Nicholas Nickleby

2284. NICHOLAS NICKLEBY (1947-England). With CEDRIC HARDWICKE, STANLEY HOLLOWAY, DEREK BOND, BERNARD MILES, SALLY ANN HOWES, SYBIL THORNDIKE, CATHLEEN NESBITT. Directed by (ALBERTO) CAVALCANTI. Based on the novel by CHARLES DICKENS. A distinguished cast of top-flight London actors adds luster to this finely wrought adaptation of the Dickens classic. It is the story of young Nicholas and Kale Nickleby, a brother and sister whose lives are destined for great upheaval upon the death of their father. Their mother has been left penniless, and she turns to her unscrupulous brother-in-law Ralph Nickleby for help. Ralph is a heartless moneylender whose response to the grieving woman is especially callous: “Husbands die every day.” Nephew Nicholas is entirely ignorant of the world when Uncle Ralph places him as an assistant at a dreadful school for unwanted boys called Wackford Squeers Academy. He soon escapes this “hell on earth” accomÂpanied by a battered drudge named Smike. Next Nicholas joins the Crummies acting family. He shares the stage with an old ham actor (played to perfection by Stanley Holloway), and eventually falls in love. Meanwhile Sister Kate is used by her evil uncle to attract immoral clients to his busiÂness. This atmospheric melodrama is crammed with surprises as it follows Nicholas down the harsh road of life. With Cavalcanti’s flair for the careful recreation of Dickensian Britain, Nicholas’ jourÂney is an absorbing and fascinating one. 105 minutes. Drama