Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. Oliver is taken in by the pickpocket ... See full summary »
Henry Hobson runs a successful bootmaker's shop in nineteenth-century Salford. A widower with a weakness for the pub opposite, he tries forcefully to run the lives of his three unruly ... See full summary »
Brenda de Banzie
The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during the First World War and then the October Revolution.
Pip, a good-natured, gullible young orphan, lives with kind blacksmith Joe Gargery and his bossy, abusive wife 'Mrs. Joe'. When the boy finds two hidden escaped galley convicts, he obeys under -probably unnecessary- threat of a horrible death to bring the criminals food he must steal at peril of more caning from the battle-ax. Just when Pip fears to get it really good while they have guests, a soldier comes for Joe who takes Pip along as assistant to work on the chains of escaped galley-convicts, who are soon caught. The better-natured one takes the blame for the stolen food. Later Pip is invited to became the playmate of Estelle, the equally arrogant adoptive daughter of gloomy, filthy rich Miss Havisham at her estate, who actually has 'permission' to break the kind kid's heart; being the only pretty girl he ever saw, she wins his heart forever, even after a mysterious benefactor pays through a lawyer for his education and a rich allowance, so he can become a snob in London, by now '... Written by
David Lean wanted his film to have a feeling of heightened realism. Working closely in conjunction with art director John Bryan and cinematographer Guy Green, he employed several tricks, such as forced perspective, to achieve this effect. The famous opening shot in the graveyard, for instance, features a brooding church in the background which in reality was only 3 meters high. See more »
In the final scene when Pip is persuading Estella to leave Satis House with him, a 'Chad' is clearly visible drawn on the screen behind him (Chads were a popular form of graffiti in the 1940s - a character with a big nose looking over a wall) See more »
[welcoming Pip to her decaying mansion]
Come nearer. Let me look at you. Come close. Look at me. You aren't afraid of a woman who has never seen the sun since before you were born?
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Martita Hunt plays Miss Havisham, and receives screen credit for it, but she can also be heard as the voice of the cow who, in Pip's mind, disapproves of him stealing food to give to Magwitch ("Somebody else's pork pie!"). She receives no screen credit for playing the voice of the cow. See more »
I came to watch this film with no knowledge of the book, having never read it and only the vaguest knowledge of a couple of the characters - Magwitch the escaped convict and the jilted Miss Haversham. I had absolutely no idea how events would turn out or what would happen to the characters involved. Good for me - no baggage!!
Taken, then, in its own right I can say that I was quite staggered at the overall quality of this film in every respect and from the very opening shots: The acting, cinematography, costumes, sets, lighting, effects etc. etc. were all perfect and gave no hint of the film's vintage. Surprise surprise (or maybe no surprise), the storyline was quite superb - the ripe 'Dickensian' dialogue was a pleasure to hear and the plot was intelligent and interesting while maintaining a steady pace throughout.
All in all, a very pleasant experience for me and I'm glad it eventually found its way onto my radar!
So - a timeless masterpiece in my opinion and well worth watching by anyone looking for a break from modern CGI-laden disaster/action movies or who do not want to see yet another instance of the Americans saving the world from extra-terrestrial menace.
Nine out of ten without a moment's hesitation....
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