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 »
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, an Englishman, speaks with an American accent (see trivia). See more »
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 »
This version of David Copperfield is a little disappointing in that the lead characters (David, Agnes, Steerforth, Little Em'ly) are somewhat bland and don't reveal their depth of feeling or passion. But the actors who play the supporting characters are so superb that this version is worth seeking out for those who love Dickens' work. Aunt Betsy, Uriah Heep, Mr. Dick, Mr. Micawber, Dan Peggotty and Ham are fleshed out by actors who have true spark and understand that their characters are supposed to be a little larger than life.
W.C. Fields can act- he's not just playing himself here. Although Mr. Micawber is a somewhat Fields-ish fellow, Fields adds a touching sincerity to Micawber's belief that he will come out ahead someday to everyone's benefit. Micawber's denunciation of Uriah Heep is both fun and close to what one can picture from the novel.
A lot of plot is left out, since you can't really cram an epic like that into a 2 hour film- the BBC miniseries is better for depth of character and filling in plot holes- but this 1935 version can be considered a classic for those looking for a nice large-screen adaptation with some incredibly good character actors.
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