Old Martin Chuzzlewit is a very rich man, but paranoid that everyone is after his money. His grandson has made the fatal mistake of falling in love with the only person Martin trusts, and finds himself disinherited.
Mark Tapley helps Young Martin to a secret rendezvous with Mary Graham.
Jonas gives his father a lavish funeral and later proposes to Mercy Pecksniff, much to Charity's anger. Tom Pinch brings news of young Martin to Mary. Old Martin warns Mercy about entering into a marriage without love.
Jonas seeks to insure Mercy's life, Pecksniff offers Mary a permanent position in his home and Charity plans to leave her father and live in London. Tom Pinch finally recognizes his devotion to Pecksniff is misplaced.
Pinch finds Mercy has suffered at her husband's hands and Young Martin returns from America.
Jonas murders Montague and is exposed, so takes his own life. Old Martin's senility is seen to be a sham and at a family conference young Martin's inheritance is restored and a blessing given to wed Mary, while Pecksniff is punished.
© 1994 BBC
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