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David Copperfield (1935)

The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger (original title)
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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(by), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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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:
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Elizabeth Allan ...
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Hugh Walpole ...
The Vicar
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Herbert Mundin ...
John Buckler ...
Ham
Fay Chaldecott ...
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Violet Kemble Cooper ...
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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:

Glorious Romance Reaches Your Heart! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

20 June 1935 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

David Copperfield  »

Filming Locations:

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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

David Niven tested for the role of David the adult. See more »

Goofs

The size of some of the words/letters engraved on David's father's tombstone grow larger from when the viewer first sees the stone, to when David visits it as a boy. See more »

Quotes

David Copperfield as a child: But why must I go away, Aunt Betsey? I want to stay with you, and Mr. Dick.
Aunt Betsy Trotwood: But you have to be educated, David, and take your place in the world. There isn't a finer school in Canterbury than Dr. Strong's. You must make us proud, David. Never be mean in anything. Never be false. Never be cruel. Avoid these three vices, and I can always be hopeful of you.
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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

Featured in The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Christian Men, Rejoice
(uncredited)
Music Traditional
Words attributed to Heinrich Suso (14th century)
Latin Translated to English by John M. Neale
Partially Sung and played during the opening credits
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User Reviews

 
Oliver tops even Fields
11 January 2010 | by (Oklahoma) – See all my reviews

Having always heard of David Copperfield, but never having read the novel nor seen the movie, I finally decided to check out the DVD. I found it quite enjoyable with an all-star cast and good Dickensian backdrops.

I have always loved W.C. Fields, but have to disagree with those who say he steals the show. Although he is perfect as Mcawber, to me it is Edna May Oliver who steals the picture. She is delightful as the dotty aunt – especially standing up to Mr. and Miss Murdstone with the loony backing of Mr. Dick (a charming Lennox Pawle).

Of course Lionel Barrymore always makes the most of a part and does so as the gruff fisherman Dan Peggotty. Freddie Bartholomew is excellent as the young David. Elizabeth Allen is gorgeous and delightful as David's mother, while Basil Rathbone and Violet Kemble Cooper are cold and devious as the step-father and his housekeeper sister.

The entire cast is excellent, including Jessie Ralph as Peggotty and Herbert Mundin as the 'willing' Barkis. My only complaint – and this is from one who hasn't read the book – is that the miscellaneous characters get a bit confusing. A guy who apparently had been nice to David in school runs off with and abandons the adopted daughter of Peggotty's brother. Then two men fight during a shipwreck and David sees his school friend dead. Perhaps things were better spelled out in the book.

In any event, it is a quite charming film. Oliver and Field are delightful, along with the rest of the talented cast. I doubt that as better adaptation could be done today.


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