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 »
This stunning adaptation of Dickens' classic tale was captured live from the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End. Although Great Expectations has been adapted for film on two separate ... See full summary »
Charles Dickens' classic tale of Pip, a poor orphan who befriends an escaped convict and who grows up in the company of a bitter old woman, Miss Havisham, and her haughty young ward, ... See full summary »
Young Pip is expected to become a blacksmith, but, hating the soot and smoke, he secretly dreams of becoming a gentleman. When he meets the mysterious Miss Havisham and her haughty niece ... See full summary »
Noel Coward's attempt to show how the ordinary people lived between the wars. Just after WWI the Gibbons family moves to a nice house in the suburbs. An ordinary sort of life is led by the ... 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
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
This is very close to being one of the most perfect films ever made.
Every actor performs at his best - making every word and inflection count - and the script is perfect, the direction is perfect and the photography is excellent.
I am astounded by what Antony Wager, the young actor portraying Pip as a youngster, is able to deliver.
I only have one "but" - while Jean Simmons is perfect as the young Estella, I find Valerie Hobson - as the only member of the entire cast
miscast as the older Estella. I have researched this a little and
have since found that she was married to the film's producer.
I wonder whom David Lean had been planning to use? I have been thinking about which actress, amongst those of the period who would have been available, would have been good for the role. The obvious choice is Vivien Leigh and another is Margaret Leighton.
Two years later David Lean made Oliver Twist, which, while good, is a very different kind of film. I don't really feel it lives up to the quality of Great Expectations.
I have a daughter in her early 20's. She and I saw Great Expectations on TV years ago and she still has very fond memories of it today and rushed to borrow the DVD I just purchased. She otherwise abhors "old films" and in particular those in B+W.
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