Phileas Fogg accepts a wager to prove his contention that a man can go around the world in 80 days. After betting his entire fortune, he takes his new butler (a man hoping for a quite life) on a tour of the world. However, just before the time he leaves, the Bank of England is robbed and a Detective believes that Fogg is the guilty party and he sets out after him.
This Nicholas Nickleby is the Royal Shakespeare Company's epic eight-and-a-half-hour adaptation of the life and times of the eponymous school-teacher. The 1982 production (originally staged in two parts) won worldwide acclaim and was such a success that Britain's then-newest TV station, Channel 4, launched a joint venture with independent production company Primetime to bring Nicholas Nickleby to a television audience. The result is this wonderfully theatrical version, filmed at the Old Vic and starring much of the original stage cast. It manages to stay true to Trevor Nunn's original artistic vision of Dickens's damning incitement of England's educational system.The ensemble cast are superb: Roger Rees as Nicholas is a bright-eyed idealist, every inch the young romantic hero whose principles are often his downfall, but ultimately his salvation; Alun Armstrong's twisted, embittered Squeers is every inch the Dickensian villain; and David Threlfall is transformed as Smike, Squeers' piteously subjugated, crippled servant and gives the most moving performances of his career.This enthralling TV adaptation recreates the magic of the stage version for all those who were unable to catch it on its pitifully short run. It doesn't pull any punches as the humour and inspiring storyline are tempered with real dark and tragic episodes. Forget the Hollywood fluff, this is the version you should watch if you want a faithful retelling of Dickens's story.
Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry) is a master chef with an obsessive drive for culinary perfection, with no friends or outside interests other than his wife Janice, (Caroline Lee-Johnson) and remarkable verbal talents used primarily to creatively abuse his unfortunate staff of assistant cooks, although he is perfectly prepared to give the same treatment to waiters, management, suppliers, bankers, and, occasionally, customers.
In the 11th millennium Shaddam IV., ruler of the Galactic Empire, rids himself of his competitor Duke Leto by giving him control of the desert planet Dune also called Arrakis; fully aware that its present owner, Baron Harkonnen, will not give it up without a fight. The reason is that Arrakis is the source of the valuable spice, a substance produced by enormous and dangerous sand worms, which bestows special mental qualities on anyone who consumes it. A short while later Harkonnen does indeed succeed in ambushing and massacring Leto and his men. Leto's mistress Jessica, who is a member of the clairvoyant order of Bene Gesserit, manages to escape into the desert with her son Paul, and after a long and dangerous march they finally encounter the Fremen, the long suppressed desert tribe of Arrakis. Impressed by Paul's clairvoyant abilities, tribal prince Stilgar takes in the fugitives. Very soon the Fremen are convinced that Paul is their long-prophesied redeemer, and Stilgar prepares him for his great task. While Paul is being instructed in the secrets of desert life he falls in love with young Chani, who bears him a son. During the next few years the Fremen, led by Paul, wage a guerilla war of attrition against Harkonnen, who suffers heavy losses. Most important of all, they sabotage the planet's spice production: this brings Shaddam IV. onto the scene, who senses that the basis of his power is being threatened. The rebels on Arrakis want to finish off the imperial forces once and for all, but after a terrible battle which costs him almost all his men, Shaddam is finally forced to concede defeat...The Director's Cut Special Edition DVD, contains over 30 minutes of footage that was not shown when the mini-series originally aired on the SciFi Channel.
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