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
Noël Coward's attempt to show how the ordinary people lived between the wars. Just after World War I, the Gibbons family moves to a nice house in the suburbs. An ordinary sort of life is ... See full summary »
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 the 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 ...Written by
Sir David Lean was not a particularly well-read man, and only became aware of the power of Charles Dickens' story when his wife Kay Walsh dragged him along to a stage production of "Great Expectations" in 1939. Incidentally, playing Herbert Pocket in that production, was a young Sir Alec Guinness, whom Lean subsequently cast in the same role in the movie version. Aside from bit parts, it was Guinness' first major screen role, and was also the first of six movies he made with Lean. Martita Hunt was also in the stage production, playing Miss Havisham, a role she reprised in this movie. See more »
Early in the movie, when Mrs. Joe is beating the young Pip, she is clearly not touching him, just swinging the switch up and down behind him. See more »
In trying to become a gentleman, I had succeeded in becoming a snob.
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Martita Hunt plays Miss Havisham, and receives screen credit for it, but she can also be heard as the voice of the cow who, in Pip's mind, disapproves of him stealing food to give to Magwitch ("Somebody else's pork pie!"). She receives no screen credit for playing the voice of the cow. See more »
In some prints, after the fifteen minute "convict episode" at the beginning of the film ends, we hear the adult Pip's (John Mills) voice-over saying, "it was a year later", as Mrs. Joe arrives home in the carriage. As now usually shown, there is no voice-over in this sequence. See more »
Great version of the Dickens novel...beautiful B&W photography...
The Dickens novel is given classic treatment in David Lean's "Great Expectations". The opening scene is so atmospheric it sets the tone for the convoluted story to follow. The earlier scenes with young Pip are the most enjoyable for me--especially those involving Estella (Jean Simmons) and Miss Havisham (Martita Hunt).
Brilliant performances from all concerned. John Mills is wholly satisfying as the adult Pip and Valerie Hobson as the adult Estella--but it is Martita Hunt's Miss Havisham, sitting among the ruined finery of a wedding that never took place, everything exactly the way it was on that fateful day--and waging war on men ever since--that lingers in the memory.
Some of the best black and white photography seen until that time and an absorbing story with twists and surprises that have logical explanations. Compares favorably with the other great British film, "Oliver Twist" and, by all means, recommended viewing.
Not only worthy of its Best Picture nomination, it should have won over "Gentleman's Agreement" which now seems preachy and artificial.
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