7.5/10
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David Copperfield (1935)

The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger (original title)
A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Aunt Betsey
... Mrs. Copperfield
... Nurse Peggotty
... Dr. Chillip
... David - the Child
Hugh Walpole ... The Vicar
... Mr. Murdstone
... Barkis
John Buckler ... Ham
Fay Chaldecott ... Little Em'ly - the Child
... Mrs. Gummidge
... Dan Peggotty
... Jane Murdstone
... Clickett
Jean Cadell ... Mrs. Micawber
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Storyline

When David's father dies, his mother remarries. His new stepfather Murdstone has a mean and cruel view on how to raise a child. When David's mother dies from grief, Murdstone sends David to London to work for a living. When David escapes to his aunt Betsey his life starts to get better. Written by Mattias Thuresson

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Star Cast of 65 Players See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

20 June 1935 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

David Copperfield  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The art-direction and composition of scenes draw heavily on the original 1850 illustrations by Phiz (pen-name of Hablot Knight Brown 1815-1882). This is most striking in the early scene in the church which replicates at least thirty characters and the architecture exactly. See more »

Goofs

The size of some of the words/letters engraved on David's father's tombstone grow larger from when the viewer first sees the stone, to when David visits it as a boy. See more »

Quotes

Nurse Peggotty: Don't be unhappy David.
David Copperfield as a child: I'll be happy Peggotty. And I'll see you sometimes.
[as Pegotty kisses David he notices Mr Barkis looking down at him from the cart]
David Copperfield as a child: Oh, but Peggotty, you haven't given Mr. Barkis his proper answer, you know.
Nurse Peggotty: Oh, bless the boy. Answer to what?
Barkis: Barkis is willing.
Nurse Peggotty: What would you say, darling, if I was to marry Mr. Barkis?
David Copperfield as a child: I should think it would be a very good thing. Then you would always have the horse and cart to bring you to see me in.
Nurse Peggotty: Oh, the sense of the boy!
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Crazy Credits

Film opens with the last sentence of Charles Dickens's preface to the original edition: "Like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts, a favourite child, and his name is David Copperfield." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Magic (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

To Market, To Market
(uncredited)
Traditional Nursery Rhyme
Partially Sung a cappella by Jessie Ralph
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Good Version of a Classic
15 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

This version of David COPPERFIELD is quite a good one, in that it does trim the 800 plus page novel down to reasonable coherence. There are some characters that one misses, but they are understandably cut due to length considerations. While Steerforth and his betrayal of the Peggoty Family is in the film (including the dual tragedy at it's conclusion), the sub-story of Little Em'ly's friend Martha and the business regarding Steerforth's mother, Rosa Dartle, and Mrs. Mowcher were dumped (Mrs. Mowcher would have been hard to cast). Pity, Mrs. Mowcher's famous speech to David about not confusing her physical attributes with her mental ones is missing. Also Steerforth's butler Littimer appears once, but the film does not get into the ironic coda of his imprisonment. While Uriah Heep's villainy against Mr. Wickfield and his clients is shown, his willingness to dig up dirt against other "enemies" is not shown. In particular his treatment of Dr. Strong (David's second schoolmaster), his young wife, and Jack Dalton is not developed (which is sad as it proves Mr. Dick is not simple minded).

But those are minor points really. The best jobs in the film are the work of the performers under George Cukor's direction: Edna Mae Oliver as the crusty, wise Aunt Betsy; Roland Young as the evil, greasy Uriah Heep (his best villain part); and W.C.Fields as Wilkins McCawber (Dicken's tribute to his lovable but improvident father) is superb - the one time his comic personae met the proper dramatic role; and Lionel Barrymore as Dan Pegotty determined to find his lost, ruined niece. Freddy Bartholemew's performance as young David is wonderful. But I must admit that Frank Lawson is a trifle colorless as the grown up David (although he has a funny moment at a dinner that Dora (Maureen O'Sullivan) tries to prepare). It is a weakness but a small weakness in a nearly perfect film.


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