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Great Expectations (1946)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Mystery | 22 May 1947 (USA)
A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Director:

David Lean

Writers:

Charles Dickens (by), David Lean (adapted for the screen by) | 4 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Mills ... Pip
Tony Wager ... Young Pip (as Anthony Wager)
Valerie Hobson ... Estella
Jean Simmons ... Young Estella
Bernard Miles ... Joe Gargery
Francis L. Sullivan ... Mr. Jaggers
Finlay Currie ... Magwitch
Martita Hunt ... Miss Havisham
Alec Guinness ... Herbert Pocket
Ivor Barnard ... Mr. Wemmick
Freda Jackson ... Mrs.Joe
Eileen Erskine ... Biddy
George Hayes ... Convict
Hay Petrie Hay Petrie ... Uncle Pumblechook
John Forrest John Forrest ... The Pale Young Gentleman
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Storyline

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 KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

NOW The Screen Fulfills Your Greatest Expectations...In ACTION! In ADVENTURE! In ROMANCE! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 May 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Grandes esperanzas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£350,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cineguild See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This movie is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #31. See more »

Goofs

As Joe says goodbye to Pip after dinner with Herbert, Joe's fake eyebrows are loose. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Jaggers: I have a pretty large experience of boys and you're a bad lot of fellows.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Featured in Pinewood: 80 Years of Movie Magic (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A great film
21 June 2002 | by jonomichelSee all my reviews

When David Lean directed Great Expectations, he used black and white, even though color was available. From the very first scene, you see that the black and white brings out a quality in the film, that wouldn't have been achieved with color. The black and white makes the film seem simpler than it really is. Great Expectations is a film, which ends very nicely for the characters, but their journeys throughout the film are not.

Pip sees himself for the rude snob he became, and Estella prides herself for being a heartless, ruthless bitch (for lack of a better word), and Miss Havisham is cold, and simply out to destroy men. The only person in this film who is not arrogant, or evil is the simple Joe.

I am far from a film expert. Infact, I only watched this movie because I am studying Great Expectations at school. However, after hours of in-depth discussion, there is so much more to this film than meets the eye. My favorite scenes are those in the first quarter of an hour. Lean's use of Silhouettes gives the search for the two escaped convicts a feel of war, and creates an atmosphere of tension very well. It also introduces the key characters in the story excellently.

As far as the story goes, I found it much easier on the head to watch than the book was to read. While it wasn't close in length to books i've read before (I think it's shorter than my little brother's "Harry Potter" books), it took me close to 30 hours to read. The movie compacts the majority of the book into 2 hours of film. The exclusion of characters like Orlick I have no problem with, as they are nearly completely irrelevant to the story. Lean explains the death of Pip's sister in less than 10 seconds, while the book takes somewhere in the region of 10 pages.

The acting is excellent. Alec Guinness was the only actor I had heard of, and that was only thanks to George Lucas. John Mills was interesting to watch, and after seeing the movie, I didn't know weather to like Pip for how he ended up, or to see him for the nasty person he had changed into (and come back from).

Only when watching it for the second time, did i realise the thought behind the direction. When Magwitch reappears, the atmosphere from their first meeting is created exactly; even the wind sounds the same. The sets were also incredible, and remade 19th century England perfectly. Ms. Havisham's `Statis House' was particularly memorable for me, as it is exactly how I pictured it from reading.

David Lean's Great Expectations set a benchmark in 1946 for great movies. It was nominated and won several Oscars, and is still enjoyed today. Every aspect of this film was enjoyable, it tells a great story, and if you look closer, you will appreciate the art of film making a little more, as I have.


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