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Great Expectations (1998)

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Modernization of Charles Dickens classic story finds the hapless Finn as a painter in New York City pursuing his unrequited and haughty childhood love.

Director:

Alfonso Cuarón

Writers:

Charles Dickens (novel), Mitch Glazer (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,974 ( 2)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethan Hawke ... Finnegan Bell
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Estella
Hank Azaria ... Walter Plane
Chris Cooper ... Joe
Anne Bancroft ... Ms. Dinsmoor
Robert De Niro ... Prisoner / Lustig
Josh Mostel ... Jerry Ragno
Kim Dickens ... Maggie
Nell Campbell ... Erica Thrall
Gabriel Mann ... Owen (as Gabriel Mick)
Jeremy James Kissner ... Finnegan at Age 10
Raquel Beaudene ... Estella at Age 10
Stephen Spinella ... Carter Macleish
Marla Sucharetza ... Ruth Shepard
Isabelle Anderson Isabelle Anderson ... Lois Pope
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Storyline

Based on Charles Dickens' timeless tale, this is a story of the love of a man for an unreachable woman. Updated to modern day New York City, the story concerns a man of modest background who falls in love with a rich girl. But when a mysterious benefactor greenlights the man to make his dreams come true, everything done has the ultimate goal of making Estella fall in love with him... Written by Steve Richer <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | gulf coast | florida | lawyer | girl | See All (41) »

Taglines:

Let desire be your destiny.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Portuguese

Release Date:

30 January 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Great Expectations See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,593,290, 1 February 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$26,333,044, 29 March 1998

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$55,494,066
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main character is named "Pip" in Charles Dickens' novel. But it was felt that the name would sound strange in modern times. The character was named "Finn" after Ethan Hawke's dog. See more »

Goofs

When Estella comes to Finn's hotel room to have him paint her, the soles of his feet are black. When Finn chases after her and gets into the taxi, his feet are clean. See more »

Quotes

Uncle Joe: Nothing harder than being given your chance. At least, that's what I hear.
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Crazy Credits

The credits are accompanied by images of all the artwork drawn by Finnegan Bell (Ethan Hawke). They run the entire duration of credits. See more »


Soundtracks

Bésame Mucho
Written by Consuelo Velázquez
Performed by Ray Conniff
Courtesy of Columbia Records
by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
A Creative "Attempt" at a Literary Masterpiece
16 November 1999 | by marty-133See all my reviews

Hollywood and the movie industry have made many bold moves over the past decade in bringing to life old classics. None however have been done more boldly than the remoulding of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and Charles Dicken's Great Expectations. Both are daring attempts to rebirth a storyline from the distant past, as a tale told in our modern times. I say attempt because in both cases, as good a job the cast and crew did, there was something lacking in these new renditions. Great Expectations, the movie, lacks many qualities that make the novel a success. It cannot be said to be a total loss, the basic elements are intact, it is only the embellishments Charles Dickens developed in the novel to make the story more realistic that are missing.

One success, I must admit that I observed while watching the film was the rich visual setting. Although not taking presented in the same place, or era Great Expectations, the movie, is a feast for the eyes. It captivates the mind with beautiful shots of the rural Florida coast life, and yet still retains the jumbled, rundown atmosphere that is described of Pip's small birthplace in a small English town. These qualities of squalor are evident in the impoverished coastal fishing village of the movie. The best achievement in cinematography, is the in-depth views of Pardiso Perduto, a sister mansion to the decaying Satis house of the novel. Even the scenes of New York, the city of "expectations" for our youthful protagonist, Finn, has contrasting aspects of rich beauty and unsightly slums that the London of the nineteen century demonstrated. This is the most major achievement for the film; to capture on film a most ingenious modern equivalent of Charles Dicken's astute descriptions.

Unlike some attempts to revamp literary successes the movie at least retains some of the dignity of Dicken's work. The core of his novel is intact within the screenplay. Also many ingenious ideas were used in some plot changes, and cinematography. Overall it is not a bad representation of the novel.


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