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Great Expectations

Classics movie directed by David Lean

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Mills, Hobson in a British movie masterpiece

  • Oct 24, 2005
Still-definitive screen version of Charles Dickens' novel, with Sir John Mills as Pip, Valerie Hobson as Estella and Martita Hunt as Miss Havisham. The tale recounts one Pip, whose boyhood is marked by the mysterious Havisham and her entrancing young ward. When Pip reaches adulthood, he learns he has been sponsored by a unnamed benefactor.

The entire David Lean-directed film is marvelous. John Mills is a fabulous Pip, with Valerie Hobson perfect casting for Estella. Revered British character actress Martita Hunt (ANASTASIA) is amazing as Havisham. Anthony Wager and Jean Simmons play the younger Pip and Estella at the beginning of the film. The film is peppered with virtually every single noted British actor of the period including Alec Guinness, Bernard Miles, Freda Jackson and Francis L. Sullivan. The lush score was provided by Walter Goehr. This was the first of David Lean's Dickensian feature films.

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review by . May 12, 2013
Wonderful movie
Young Pip has a hard life: His parents have died, he lives with his shrewish sister, and he's destined to be a lowly blacksmith. Fate smiles on him, however, when a mysterious old lady pays him to play at her estate. It's there he meets the love of his life, the beautiful, but heartless, Estella.      This is a great Dickens story, full of emotional ups and downs, following Pip from childhood to adulthood. Tony Wager is endearing as the sweet younger Pip and John Mills …
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Byron Kolln ()
Ranked #145
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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About this movie


David Lean's handsome adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic novel captures the warm humor and richness of character that so many filmmakers miss in their reverent recreations of Victorian England. From the nightmarish opening sequence on the windswept graveyard where young orphan Pip (Anthony Wager) meets the desperate escaped criminal Magwitch (Finlay Currie) to the shadowy, musty mansion of the widow Miss Haversham (Martita Hunt) where he first meets the impertinent young beauty Estella (Jean Simmons), Lean captures a childlike exaggeration of reality with his elegant expressionism. When Pip's sudden change in fortune sends him to London as a burgeoning gentleman in high society, Lean sketches a beautiful, bustling city. John Mills's performance as the adult Pip charts his change from the wide-eyed wonder and generous spirit of the child he was to the class snob transformed by money and social standing, an ugly flaw that Pip confronts when his mysterious benefactor is finally revealed. The outstanding cast also features Valerie Hobson as the grown-up Estella, now a beguiling enchantress, a bright young Alec Guinness in his film debut as Pip's jovial London roommate Herbert Pocket, and the imposing Francis L. Sullivan as the decidedly humorless lawyer Jaggers. Exquisitely photographed by Guy Green (who won an Oscar for his work). Lean and his collaborators effectively maintain the heart of Dickens's epic drama while cutting it to its essentials in this vivid, compelling ...
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Director: David Lean
Genre: Classics
Runtime: 118 minutes
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
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