All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
From the Vivid Pages of Charles Dickens' Masterpiece !
A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.
I’m trying to rationalize Great Expectations in my childhood timeline. It was grade 7, so I think I would have been about twelve years old. We had to read it that year, and I hated it. I It was old, it was boring. As a ‘treat’ the old 16mm projector was wheeled in and a film version of this novel I despised was shown one afternoon. I hated it too. It was old, it was musty, it was full of cobwebs and funny accents and everything else that didn’t interest a twelve year old space nut. I had seen 2001:A Space Odyssey four years before, and that was my tiny minds idea of thought provoking cinema, not some silly story…
Film #10 of Gustav's Recommendations
” Love her! If she favors you, love her, if she tears your heart to pieces, love her!”
Adapting from a classic and well-known novel is a difficult task but when you have a true master like David Lean on board there’s no need to worry. He takes the powerful novel of Charles Dickens and gives us a genuine and decent adaptation, one that is loyal, detailed and precise – perhaps even a little bit too loyal, detailed and precise, it has captured the tone of the book with great success and it’s exactly the kind of adaptation that will tempt you to go and open the novel and read it once again.
Listed among Films Nominated for Best Picture
I read the novel by Charles Dickens in high school, and I know I saw the story screened at least once on television in my teens, although there were a number of productions made between 1953 and 1971, so it could have been any of them ... perhaps the 10-part BBC series that was broadcast in 1967. I do know I saw Alfonso Cuarón's 1998 modern version with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke, which I didn't care for all that much. I like my Dickens more classic, I suppose.
Well, it doesn't get much more classic than director David Lean's 1946 adaptation, It stars John Mills as the main character Pip, Valerie Hobson…
Embarrassingly my first David Lean film that i've watched intentionally all the way through (I've sat through bits of most of his epics while younger) and part of my girlfriend and I's little Dickens season.
The first half hour or so features some stunning film making, incredibly atmospheric with a great use of locations and sets and making the most of the superb and lasting characters the story provides. The scenes with Magwitch on the marshes and the first visit to Haversham's house particular Estella's treatment of Pip are so very direct and somehow manage to capture the idea of a child being subjected to terrifying half understood events and personalities very well.
It tails off a little when Pip…
I'll admit that I am not the biggest fan of large-scale epics that span decades or generations. I particularly dislike the big scores that accompany them. There are exceptions, of course, but I always have to overcome an initial ick factor.
David Lean is one of if not the master of such films, and for the most part I've enjoyed his sweeping dramas once I get over my initial reactions. I thought his entire body of work consisted of epics, so it was refreshing to go through his earlier catalogue from the David Lean Directs Noel Coward collection and see some of his simpler films.
Great Expectations was his first attempt at playing with the epic style. He unabashedly lets…
I absolutely love Charles Dickens' novels. They provide a wonderful insight into an interesting era in Britain, served to us in rich language so well written you can almost chew it.
While not my favourite novel, Great Expectations is one of his most popular classics. David Lean's treatment of it, however, is my favourite adaptation of it by far, altered Hollywood ending and all.
Great Expectations is a story about social class, moral struggle, loyalty and finding a sense of self in a society where climbing the social ladder is more important than doing what's right. All this is told to us through a host of beautifully conceived characters, filled to the brim with rich detail and eccentricities, written like…
Reader that I am, I just can't get in to Charles Dickens. Part of it dates bad to horrible English teachers who ruined much chance of getting a taste (thank you Kenneth Branagh for rescuing Shakespeare for me). But I don't know if that's all of it. I love David Lean, so I figured I'd watch his 1946 version of "Great Expectations." The movie is gorgeous, with lavish sets and the oppressive mood of 1800s British hellscape. And, at under 2 hours, it doesn't have the same grueling repetitiveness of the novel. Dickens's relentless grimness is still present, and I can't say I enjoyed the movie. But it was better than reading the book.
If I was forced to define the phrase "the silver screen," I would point to Lean's stunning Great Expectations. Rural landscapes, draped in fog, are beautifully realized in the full gradient of black-to-white. Such an aesthetic presents an ethereal world, augmenting the blend of realism and sentimentalism of its source material.
While Lean's iconic grandeur is certainly on display here, there are many moments that break from the beautiful (yet stuffy) Victorian setting. The travel sequence that leads to Pip's first entrance in London is an exciting example of a refreshingly cinematic transition. The camera is mounted beneath a carriage, with the hooves of horses kicking at the lens. Such shaky chaos matches Pip's thrilling emotional journey to a new…
My shameful secret is that I'm not well-read, and this is, believe it or not, my first real exposure to this Dickens story. This movie has the right classic British feel, and maybe my only real complaint about it is that John Mills doesn't register very strongly for me -- and since he plays the protagonist Pip, this makes me feel that a different actor could have brought in a lot more emotional pull. But hey, there's a young Alec Guinness here! And I read that he helped get this movie made, so why didn't he play Pip? Oh well, this film is considered a bona fide classic, so it has survived just fine.
Adding: I've read others who have written that the young actors (for Pip and Estella) are more engaging than the older actors, and I fully agree.
Charles Dickens' tale about upbringing, unrequited love and the ironies of personal prosperity adapted in the lavish, proficent treatment of prestige British cinema of the 40s.
This is a seductively made, perfectly cast and generally first-rate version, though you may think Jean Simmons and Anthony Wager are just too good to become Valerie Hobson and John Mills.
David Lean, king of neatness, seems to take some creative breath in his traditionally airtight style, and yet this film is like watching a perfectly disposed table. You admire it and, at the same time, find yourself missing something ordinary or out of its place in it. I'd bet the very Dickens would have the same feeling.
A humble orphan becomes a gentleman with the help of a mysterious benefactor. My second time viewing this was just as enjoyable as the first. It's amazing that a Charles Dickens novel could be adopted with such grace and charm while staying true to everything Dickens had to say. He's a dense author, and he's treated properly here.
There are only two things that the film really fails on. One, John Mills playing a 21-year old is hilarious preposterous. The man's face is already wrinkly and he looks like he could have fathered about six children at this point.
Secondly, once Estella turns from a great Jean Simmons into an insipid Valerie Hobson, all chemistry is lost and the central…
Between this and Oliver Twist, director David Lean has made arguably two of the best cinematic adaptations of Charles Dickens. I think most people are familiar with the story of lowly young boy named Pip who falls in love with the icy adopted daughter of the eccentric Miss Havisham and grows up to be sponsored by a mysterious benefactor. This film is firing on all cylinders. The acting by the entire cast is superb (despite the fact that John Mills is arguably just a tad too old), David Lean's direction is top-notch, the cinematography is fantastic (his use of back light and shadows) and is beautifully designed. This is definitely one of David Lean's best works.
David Lean’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” plays more like a Gothic nightmare than a respectable costume drama. David Lean’s film making is so exquisite at times, you want jump out of your seat and begin a slow clap. You have the privilege of entering a world that is so different than your own. This is a movie world of decaying mansions, homoerotic brotherhood, deviant convicts, and Mr. Pip, the greatest man in merry ole England.
“Great Expectations” is a film to treasure. Viewing it is a rich experience. If there is a flaw in it, I cannot find it.
Comparatively to other versions of this epic story, Lean's cuts still allow the story to breathe and feel as big as they should. Cast impeccably with some of the great British character actors in the business, this adaptation (thanks to Lean) allows the characters and the story to lead the drama not showy photography or busy sets.
Much like Bob Dylan passing the torch of "All Along the Watchtower" down to Jimi Hendrix, Charles Dickens may have created the story, but it now belongs to David Lean.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!