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Great Expectations (1946)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  26 December 1946 (UK)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 15,664 users  
Reviews: 90 user | 54 critic

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

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Title: Great Expectations (1946)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 December 1946 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Grandes Esperanças  »

Box Office

Budget:

£350,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Lean was not a particularly well-read man, and only became aware of the power of Charles Dickens' story when his wife Kay Walsh dragged him along to a theatrical production of "Great Expectations" in 1939. Incidentally, playing Herbert Pocket in this production, was a young Alec Guinness, whom Lean subsequently cast in the same role in the film version. Aside from bit parts, it was Guinness' first major screen role and was also the first of six films he made with Lean. Martita Hunt was also in the stage production, playing Miss Havisham, a role she reprised in the film. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie, when Mrs. Joe is beating the young Pip, she is clearly not touching him, just swinging the switch up and down behind him. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Jaggers: Take nothing on its looks, take everything on evidence. There is no better rule.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Spoofed in Ratataa (1956) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A miracle of invention, economy and detail
25 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic novel, directed by David Lean from a script he co-adapted, and photographed by Guy Green, is a miracle of invention, economy and detail. Every piece on every set; every line of dialogue; every gesture and line reading of every actor; every black-and-white frame of this beautiful film seems perfect. Dickens's characters, situations and themes are all vividly dramatized. Pip, Pocket, Joe, Mr. Jaggers, Magwitch and—unforgettably—Miss Havisham, are all here and all ready to move, amuse, frighten and entertain anyone willing to spend time with them.

I haven't read the book since I was thirteen. I vividly remember Miss Havisham, but I don't remember noting the contrast between her and Magwitch, the ex-convict. She becomes bitter and vengeful after a great heartbreak; he becomes great of heart through one small act of kindness. That's what made the movie for me this time; but clearly there's richness to spare for future viewings.

There is so much here not only for Dickens fans, but for anyone who loves movies. I especially liked that shot from Pip's point of view as he becomes sick. It's the kind of crazy effect beloved of filmmakers, too; but I love it not so much for itself, but for being the right shot at the right moment. Some directors hide, others show off, but directors like David Lean know how to do both and know when to do which.


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