When David's father dies, his mother remarries. His new stepfather Murdstone has a mean and cruel view on how to raise a child. When David's mother dies from grief, Murdstone sends David to...
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When David's father dies, his mother remarries. His new stepfather Murdstone has a mean and cruel view on how to raise a child. When David's mother dies from grief, Murdstone sends David to London to work for a living. When David escapes to his aunt Betsey his life starts to get better. Written by
Charles Laughton was originally cast as Micawber, but resigned from the role after two days of shooting. It was said at the time that "he looked as though he were about to molest the child." Despite this, Laughton's wife Elsa Lanchester was retained for the role of Micawber's servant Clickett although her part was cut down considerably in the editing room. See more »
Micawber folds the paper of accusation twice. See more »
Copperfield, at present, I have nothing to bestow but advice. Still, that advice is so far worth taking. I have never taken it myself, and am the miserable creature you behold. Young friend, I counsel you: annual income, 20 pounds. Annual expenditure, 19 pounds. Result? Happiness. Annual income, 20 pounds. Annual expenditure, 21 pounds. Result? Misery. Farewell, Copperfield. I shall be happy to improve your prospects, in case anything turns up - which, I may say, I am hourly expecting.
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The main title of the film shows the novel's full, extended title: "The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger", rather than the title by which it is more popularly known, "David Copperfield". Poster advertising for the film, as well as reviews and all popular references to it, used the shortened title, as did later television listings for it. See more »
One of the best in Dickens films - a true classic.
Although I've seen the movie on TV a few times over the decades, today I received the DVD digital version of "David Copperfield", wonderfully restored, and I must admit that the subtitles were a tremendous help in catching every bit of the story.
To me Freddie Bartholomew as young David is the most moving character because as a sensitive, loving child he must endure so much injustice and heartache, what with the loss of his mother, the brutal treatment from his stepfather, and then being sent away to a workhouse, only to flee to the safety of his aunt in Dover, walking all the way by foot, in hopes of a better life to grow up in. The stark realistic atmosphere that envelops many of the episodic scenes draws one into the tale with captivating ease. I consider it even more convincing than the scenes from "Great Expectations", the version with John Mills in it.
W.C. Fields gives a remarkably sincere and fine portrayal of Mr. Macawber with all his many subtleties of speech. I couldn't picture it being performed as well by anyone else, and I think Ch. Laughton would not have been the right choice or as convincing.
I put this early film at the top of my list of great ones!
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