Details Produced by the BBC in 1998, adapted from William Makepeace Thackeray's novel. Directed by Marc Munden. Filmed on location in London, Wales, and Paris. Nat plays Rawdon Crawley. Co-starring Natasha Little as Becky Sharp, Tom Ward as George Osborne, and Frances Grey as Amelia Sedley.

Plot Summary

Thackeray's classic story of Becky Sharp, an attractive governess who's determined to manipulate her way to the top, trampling her friends along the way and eventually getting her comeuppance. After letting one rich victim get away from her, Becky bags the dashingly handsome and heretofore rake, Rawdon Crawley. Crawley, to his misfortune, truly falls for the penniless little vixen and his life goes downhill from there. Sharing in the story is Becky's friend, Amelia, a girl of English virtue who married George, a good-looking but weak-willed man. Unfortunately, George's friend, the long-suffering Dobbins, is also in love with Amelia.

General Review

Natasha Little is a sparkling and dangerous Becky Sharp and her portrayal helps make this an excellent solid production. The casting is outstanding, in fact. The heart of the story is the venom the viewer is induced to feel towards Becky - this is like an early soap opera, setting up femme fatales you love to hate. Part of the fun of watching the series is to see her games eventually unravel. It's very satisfying when they do. We also have the standard English humour in the portrayal of a variety of eccentric relatives and money-grubbing would-be heirs. But another important element in this story is the understated and touching love story between Amelia and Dobbin and the solid character of Rawdon, who turns out to be a loyal and true husband after all.

Nat Review

Rawdon is a dashingly handsome rogue and gambler. He seems to be a perfect match for Becky at first, living the high life by getting into debt or shafting innkeepers and his gambling victims. But whatever his foibles, he's truly in love with his wife and as the story progresses he becomes more conventional, caring deeply for their son and believing his wife to be a flirt but nothing more. He is, like all the men in the story, completely under her manipulation. As such, this character is a bit of a victim, but he also turns out to be a surprisingly decent fellow. A very strong role, probably one of his finest to date.

Trivia

One of Nat's co-stars in David appears briefly in Vanity Fair. Maurice Roeves plays Captain MacMurdo, who serves as Rawdon's second in the proposed duel. Besides, you'll have other déjà-vus: Natasha Little has a smaller part as Fanny Robin in Far from the Madding Crowd. You'll also recognize that Gerard Murphy who's playing awful Lord Steyne here is the Inspector who's trying to help Nat's character in McCallum.

Status

 

Out on DVD and VHS in the UK and the USA

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