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

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  20 June 1935 (Argentina)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,658 users  
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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... See full summary »



(by), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Allan ...
Jessie Ralph ...
Harry Beresford ...
David - the Child
Hugh Walpole ...
The Vicar
Herbert Mundin ...
John Buckler ...
Fay Chaldecott ...
Violet Kemble Cooper ...
Jean Cadell ...


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


Metro·Goldwyn·Mayer's Greatest Motion Picture See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 June 1935 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

David Copperfield  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


W.C. Fields' contract included a clause in which it was specified that he speak with a British accent. He didn't - and this may have been because he had difficulty memorizing Charles Laughton's dialogue and eventually had to read his lines off cue cards. Despite much controversy in the press about Micawber having a strong American accent, the director said he felt Fields was "born to play the part". See more »


Micawber folds the paper of accusation twice. See more »


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 »


Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight
(aka "The Outlandish Knight" and other names)
Sung a cappella by Hugh Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

The best cast, best rendition of a classic novel ever.
20 August 2004 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

I've read "David Copperfield" at least a half dozen times. If it's not the greatest novel in the English language, then it's darned close to it. Like any Dickens work, there are plots within plots and scores of major and minor character. With the exception of excluding poor Traddles, this film catches the essence of the story better than any since--and I defy anyone to cite a better movie for casting the right actor with the right character. Of course, W.C. Fields' Mr. McCawber was superb and has been cited time and again as a great characterization, but it's also difficult to fault Basil Rathbone's Mr. Murdstone, Edna may Oliver's Aunt Betsy, Roland Young's Uriah Heep, Freddy Bartholomew's young David, Lionel Barrymore's Mr. Peggoty or Maureen O'Sullivan's Dora Spenlow. As well, George Cukor's direction and period details are top-notch, as is the screen adoption of a very complicated novel. It's simply one of the greatest movies ever made.

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