor who recently played Truman Capote with so much depth in the belatedly released Infamous. This excellent production only reinforces what an incredibly versatile and talented actor Toby is, and I sincerely hope that his powerful and convincing performance here will help him gain the worldwide recognition he truly deserves.
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