Paul Dombey (John Carson) is the wealthy owner of a shipping company whose sole desire is to have a son to inherit the family firm. But when a son arrives, his wife dies soon after, and the sickly boy's own days are numbered. Dombey finds no solace in the affections of his elder child Florence (Kara Wilson). He sees little use in daughters in the business world. Encouraged by the sinister Major Bagstock (Clive Swift), Dombey enters into a second, loveless marriage with Edith Grainger (Sally Home), who eventually flees to France with Dombey's double-dealing business manager James Carker (Gary Raymond). Dombey's livelihood is further undermined by a burgeoning railway network. All seems lost unless his pride will allow him to salvage a relationship with Florence.
Dickens is Allowed to Speak for Himself
- Dombey and Son review by CV
The influence of theatre is still present in this early 1969 production in the respective of stylized acting and small sets and the camera work also adds a creative and meaningful dimension to the whole. The casting is excellent and acting vivid and well-differentiated. I haven't read the book but one feels the dialogue is verbatim and that most of it is retained in the script. The black and white production also adds a Dickensian shade of atmosphere. You will notice that the introduction boldly says "Dramatized by" rather than vaguely "Based on" as so many modern productions are obliged to. I do remember watching this series at the time with my family and the catch-phrase "Stand by!" has always been with me!
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