Nine year-old orphan 'Pip' Pirrip lives with his harridan older sister and her hen-pecked but good-natured blacksmith husband Joe Gargery in rural, Regency-Period Britain. While visiting his mother's grave near the moors, Pip is set upon by Abel Magwitch, an escaped convict from a prison ship whose intimidating appearance causes Pip to steal food and drink from the Gargeries on his behalf. Although Magwitch had initially threatened Pip, a bond quickly forms between the hardened criminal and the boy, so when the convict is recaptured, he admits to stealing the food, but does not implicate his young accomplice. Shortly thereafter Pip receives an invitation from Mrs. Havisham, a wealthy recluse living in a crumbling mansion to play with her niece Estella. He finds her haughty and cruel but becomes attracted to her beauty as his visits continue. Some time later the Gargeries receive a visit from the condescending lawyer Mr. Javers, who offers Pip an education and allowance that will allow...Written by
In the end credits, Valerie Hobson, who played Estella as an adult in David Lean's 1946 version of "Great Expectations", is credited as having played Biddy, a rather prominent character, in this 1934 version, but Biddy never appears at all. See more »
This first sound adaptation of Dickens' 'Great Expectations' is sorely lacking anything connected with Charles Dickens. Phillips Holmes is a fine actor and he puts all that he can into the hackneyed script. Miss Havisham is played in a sentimental manner and she actually shows kindness. Jane Wyatt is also sympathetic! Her coldness, which she talks about with Miss Havisham, is lacking in action. This would all be fine if it were an original story but it is purportedly 'Great Expectations'! Stick with David Lean's far superior film and the BBC mini-series actually made in Britain. It is no wonder that Phillips Holmes left to make most of his final films in the UK after being disgusted with this film.
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