Henry Hobson is a successful bootmaker, a widower and a tyrannical father of three daughters. The girls each want to leave their father by getting married, but Henry refuses because marriage traditions require him to pay out settlements.
Brenda de Banzie
After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.
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 »
When Mr Jaggers first speaks to Pip and Joe about Pip's 'Great Expectaions', he empties a small bag of coins onto the table before him and the coins sprawl out. However, in the next shot of the table the coins have been confined into a much smaller pile. See more »
Now, Pip: put the case that this legal advisor has often seen children tried at the criminal bar. Put the case that he has known them to be habitually imprisoned, whipped, neglected, cast out, neglected, cast out, qualified in all ways for the hangman, and growing up to be hanged. Put the case that here was one pretty little child out of the heap that could be saved. Put that last case to yourself very carefully, Pip.
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The identity of the actress playing Molly is never revealed, because this would constitute a spoiler. See more »
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.
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