Great Expectations (1934)

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9 year old 'Pip' Pirrip, an orphan living with relatives, aids and befriends an escaped convict on the moors, an act that will have a profound effect on his life.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Phillips Holmes ...
Florence Reed ...
Rafaela Ottiano ...
George Barraud ...
Francis L. Sullivan ...
Jaggers (as Francis Sullivan)
Douglas Wood ...
Forrester Harvey ...
George P. Breakston ...
Pip, as Child (as Georgie Breakston)
Harry Cording ...
Eily Malyon ...
Sarah Pocket (as Eily Malyan)
Anne Howard ...
Walter Armitage ...


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance





Release Date:

22 October 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Grande Expectativa  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Francis L. Sullivan recreated the role of Jaggers in the 1946 adaptation of the novel. See more »


Jaggers: Well, Mr. Pip, if you want to become a gentleman, the sooner you leave this house, the better.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Version of Great Expectations (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

An English major's two cents worth
18 September 2002 | by (Madison,WI) – See all my reviews

There have been too many adaptations of Great Expectations and other Dickens classics that have failed to miss the fact that the eminent Victorian author's novels were not intended as sentimental, romantic fairytales but as scathing criticisms of the less-than-progressive aspects of life in 19th century Britain,namely the exploitation of the impoverished masses by the hypocritical idle rich. This 1934 travesty is about as accurate a realization of Dickens' original vision as Free Willy is a realization of Melville's vision for Moby-Dick. The scenes involving young Pip are played out like an Our Gang comedy complete with cloying music and the rest of it is filled with wooden acting,overly high key lighting, and an abundance of peculiarly well-fed poor people- this last aspect a phenomenon that plagued other mis-begotten Dickens farces of the '30s such as Monogram's Oliver Twist and the MGM A Christmas Carol. Every time this shows up on cable(a rarity at least in Madison,thank God) or is borrowed from a library,Dickens must do a backflip in his grave. All said, if you want to see DICKENS' Great Expectations stick with the Lean version or the respectable 1989 Disney version.Leave this one to rot in Miss Havisham's wedding cake.

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