Great Expectations

In this Dickens adaptation, orphan Pip discovers through lawyer Mr. Jaggers that a mysterious benefactor wishes to ensure that he becomes a gentleman. Reunited with his childhood patron, Miss Havisham, and his first love, the beautiful but emotionally cold Estella, he discovers that the elderly spinster has gone mad from having been left at the altar as a young woman, and has made her charge into a warped, unfeeling heartbreaker.

Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • Pip: John Mills
  • Estella: Valerie Hobson
  • Young Pip: Tony Wager
  • Young Estella: Jean Simmons
  • Joe Gargery: Bernard Miles
  • Mr. Jaggers: Francis L. Sullivan
  • Abel Magwitch: Finlay Currie
  • Miss Havisham: Martita Hunt
  • Herbert Pocket: Alec Guinness
  • Mr. Wemmick: Ivor Barnard
  • Mrs. Joe: Freda Jackson
  • Biddy: Eileen Erskine
  • Convict: George Hayes
  • Uncle Pumblechook: Hay Petrie
  • The Pale Young Gentleman: John Forrest
  • Bentley Drummle: Torin Thatcher
  • The Aged Parent: O.B. Clarence
  • Mr. Wopsle: John Burch
  • The Sergeant: Richard George
  • Mrs. Wopsle: Grace Denbigh Russell
  • Sarah Pocket: Everley Gregg
  • Relation: Anne Holland
  • Mike: Frank Atkinson
  • Night Porter: Gordon Begg
  • Mrs. Whimple: Edie Martin
  • The Dancing Master: Walford Hyden
  • Galley Steersman: Roy Arthur

Film Crew:

  • Sound Editor: Winston Ryder
  • Novel: Charles Dickens
  • Art Direction: Wilfred Shingleton
  • Producer: Ronald Neame
  • Casting: Maude Spector
  • Assistant Director: George Pollock
  • Director: David Lean
  • Executive Producer: Anthony Havelock-Allan
  • Editor: Jack Harris
  • Costume Design: Sophie Devine
  • Screenplay: Kay Walsh
  • Director of Photography: Guy Green
  • Assistant Costume Designer: Margaret Furse
  • Sound Recordist: Stanley Lambourne
  • Conductor: Walter Goehr
  • Sound Recordist: Gordon K. McCallum
  • Production Design: John Bryan
  • Screenplay: Cecil McGivern
  • Makeup Artist: George Blackler
  • Camera Operator: Robert Huke
  • Makeup Artist: Ernest Gasser
  • Casting: Pat MacDonnell
  • Casting: Adele Raymond
  • Continuity: Maggie Unsworth
  • Choreographer: Suria Magito
  • Production Manager: Norman Spencer
  • Boom Operator: George Paternoster
  • Focus Puller: Jim Body

Movie Reviews:

  • 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…!

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