Great Expectations

Great Expectations (1946-12-26)

Romance | Drama | History |

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  • Status: Released
  • Runtime: 118m
  • Popularity: 22.127
  • Language: en
  • Budget: $0
  • Revenue: $0
  • Vote Average: 7.231
  • Vote Count: 260

  • CinemaSerf

    If I were ever to be given the chance to be a fly-on-the-wall at a conversation, then It'd have to be one with Charles Dickens and David Lean. How the latter managed to visualise and dramatise so expertly the finely honed characters of the former is astonishing. In this, possibly less well known story - "Pip" (Tony Wager) encounters an escaped convict in an eery graveyard when he goes to tend his late mother's grave.. Despite his fear, he helps feed the old man and free him from his chains. As he ages, he is summoned by a local, wealthy, spinster "Miss Havisham" (a wonderfully imperious Martita Hunt) who wants him to befriend the truly unpleasant, spoilt, "Estella" (Jean Simmons). Skip forwards a few years and "Pip" (now, John Mills) is rescued from his rural existence by a lawyer, the ever avuncular, sagacious, Francis L. Sullivan who advises him that he has is to receive an income and an inheritance, from an unknown benefactor, that will change his life - which it duly does! Soon, he and new room-mate "Mr. Pocket" (Alec Guinness) are settled into their new lives of plenty. Dickens' had such a wonderfully alliterative way with his characters - "Pip", "Pocket", "Jaggers", "Pumblechook" & "Magwitch" - they allow so much more scope for your imagination to define the characters, their traits and flaws and Lean manages to use light, shade, an understated Walter Goehr score and a really splendid ensemble effort from all concerned on screen to really draw us into the plot as "Pip" edges nearer to finding out where his largesse is coming from and, of course, how his relationship with a now adult "Estella" (Valerie Hobson) might develop/conclude/collapse. Dickens wasn't a man prone to excessive sentiment in his stories, and for that I am externally grateful - and you know, well, that the good times never last for too long...!