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…
Ok I admit....the only Charles Dickens book that I have somewhat read is A Tale of Two Cities. I have heard about Great Expectations...but had not read nor had I seen any of the many film versions. So I went to this movie a Great Expectations virgin. This one is part romance....part suspense....and part mystery. Movie follows an orphan named Pip and follows his story from age 13 to 25. John Mills plays the older Pip....Sir Alec Guinness plays his best friend (this was Guinness' first speaking part in a movie)....Jean Simmons plays the love interest.
The performances are solid across the board....but I actually give the child performers higher marks than the adult performers. This one is directed by…
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…
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…
Included In Lists:
Criterion Collection - #31
Review In A Nutshell:
If one asks me how much of classic literature have I read, or even contemporary, I would embarrassingly shrug and speak out a relatively low number. I have nothing against people who read literature or show ignorance on the values of written stories; but it just does not speak out to me as much as film or music does; which is one of the core reasons why I rarely read novels anymore as I want to come into these films surprised and take it in on its own, not letting it be constantly judged on its faithfulness to its source material. David Lean's Great Expectations is one of those…
”Pip! A young gentleman of great expectations.”
David Lean’s adaptation of Charles Dicken’s hopeful tragic novel is regarded as being the quintessential film version of Dicken’s text, a statement that I do subscribe to; however one cannot help but to see some notable faults in Lean’s picture. The English filmmaker gets right what’s most important and that is sentiment and character and plot progression, withal there are a couple of glaring issues that are impossible to overlook. One of my initial problems was with the acting, not that the performances displayed on screen were bad, but that there seemed to be screen and stage actors involved in the picture. Which made the more loud theatrical enactments feel rather off place…
Tony Wager brings such a sweet innocence and a sense of wonder to the film, that you can't help but being drawn in immediately. His performance made me feel profoundly old, which luckily didn't last all too long as they then tried selling me John Mills, a man in his late 30s as a young man in his teens. That's not to say, he wasn't great because he was. He has that same innocence and general sweetness in him.
I've only read half of the novel, but even so, it seems as if David Lean literally took the images it created out of my mind and committed them to screen. That's not to say that I'm some visionary thinker, but rather that Lean has managed to create an adaptation that is true to the novel without having to deviate in the slightest. That is quite a feat. It's no wonder this film has often been referred to as the greatest Dickens adaptation. It's style is dark and expressionistic, and setting is somewhat reminiscent of Sunset Boulevard, which came a few years later. I found myself invested in the story the whole way through. Overall a fantastic film.
Watch the first sequence: a boy is running, the Kent landscape is flat behind him, the sky fills the image, it is nearing dusk and the child is a dark silhouette against the light sky; he is in a graveyard, at a grave, he hears something behind him, he turns and with a reverse cut we are shown his point of view, a tree being buffeted by the wind – these are striking images and they place the boy, Pip, into a certain relationship with his natural surroundings: he is small against the expanse of sky, he is seemingly threatened by the wind, etc. We might expect this relationship to be clarified as it is further explored throughout the film,…
One of the great book-to-film adaptations, and up there as one of my all-time favourites.
This is a good movie, but I'm afraid I'm just not really the target audience for this kind of thing. I generally have little patience for period films, I get turned off by the horribly unstylish clothes and all the formal talk, and this feels even stuffier than many others. Moreover, David Lean's talent for capturing wide open spaces seems a little wasted. The streets of London seem too narrow to make way for what I believe was his greatest gift. It's all just a little too small.
It's been quite a long time since I've read Great Expectations. If I'd read it more recently, perhaps I'd be more critical of the omissions this movie certainly has given it's run time. As it is, however, I felt David Lean did an exceptional job capturing the spirit of Dickens. The cinematography is wonderful throughout, especially in the graveyard and Miss Havisham's house
I'd seen nearly every adaptation of Great Expectations except this one, which many consider to be not only the greatest adaptation of that story, but perhaps of any Dickens story. Please forgive the unavoidable pun, but my expectations for the film were indeed great, but I was not expecting it to impress and affect me as deeply as it did.
Lean's assured direction is at play from the very first frame, where the graveyard encounter becomes a truly haunting occurrence worthy of any Universal monster film. From there, the continued sense of hope and dread both build to points of tremendous impact. Lean brings out the best from all of his performers, particularly from Mills, who makes Pip seem fully…
A fitting adaptation of the famous Charles Dickens novel from director David Lean.
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…