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David Copperfield (1935)

The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger (original title)
A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.

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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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David - the Child
Hugh Walpole ...
The Vicar
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John Buckler ...
Ham
Fay Chaldecott ...
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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:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 June 1935 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

David Copperfield  »

Filming Locations:

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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

Both Frank Lawton and Hugh Williams, who played good friends in the movie, were born in 1904 and died in 1969. Steerforth is supposed to be about six years older than David. 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

Mr. Micawber: Copperfield, you perceive before you, the shattered fragments of a temple once call Man. The blossom is blighted. The leaf is withered. The God of Day goes down upon the dreary scene. In short, I am forever floored.
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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

Version of Armchair Theatre: Young David (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

To Market, To Market
(uncredited)
Traditional Nursery Rhyme
Partially Sung a cappella by Jessie Ralph
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User Reviews

Masterpiece of film-making brings Dickens' novel to life...
28 May 2001 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Of all of the films directed by George Cukor, I think this is his finest achievement, helped in no small measure by the perfect casting of all the Dickens characters.

Freddie Bartholomew is flawless as the young David. Edna May Oliver as his stern but loving Aunt Betsy Trotwood gives her usual sharp characterization and nearly steals the first half of the movie. As for Mr. Murdstone, Basil Rathbone is the perfect embodiment of that brutally wicked man. Born to play Mr. Micawber is W. C. Fields, so uncannily right that it almost seems as if Dickens had him in mind when he wrote the character!

Very atmospheric, so much so that it seems almost incredible that an American movie company could have crafted this gem. One would think the British would have beat us to it--but Dickens would have approved of this version, I'm sure.

The only drawback is the length and the scenes involving David's wife, Dora, as played by Maureen O'Sullivan with a saccharine sweetness that becomes cloying at times. (Thank God she didn't play Melanie in 'GWTW'). Some of the acting is a bit florid but to be expected when you consider this was made in 1935. Roland Young is well cast as Uriah Heep.

Highly recommended. Anyone who cherishes the Dickens novel will not be disappointed. The only flaw is that the story has been compressed in order to limit the running time to two hours and ten minutes and it shows. All the essential characters remain but some of them have little dimension because of time constraints.


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