Great Expectations (1946)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  26 December 1946 (UK)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 16,902 users  
Reviews: 89 user | 55 critic

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.



(by), (adapted for the screen by), 4 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Wager ...
Young Pip (as Anthony Wager)
Francis L. Sullivan ...
Martita Hunt ...
Ivor Barnard ...
Freda Jackson ...
Eileen Erskine ...
George Hayes ...
Hay Petrie ...
John Forrest ...


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 KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Great Thrills! Great Romance! Great Suspense! Great Adventure! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 December 1946 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Grandes esperanzas  »

Box Office


£350,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


First movie speaking role for Alec Guinness. See more »


When Joe drops his hat into a saucer during his visit with Pip and Herbert Pocket, the hat is crushed slightly and leaning towards Pip. In the next shot, the hat is in its original condition and is leaning towards Herbert. See more »


Mr. Jaggers: Take nothing on its looks, take everything on evidence. There is no better rule.
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Crazy Credits

The identity of the actress playing Molly is never revealed, because this would constitute a spoiler. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An Excellent Version of the Classic Novel
2 May 2002 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Few directors have ever matched David Lean's ability to bring great literary works to life on film, and this is one of his best productions. The Dickens novel itself is so good that even routine film adaptations of it are usually quite watchable, but this version is exceptional, with atmosphere, settings, photography, and characters that do full justice to the original. From the very beginning, with a wonderful realization of the graveyard scene, you are drawn into the world of Pip and the other characters, and feel that you can understand their concerns and dilemmas.

One of the things that makes "Great Expectations" such a classic story is that it adds some real depth to Dickens's usual slightly exaggerated characters, so that they are both memorable and thought-provoking. Characters such as Miss Havisham and Magwitch are interesting in their own right, besides serving as vital influences on Pip's life. Here the fine cast and directing help to realize the potential of the characters, making for an interesting story that also has some things to say. John Mills brings out Pip's innocence and earnestness very believably, and the supporting cast works quite well too. Some of them seem to be almost exactly what Dickens would have envisioned, such as Jean Simmons as the young Estella and Francis Sullivan as Jaggers (a role he also played in an earlier version).

This is exactly what a film version of a classic book should be, keeping the most important themes and events from the story and using the visuals to bring its world to life. It's an excellent movie that is enjoyable and nicely done in every respect.

77 of 81 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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40 year old Pip? VTPooh
Anyone have to watch this at school? lenny_rocks2678
The child actors are much better blue_bottle
Where's Miss Havisham's mansion? vspinnet
Wemmick is awesome. TheHighVoltageMessiah
Dalai Lama Quotation - Miss Havisham goodjourney
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