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 »
Before Miss Havisham died, she told me her teachings were false... that love is worth all the suffering and pain that goes with it.
Do you believe that, Estella?
You once told me that you loved me, Pip.
See more »
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 »
About two years ago I had written a review of this fine film and wanted to add a footnote. It seems easier to begin again with a few pertinent comments, so I wanted to mention that this is my favorite version of the film. Although I like the David Lean version from '46, this is the one I prefer. I love the lovely casting of the characters, the beautiful sets and charming music depicting new events in the life of the orphan boy, Pip.
About 30 years ago my husband and I enjoyed this film from a Family Festival, like it mentions here. It was on one weekend and was shown in its entirety. Shortly afterwards, I needed a blank tape at a moment's notice, and taped over it. A real mistake, because all subsequent screenings have cut out Valerie Hobson's part entirely as Biddy, governess to Pip. She was also the nurse to Mrs. Jo, Pip's sister.
Also missing is a scene of the vengeful man who worked in the forge for Pip's brother-in-law. In this scene we learn that he had struck Pip's sister with a block of iron, and this is why they needed a nurse for Mrs Jo and a governess to Pip. Enter Biddy, who performed both functions ably.
Although the film still works without those scenes, the more cohesive pattern is of course with them. They are essentially key to the story, like vital links in a chain.
I am a collector of period pieces and try to understand why they would cut a film which was depicted so well. A real mystery to me is that they would do this fifty years after the fact! My husband and I think there were 2 films sent to the movie studio that day, and the one we saw was complete. Upon subsequent screenings, I taped the movie 2 or 3 more times to no avail. In future it was impossible to obtain the film complete.
The American Film Institute book states that Valerie Hobson's part was deleted from the scenes in Great Expectations, 1934, This is incomprehensible to me. We have all heard of movies being cut before screening, but this film was clearly shown with the scenes up at least until somewhere in the 1980's. This was not to make way for commercials, as the eventual commercial release on Video, and later DVD, etc. is the 1 hour and 43 minutes (which lacks the scenes).
Although Valerie Hobson was fairly new to the movie world, she would shortly co-star in The Werewolf of London and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Her fine screen presence and sincere acting enhanced many a 1930s film.
Thank you all for reading this. I have been on the trail for about 30 years now, searching for the complete film. If anyone knows where I can find it, please e-mail me (Janet) at MCannady1@Verizon.net. In retrospect, I should have called the TV station the next day to see if I could obtain the complete VHS, but never thought of doing so.
This said, I hope to find someone who knows where I can get a copy of the film on DVD or VHS. I just picked up a clue when Roy Leonard's name was mentioned as host of the TV Station. I had read this in a general description of the film, along with the comment about it being shown incomplete most of the time.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this