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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.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

Charles Dickens (by), Hugh Walpole (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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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:
Edna May Oliver ... Aunt Betsey
Elizabeth Allan ... Mrs. Copperfield
Jessie Ralph ... Nurse Peggotty
Harry Beresford ... Dr. Chillip
Freddie Bartholomew ... David - the Child
Hugh Walpole Hugh Walpole ... The Vicar
Basil Rathbone ... Mr. Murdstone
Herbert Mundin ... Barkis
John Buckler John Buckler ... Ham
Fay Chaldecott Fay Chaldecott ... Little Em'ly - the Child
Una O'Connor ... Mrs. Gummidge
Lionel Barrymore ... Dan Peggotty
Violet Kemble Cooper ... Jane Murdstone
Elsa Lanchester ... Clickett
Jean Cadell 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Metro·Goldwyn·Mayer's Greatest Motion Picture See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1935 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

David Copperfield See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

W.C. Fields was a Charles Dickens scholar in real life. See more »

Goofs

When adult David leaves Canterbury for London, a dark vertical line from a matte shot, corresponding with the right-hand side of the city gate, passes through all the characters on the stagecoach. See more »

Quotes

Dan Peggotty: [Peggotty sits down with David Copperfield to tell him the fate of Emily, who had run off with Steerforth] Master Davy... It was in Naples, by the sea. There he wearied of her, and left her. When she knowed she was abandoned, her heart died in her. That snake - his servant - insulted her. Told her he'd been left there by his master to marry her. Something cast off for a servant's use. She tried to die by her own hand. So he locked her up, imprisoned her. And she, my poor lass, when night come, ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The main title of the film shows the novel's full, extended title: "The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger", rather than the title by which it is more popularly known, "David Copperfield". Poster advertising for the film, as well as reviews and all popular references to it, used the shortened title, as did later television listings for it. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also shown in a computer colorized version. See more »


Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Partially Sung a cappella by W.C. Fields twice
Played a few times in the score
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User Reviews

Enjoyable Version of the Story, With a Very Good Cast
10 August 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

With a very good cast and a well-conceived adaptation of the novel, this version of "David Copperfield" is enjoyable in its own right, and it does a good job of preserving the most important themes of the original. The quirks and characteristics of most of the characters are captured effectively by the cast. Freddie Bartholomew is engaging in the title role, and the cast members as a whole work together and complement each other well.

It would be hard even to list all of the good performances. Edna May Oliver almost seems to have born to play Dickens's kind of strong-willed but caring female character. W.C. Fields is perhaps somewhat different from the novel's conception of Micawber, but he is quite entertaining, and he gets plenty of good lines. Characters like Uriah Heep, Mr. Dick, the Murdstones, and several others could have come straight from the novel. As the adult Copperfield, Frank Lawton is sometimes rather bland, but he is likable and is at least believable as Bartholomew's grown-up counterpart.

The story, of necessity, is episodic and moves quite quickly, usually including only the highlights of the narrative. But it does a very good job of this, making each sequence work well, and efficiently fitting each one into the story as a whole. George Cukor certainly deserves a good deal of credit for making it work and fit together so well. The settings, which are always important in a Dickens story, are also for the most part pretty good.

The original novel "David Copperfield" is such a fine classic of literature that no two-hour movie could be on quite the same level, but this version is quite enjoyable, and it does a very good job of depicting the atmosphere and most of the important events of the story.


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