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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 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 now '... 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

Tony Wager and Jean Simmons both receive "introducing" credits. See more »

Goofs

When Pip goes home to his rooms before Magwitch returns, two clocks are heard striking the hour outside. The second one plays Westminster chimes. Big Ben in Westminster was the first to have these (hence the name) and this wasn't built until 1859, some years after the action. See more »

Quotes

Pip: [narrating] In trying to become a gentleman, I had succeeded in becoming a snob.
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 »

Connections

Version of Great Expectations (1934) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An Excellent Version of the Classic Novel
2 May 2002 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

Few directors have ever matched David Lean's ability to bring great literary works to life on film, and this is one of his best productions. The Dickens novel itself is so good that even routine film adaptations of it are usually quite watchable, but this version is exceptional, with atmosphere, settings, photography, and characters that do full justice to the original. From the very beginning, with a wonderful realization of the graveyard scene, you are drawn into the world of Pip and the other characters, and feel that you can understand their concerns and dilemmas.

One of the things that makes "Great Expectations" such a classic story is that it adds some real depth to Dickens's usual slightly exaggerated characters, so that they are both memorable and thought-provoking. Characters such as Miss Havisham and Magwitch are interesting in their own right, besides serving as vital influences on Pip's life. Here the fine cast and directing help to realize the potential of the characters, making for an interesting story that also has some things to say. John Mills brings out Pip's innocence and earnestness very believably, and the supporting cast works quite well too. Some of them seem to be almost exactly what Dickens would have envisioned, such as Jean Simmons as the young Estella and Francis Sullivan as Jaggers (a role he also played in an earlier version).

This is exactly what a film version of a classic book should be, keeping the most important themes and events from the story and using the visuals to bring its world to life. It's an excellent movie that is enjoyable and nicely done in every respect.


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