Nine year-old orphan 'Pip' Pirrip lives with his harridan older sister and her hen-pecked but good-natured blacksmith husband Joe Gargery in rural, Regency-Period Britain. While visiting his mother's grave near the moors, Pip is set upon by Abel Magwitch, an escaped convict from a prison ship whose intimidating appearance causes Pip to steal food and drink from the Gargeries on his behalf. Although Magwitch had initially threatened Pip, a bond quickly forms between the hardened criminal and the boy, so when the convict is recaptured, he admits to stealing the food, but does not implicate his young accomplice. Shortly thereafter Pip receives an invitation from Mrs. Havisham, a wealthy recluse living in a crumbling mansion to play with her niece Estella. He finds her haughty and cruel but becomes attracted to her beauty as his visits continue. Some time later the Gargeries receive a visit from the condescending lawyer Mr. Javers, who offers Pip an education and allowance that will allow... Written by
Francis L. Sullivan recreated the role of Jaggers in the 1946 adaptation of the novel. See more »
Well, Mr. Pip, if you want to become a gentleman, the sooner you leave this house, the better.
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In the end credits, Valerie Hobson, who played Estella as an adult in David Lean's 1946 version of "Great Expectations", is credited as having played Biddy, a rather prominent character, in this 1934 version, but Biddy never appears at all. See more »
This is perhaps the worst film version of a Dickens novel ever made by a major studio. All of the dramatic power of the story is drowned in syrupy music and mostly mediocre to awful acting. Phillips Holmes is terrible as the adult Pip. Holmes, never a good actor, is alternately stiff and hammy.
Henry Hull, usually quite enjoyable when hammy, and actually quite good normally, is unsatisfying compared to Finlay Currie as Magwitch (Currie appeared in the classic 1946 David Lean film). Jane Wyatt conveys nothing of the icy-yet sympathetic haughtiness of Estella. Florence Reed is just fair as Miss Havisham, especially when compared with Martita Hunt's absolutely unforgettable 1947 performance, and Francis L.Sullivan showed much more enthusiasm playing Jaggers in the 1946 film.
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