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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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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 ...
...
Harry Beresford ...
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Hugh Walpole ...
The Vicar
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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

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Glorious Romance Reaches Your Heart! See more »


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:

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Company Credits

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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 O. Selznick immediately met opposition about making the film from his father-in-law and studio head, Louis B. Mayer. He distrusted classics as they invariably disappointed purists and bored those who hadn't read the original source material. After browbeating Mayer for over a year, finally he relented and granted Selznick a $1 million budget to make the film. 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

Aunt Betsy Trotwood: Now that there's a child coming, what will you call your girl?
Mrs. Clara Copperfield: Perhaps it will be a boy.
Aunt Betsy Trotwood: Don't contradict. I have a pre-sentiment that it will be a girl. And I shall be her godmother. She shall be christened Betsy Trotwood Copperfield. She must be well brought up, I shall see to that. Far better than my impractical nephew would have done.
Mrs. Clara Copperfield: Mr. Copperfield has been dead only six months. It is cruel of you to speak unkindly of him to me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Biography: Jennifer Jones: Portrait of a Lady (2001) 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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