Henry Hobson (Charles Laughton) 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
Just after World War I, the Gibbons family moves to a nice house in the suburbs. An ordinary sort of life is led by the family through the years with average number of triumphs and disasters until the outbreak of World War II.
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 Estella, 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
This film has a 100% rating based on 27 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. See more »
In the final scene when Pip is persuading Estella to leave Satis House with him, a 'Chad' is clearly visible drawn on the screen behind him (Chads were a popular form of graffiti in the 1940s - a character with a big nose looking over a wall). Chad is a British term; the American equivalent would be Kilroy, as in 'Kilroy was here'. See more »
The identity of the actress playing Molly is never revealed, because this would constitute a spoiler. 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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