movie film review | chris tookey

Great Expectations

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  Great Expectations   Review
Tookey's Rating
10 /10
Average Rating
9.72 /10
John Mills , Finlay Currie , Martita Hunt
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Directed by: David Lean
Written by: Ronald Neame, David Lean, Kay Walsh, Cecil McGivern, Anthony Havelock-Allan from Charles Dickens's novel

Released: 1946
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: GB
Length: 118


An orphan (Anthony Wager, pictutred right) grows into a snob (John Mills) before learning the error of his ways.

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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David Lean's masterly, marvellously atmospheric adaptation of the Dickens classic, which captures a vast panorama of Victorian life and is, in its first part, the greatest rites-of-passage story ever written. The childhood scenes in this film reflect this; they are, pictorially and emotionally, stunning. The film, like the book, loses some of its power towards the middle, and inevitably details from the original have been last (especially the extent to which Orlick is Pip's evil alter ego); but the essence and spirit of the novel remain.
Miraculously, Lean and his Oscar-winning photographer (Guy Green) and art director (John Bryan) manage to communicate the poetic nature of Dickens's writing in visual terms (admittedly, they are helped by the great Victorian's fertile visual imagination; the book is full of lighting and staging clues). Particularly notable is the supporting cast: Martita Hunt as Miss Havisham, Bernard Miles as Joe Gargery, Finlay Currie as Magwitch (pictured left), Alec Guinness as Herbert Pocket. It is impossible to read the book now without thinking of those actors , and it is a tribute to them that Dickens isn't diminished by this.

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