IMDb > Great Expectations: The Untold Story (1987) (TV)

Great Expectations: The Untold Story (1987) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


User Rating:
6.8/10   15 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 25% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Great Expectations: The Untold Story on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 February 1987 (Australia) See more »
This very different version of the Charles Dickens timeless story set in the mid-19th century follows the adventures of Magwitch... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Imaginative tale of Magwitch's exploits in Australia See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order)
John Stanton ... Abel Magwitch

Sigrid Thornton ... Bridget Tankerton

Robert Coleby ... Roger Compeyson
Noel Ferrier ... Jaggers

Todd Boyce ... Pip
Anne-Louise Lambert ... Estella
Ron Haddrick ... Tankerton

Bruce Spence ... Joe Gargery
Jill Forster ... Miss Havisham
Gerard Kennedy ... Tooth
Dan Simmonds ... Young Pip (as Danny Simmonds)
Phillip Hinton ... Cpl. Marley
Serge Lazareff ... Courtney
Tim Elliott ... Capt. Fitzwater
Tony Wager ... Sergeant
Brian Moll ... Uncle Pumblechook
Alexander Hay ... Judge
Alfred Bell ... Jessop
Annie Byron ... Mrs Joe Gargery
Richard Morgan ... Pryce
Paul Mason ... Rev. Thwaites
Les Foxcroft ... Gaoler

Steven Grives ... Sedley
Robin Bowering ... Milestone
Tony Blackett ... Peabody
Gerry Skilton ... Bond
Rob Thomas ... Smith
Peter Turnbull ... Fyfe

Michael Caton ... Travis
Peter Ford ... 2nd Bushranger

Martin Vaughan ... Daniel
Alan Tobin ... Mr. Wemmick
David Sandford ... Herbert Pocket
Lee Biolos ... Drummel (as Leigh Biolos)
Gail Watson ... Mrs. Thwaites
Basil Clarke ... Clergyman
Dick Moss ... Grog Tent barman
Craig Ashley ... Drinking Miner
Nik Forster ... Drunk Miner
Norman Hodges ... Publican
John Higgins ... Poker Player
John Morris ... Constable johns
Alan Faulkner ... Overseer
Jennifer Hagan ... Molly

Nell Schofield ... Biddy
John Sommerville ... River Sergeant
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tina Maria Kennedy ... Woman at ball

Directed by
Tim Burstall 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Tim Burstall 
Charles Dickens  characters (uncredited)

Produced by
Ray Alchin .... producer
Tom Burstall .... producer
Antony I. Ginnane .... producer
Sigrid Thornton .... associate producer
Original Music by
George Dreyfus 
Cinematography by
Peter Hendry 
Film Editing by
Tony Kavanagh 
Lynn Solly 
Costume Design by
Quentin Hole 
Production Management
Tony Kavanagh .... post-production supervisor
Dennis Kiely .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wayne Barry .... first assistant director
Sound Department
Peter Barber .... sound recordist
David Pearson .... boom operator
Fabian Sanjurjo .... sound editing assistant
Lawrie Silvestrin .... sound editor (1986)
Peter Townend .... sound editor (1986)
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Foster .... focus puller
Roger Lanser .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Nicole La Macchia .... negative cutting assistant (as Nicole LaMacchia)
Wayne Pashley .... assistant editor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
102 min | Brazil:310 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Imaginative tale of Magwitch's exploits in Australia, 20 March 2001
Author: Filmtribute from United Kingdom

This $6,000,000 collaboration between Tim and Tom Burstall (father and son), and the ABC, extends the classic Charles Dickens story of the young orphan who helps an escaped convict and is later rewarded by a mysterious benefactor. The story imaginatively explores the central character of Abel Magwitch and his Australian adventures. The main characters are well played, with John Stanton (Phar Lap) creating a very believable and humane Magwitch, who manages a very credible transformation from the rough convict who initially terrifies Pip at his parents' graveside, to ultimately become his generous benefactor.

The themes of class and prejudice; justice, punishment, transportation and penal colonies; fortune and coincidence, destiny and fate; morality and kindness rewarded are all covered. The story encompasses Magwitch's transportation to Australia, his imprisonment there and eventual service to a landowner where he is reunited with his old adversary Compeyson from 'the old country'. We are shown how Magwitch came by his own lucky fortune and accumulation of wealth, and his subsequent determination to benefit his young helper on the Kent marshes. The ending is more upbeat than Dickens, who always depicts life with more sorrow than joy, mirroring his own experiences.

It is interesting to see an Australian production based on an English story and, if some of the characterisations seemed a little quirky to me I am probably unfairly comparing them to British productions. We should remember that Dickens wrote about odd people at a time when eccentricities were more marked and tolerated, despite the accompanying social ills, than today where modern life attempts to iron out abnormalities in the name of progress.

It seems a shame to me that the film version, edited by Hemdale Distributors out of the original ABC series, omits the adult Estella's story, as there are too few opportunities to see performances by the wonderful Anne Louise Lambert (Picnic at Hanging Rock). The brief glimpse of Estella dancing with Pip illustrates a classical beauty to rival any other portrayal I have seen.

I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in Great Expectations, to broaden their perspective on the story.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (1 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Great Expectations: The Untold Story (1987)


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Great Expectations Great Expectations Australia The Hard Word It Always Rains on Sunday
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits IMDb Drama section
IMDb Australia section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.