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David Copperfield (1970)

The legendary novel by Charles Dickens comes to life in this colorful interpretation directed by Delbert Mann.

Director:

Delbert Mann

Writer:

Jack Pulman (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Attenborough ... Mr. Tungay
Cyril Cusack ... Barkis
Edith Evans ... Aunt Betsey
Pamela Franklin ... Dora Spenlow
Susan Hampshire ... Agnes Wickfield
Wendy Hiller ... Mrs. Micawber
Ron Moody ... Uriah Heep
Laurence Olivier ... Mr. Creakle
Robin Phillips ... David Copperfield
Michael Redgrave ... Mr. Peggotty
Ralph Richardson ... Mr. Micawber
Emlyn Williams ... Mr. Dick
Sinéad Cusack ... Emily
James Donald ... Mr. Murdstone
James Hayter ... Porter
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Storyline

The legendary novel by Charles Dickens comes to life in this colorful interpretation directed by Delbert Mann.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Charles Dickens' Immortal Story of a Young Man's Journey to Maturity

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 March 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charles Dickens' David Copperfield See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (as Technicolor ®)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final television appearance of James Donald (Mr. Murdstone) before he died on August 3, 1993, at the age of seventy-six. See more »

Crazy Credits

Credits look like the original illustrations by Phiz, but are in fact pastiches by Mel Isaacson using the faces of the actors in their roles. See more »

Connections

Version of Little Emily (1911) See more »

Soundtracks

Wedding March
(uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worthwhile Adaptation
13 September 2004 | by philip-1See all my reviews

Delbert Mann's TV movie of David Copperfield is unique among film adaptations in that it tells the entire story from a series of flashbacks rather than an ongoing narrative. It works extremely well, adds to the emotional punch of the entire story, further illuminates Dickens' wonderful characters and is aided by a haunting musical score by composer Malcolm Arnold.

It also boasts a pretty fabulous cast including Dame Edith Evans, Susan Hampshire, Richard Attenborough, Ron Moody, Wendy Hiller, Lawrence Olivier and Sir Ralph Richardson; a veritable who's who of the finest British actors of the 20th century! Some have commented that Robin Phillips is bland as the title character. I couldn't disagree more. He is certainly the most cerebral, tortured David in any of the adaptations and also cuts a handsome figure in the movie. In short, he's splendid.

Now to the currently available DVD quality. I certainly agree that it is not good. The colors are a bit washed out, there is some clipped editing and a few moments of nasty film print. That being said, it is far from being unwatchable as some others have suggested. The musical soundtrack comes through fine and the dialogue is clear. And as much as I would welcome a digital restoration of the film, it's TV origins suggest that this would be unlikely.

Frankly, having the movie on DVD at a bargain price is blessing enough. I highly recommend it to those interested in an outstanding version of the story and willing to put up with technical imperfections.


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