Archive for December 18th, 2008


by Allan Fish

(UK 1946 118m) DVD1/2

Back to let in the sunlight

p  Anthony Havelock-Allan  d  David Lean  w  Ronald Neame, Anthony Havelock-Allan, Kay Walsh, David Lean, Cecil McGivern  novel  Charles Dickens  ph  Guy Green  ed  Jack Harris  m  Walter Goehr  art  John Bryan, Wilfred Shingleton  cos  Sophia Harris

John Mills (Pip), Valerie Hobson (Estella), Finlay Currie (Abel Magwitch), Martita Hunt (Miss Havisham), Alec Guinness (Herbert Pocket), Anthony Wager (young Pip), Jean Simmons (young Estella), Bernard Miles (Joe Gargery), Francis L.Sullivan (Jaggers), Freda Jackson (Mrs Joe), Hay Petrie (Pumblechook), Ivor Barnard (Wemmick), Torin Thatcher (Bentley Drummle), Eileen Erskine (Biddy), O.B.Clarence (“Aged P” Wemmick), Edie Martin (Mrs Wimple), John Forrest (Young Herbert),

Among the many tribute programmes held at the time of David Lean’s death in 1991, one always sticks in my mind.  One of his younger admirers related the tale of how he was asked by Lean which of his movies the younger man thought was his best.  He replied “Great Expectations” and Lean apparently nodded and replied “quite right.”  I’ve often thought about whether Lean was really in agreement, but either way it’s arbitrary.  We’ll never know and in the end the fact that many critics agree with them is beside the point.  The point is that Great Expectations is a well-nigh magnificent movie and the first true representation of Dickens on screen (the MGM David Copperfield and A Tale of Two Cities were great movies, but not truly great adaptations of Dickens’ world).  (more…)

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