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David Copperfield (1935)
"The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger" (original title)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  20 June 1935 (Argentina)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,536 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 26 critic

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... See full summary »

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Title: David Copperfield (1935)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edna May Oliver ...
Elizabeth Allan ...
Jessie Ralph ...
Harry Beresford ...
Freddie Bartholomew ...
David - the Child
Hugh Walpole ...
The Vicar
...
Herbert Mundin ...
John Buckler ...
Ham
Fay Chaldecott ...
...
...
Violet Kemble Cooper ...
...
Clickett
Jean Cadell ...
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Storyline

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 Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Metro·Goldwyn·Mayer's Greatest Motion Picture


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

20 June 1935 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

David Copperfield  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to film historians, W.C. Fields performed in only one film exactly according to script and as directed. That one was MGM's David Copperfield (1935) in which he co-starred with Freddie Bartholomew, who was only ten years old. Fields admired the Charles Dickens book and wanted desperately to play Mr. Micawber in the movie, so he agreed to forgo his usual ad-libs and put aside his distaste at working with child actors. See more »

Goofs

Micawber, an Englishman, speaks with an American accent (see trivia). See more »

Quotes

Mr. Dick: Do you remember the date that King Charles I had his head cut off?
David Copperfield as a child: I believe it was in the year 1649.
Mr. Dick: Well, so the books say, but I don't see how that can be. Because if it was so long ago how could the trouble have got out of his head when it was cut off and into mine?
David Copperfield as a child: I'm sure I don't know.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Film opens with the last sentence of Charles Dickens's preface to the original edition: "Like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts, a favourite child, and his name is David Copperfield." See more »

Connections

Version of David Copperfield (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In)
(uncredited)
Traditional 17th century carol
Partially Sung and played by M-G-M chorus and orchestra during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Good Version of a Classic
15 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This version of David COPPERFIELD is quite a good one, in that it does trim the 800 plus page novel down to reasonable coherence. There are some characters that one misses, but they are understandably cut due to length considerations. While Steerforth and his betrayal of the Peggoty Family is in the film (including the dual tragedy at it's conclusion), the sub-story of Little Em'ly's friend Martha and the business regarding Steerforth's mother, Rosa Dartle, and Mrs. Mowcher were dumped (Mrs. Mowcher would have been hard to cast). Pity, Mrs. Mowcher's famous speech to David about not confusing her physical attributes with her mental ones is missing. Also Steerforth's butler Littimer appears once, but the film does not get into the ironic coda of his imprisonment. While Uriah Heep's villainy against Mr. Wickfield and his clients is shown, his willingness to dig up dirt against other "enemies" is not shown. In particular his treatment of Dr. Strong (David's second schoolmaster), his young wife, and Jack Dalton is not developed (which is sad as it proves Mr. Dick is not simple minded).

But those are minor points really. The best jobs in the film are the work of the performers under George Cukor's direction: Edna Mae Oliver as the crusty, wise Aunt Betsy; Roland Young as the evil, greasy Uriah Heep (his best villain part); and W.C.Fields as Wilkins McCawber (Dicken's tribute to his lovable but improvident father) is superb - the one time his comic personae met the proper dramatic role; and Lionel Barrymore as Dan Pegotty determined to find his lost, ruined niece. Freddy Bartholemew's performance as young David is wonderful. But I must admit that Frank Lawson is a trifle colorless as the grown up David (although he has a funny moment at a dinner that Dora (Maureen O'Sullivan) tries to prepare). It is a weakness but a small weakness in a nearly perfect film.


22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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