SRP $26.98 2.35:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 MGM

Critically acclaimed, but sparsely viewed, NICHOLAS NICKLEBY” is now available as a “Special Edition” from MGM.

Based upon the Dickens serial-novel, it fully captures the imagery one imagined while reading his work. From the city streets and overcast to the bright countryside, “NICHOLAS NICKELBY” is stunning to watch!

When Nicholas’ father dies, leaving the family nearly destitute, he travels with his mother and sister to attempt finding employment in London, via help from his uncle, brilliantly played by Christopher Plummer.  He ends up taking a job at a boarding school, which, in “Dickensian” fashion, is run by a brutal headmaster. 

After defending a cripple, Smike, the two join together and embark on their own series of mini-adventures while heading to London.

MGM has presented options for either the letterboxed(2.35:1 with 16:9 enhancement)or pan&scan image, on alternate sides.

While the letterboxed version is clearly the better of the two, its quality varies at times.  Colors are either extremely vibrant of subdued, depending on the particular scene.  Otherwise, the detail and overall quality is superb.  Contrast is extremely solid, especially in darker scenes. Fleshtones appear natural.

MGM has presented a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.  It’s not an aggressive mix, however, while essentially a dialogue-driven film, there are a variety of separation effects throughout.  The film’s score is also wonderful, and complimented through all speakers. The all-important dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.

Director Douglas McGrath has provided an audio commentary, and while it sheds light on the differences between the film and the original material, it’s uninspired, and only the most devoted fans of Dickens will find it worthwhile.

A featurette, “CREATING A CLASSIC: THE MAKING OF NICHOLAS NICKELBY”, is extremely enjoyable, offering detailing the film’s development process from beginning-to-end.

Another featurette, “THE CAST ON THE CAST”, offers interviews with the main cast, and while fluffy, is still entertaining.

“A VIEW ON THE SET” allows multi-angle use to observe behind-the-scenes footage with the completed film.

MGM has also provided a still gallery, the original trailer and trailers for some other recent MGM dvd releases.