Vanity Fair (amaray repackage)
A&E and the BBC bring William Thackeray's classic satire to life in this lavish co-production.
In a culture obsessed with status, Becky Sharp---beautiful, clever and poor---is determined to earn her place in society. Her childhood friend, Amelia Sedley, enjoys the privileges Becky lacks, little realizing how fickle these blessings can be.
From posh London ballrooms and country estates to the battlefield at Waterloo, they pursue love and fortune in the self-absorbed world of the British upper crust. While the delightfully amoral Becky manipulates the men around her, Amelia's innocence and the vagaries of fate leave her at the mercy of others.
Brilliantly adapted by Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice) from William Makepeace Thackeray's masterpiece, VANITY FAIR faithfully preserves the bon mots and stinging satire that has made the novel one of the enduring classics of English literature.
BONUS FEATURE: English Subtitles
Becky Sharp is "poor and put-upon." She's also "a sharp little minx," a "treacherous little trollop," and "a heartless mother and faithless wife." Yes, there's something about Becky in this impeccable BBC production based on William Makepeace Thackeray's classic novel. It speaks volumes about Thackeray's indomitable heroine and Natasha Little's seductively ingratiating performance that our hearts go out to her even as we eagerly await her comeuppance.
Becky is scorned for her lack of breeding, but as one admirer notes, "she's got pluck." Poised to begin her new job as a governess, Becky's calculated social climbing begins in the home of her friend, the naive Amelia Sedley (Frances Grey), whose father is a wealthy merchant. She immediately makes a play for Amelia's doofus brother, but their budding romance is sabotaged by Amelia's fiancé George Osborne (Tom Ward), an "interfering, officious snob" who doesn't fancy a governess for a sister-in-law. And so it's out into the world, where Becky works her wiles on a gallery of memorable characters, including her lecherous new employer Sir Pitt; his imperious rich sister Miss Crawley (Miriam Margolyes), who takes Becky under her wing; and Pitt's dashing son Rawdon (Nathanial Perker), the first of Becky's misguided sexual entanglements.
Vanity Fair charts in lavish detail Becky's rise in London society and her scandalous downfall. Her story is counterpoint to that of the fair Amelia, who is clueless that her husband is a rake and that his best friend, the loyal, long-suffering Dobbin (Philip Glenistar), is in love with her and is her secret benefactor when times get bad for her bankrupt father. Adapted for the screen by Andrew Davies, who did the honors for the phenomenally successful Pride and Prejudice, Vanity Fair is another addictive miniseries that is the video equivalent of a compulsive page-turner. As yet another fancier remarks, "Well done, Becky Sharp." --Donald Liebenson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Vanity Fair," set in the years surrounding Napoleon's resurgence in Europe, traces the rise and fall of two young British women, Rebecca Sharp and Amelia Sedley. The two young ladies meet in a sort of finishing school and when the time to reenter society arrives, Amelia takes Rebecca home with her to meet the family. The Sedley clan is comfortably upper middle class, with the father earning a nice living speculating on government bonds.Read more ›
The rest of the cast was very good, particularly the actors portraying Amelia, George, Rawdon, and Dobbin. There has been some criticism of the appearance of the actors, that they were too plain or even downright unattractive for the roles. One of the differences between British and American productions (particularly those made for televsion) is that in British productions the performers are more often selected for their talent than their appearance. Sometimes this backfires, as in the case of the remake of "The Forsyte Saga," when many viewers complained about Geena McKee being too plain for the role of Irene Forsyte, who was supposed to be a great beauty.Read more ›
You will find the inhabitants of this fair very much alive and not at all like puppets, as Thackeray disingenuously tells you they are all through his book. The visuals well support the spirit of the production.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Warning. This DVD of Vanity Fair is abridged, meaning that the viewer does not get the full story. I know this for sure as I have the complete classic on video cassette. Read morePublished 9 months ago by graham spicer
This was a much touted mini-series which I missed on TV and have now watched on DVD. I had high expectations. Read morePublished on May 9 2004 by I. Martinez-Ybor
It begins on an innocuous afternoon at the Pinkerton school for young ladies, where Miss Becky Sharp (played by Natasha Little, whose father was a drunken drawing master) is... Read morePublished on March 8 2004 by randomartco
What can I say? Being a great fan of BBC and A&E period dramas, after buying Vanity Fair, I was truly dissapointed. Read morePublished on Dec 27 2003
I'm so dissapointed at this period movie, it was badly cast, terrible music choice, and boring. Also it felt so disjointed from start to end. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2003 by Karen Vare Harling
Vulgar is the only word that completely describes this film. I have never been so sickend by a period movie. The first shot of the movie shows a woman picking her nose. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2003 by M. Moreland
I have never read this book, but bought it based on other movies I enjoyed that BBC has done. If you like Charles Dickens, you might enjoy this, but if you are looking for... Read morePublished on Dec 18 2003
I truly enjoyed watching all 5 hours of this BBC adaptation of Vanity Fair. I found it as humorous as the original novel was intended to be. Read morePublished on Dec 16 2003 by Alison
Vanity Fair is one of my all-time favorite novels, but while the book's wry social satire is perfectly crafted and executed, the translation to film was difficult to watch. Read morePublished on Dec 11 2003 by Little ol' me