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Great Expectations (1998) (1998)

Ethan Hawke , Gwyneth Paltrow , Alfonso Cuarón  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hank Azaria, Chris Cooper, Anne Bancroft
  • Directors: Alfonso Cuarón
  • Writers: Charles Dickens, Mitch Glazer
  • Producers: Art Linson, Deborah Lee, John Linson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 21, 2002
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000035Z20
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,729 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Great Expectations (1998)" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

The moment young Finn sets eyes on Estella, she becomes his inspiration and his obsession. Despite being warned, "she'll only break your heart," he vowed to win her love. Years later, thanks to a mysterious benefactor, aspiring artist Finn is off to New York, where he is reunited with the icy and beautiful Estella. When she agrees to model for him, Finn's dearest hopes may at last be realized-along with his darkest fears!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
94 of 105 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Misunderstood Film December 6, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
Upon theatrical release this film received many bad reviews, mostly by people who thought they were protecting the reputations of the novel and the 1946 cinematic version. Unfortunately, these reviews unfairly criticized what is a fine film and one that faithfully recreates the central themes of the book. Let's face it, in many ways, Great Expectations can be a dreary book. The many plot twists and turns, while typical of Dickens, merely provide a framework for the core concerns of the book: class inequities, the allure and dangers of retribution, the pain of unrequited love, the human heart's capacity to harden itself, the conflict between the environment and the innate, society's willingness to sacrifice its children, and the power of loyalty and forgiveness, to name a few. This adaptation deals directly with these issues and forsakes unnecessary plot devices. Remember, Dickens published his novel serially for a public who anxiously awaited new installments and wanted many of them. A modern film audience has no interest in such prolonged dramas. This movie wisely does away with what it does not need. And yet, many of the criticisms point to these omissions as evidence of a failed narrative. What these criticisms reveal is their critics' misinterpretation of the novel's strengths and misunderstanding of modern cinema.

This is a fine film, and it is well worth watching for reasons outlined in other positive reviews: the performances, the cinematography, the soundtrack, and the emotional impact.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation of a classic tale October 14, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
"Great Expectations" (1998)
This film is a cinematic masterpiece due to its colorful scenes that seem to be painted onto the screen in a perfectly precise style. "Great Expectations" is rich with imagery and a wonderful story line based on Charles Dickens' classic tale. It strays from the novel enough to make the story a more visual experience. The time period is changed to present day, but this adaptation works for the best. It allows a modern audience to identify with this classic tale in a way that would be impossible if the film were set in the 19th century. Finnegan Bell falls hopelessly in love with Estella from the first moment he lays eyes on her and proceeds throughout his life in continual pursuit of her love by attempting to become "worthy" of her. He is an orphan raised by his abusive sister and her fisherman husband, Joe. Estella is the niece of the richest lady in the state, Ms. Nora Diggers Dinsmoor. Ms. Dinsmoor requests Finn's presence at her mansion, Paradiso Perduto, on a weekly basis as a playmate for Estella and to entertain herself. Ms. Dinsmoor was left at the altar by her fiancée in prior years and has become a bitter old lady who scorns all men and believes none can be worthy of a woman's love. She schools Estella in this manner, which explains Estella's cold behavior and her rejection of Finn as anything more than a toy for her to play with his emotions. The story is told through Finn's eyes and from his perspective on what occurs as he grows up and learns about life. He has the ability to paint fabulously, a gift he has had since birth, and he uses this gift to express himself and his emotions throughout his life.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expect Great Expectations to be Pretty Good January 19, 2000
Format:DVD
This movie was a work of art in itself with a gorgeous sountrack, breathtaking cinematography, beautiful artwork, and perfect timing. However, if you are looking for a movie that stays true to the original novel or deep character development, look elsewhere. Great Expectations the movie is simply a very slicked over and glossed up layman's version of Dicken's masterpiece. In any case, I enjoyed it very much and think it is worth purchasing.
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44 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic. lush, and intoxicating February 27, 2000
Format:DVD
Those who say that this movie is an insult to the spirit of the book by Dickens are completely missing the point. Textuality dictates that reciting the same story that was amazing in print will turn out contrived and vacuous in celluloid. It shows the spirit of Dickens' work - completely loss in spite of danger, the loss of heart and being. It's a story that hinges on that great tragic moment in love which Romeo and Juliet made so clear to us all (esp. in Shakespeare in Love).
The movie is rich in narration and exploits a directorial narrative. The ebb and flow of visions, places, people, and unrelated occurrences turn into a melange which has all the warped lucidity of one's best and most painful memories.
The direction is fantastic as is the cinematography. The greatest genius of this movie is the use of the hauntingly frozen Life in Mono by Mono. Regrettably, this portishead-ish band's other songs didn't have quite the presence of this song that gave the movie its icy ambience.
Especially loved the Dinsmore character. Much more batty and manipulative than the simply grotesque and warped Havisham of the book.
Additionally, the recounting of Gwyneth (Estella) may seem flat and one-dimensional; however, isn't that the way one remembers the players in one's memories - as automata which reacted to us singularly in the stage of life?
It's an amazing film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars better
this was a better interpretation of the original than all of the remakes in hollywood history. the acting the filming and the character driven movement was magnificent.
Published 1 month ago by will crow
5.0 out of 5 stars great film
Good 90's film. Story is much better than the original they try to get you to read in high school. This is a modern approach with modernized names, language, locations, etc. Read more
Published 1 month ago by DJ Velocity43
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, I love this movie
Fell in love with the old mansion the first time I saw the movie. Actually ended up standing on the stone patio of Paradisio Purduto (otherwise known as the home of John Ringling)... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lisa
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book and a great movie
This takes me back to the says when I used to love Gweneth. This movie also has a great soundtrack.
Published 2 months ago by Alex
4.0 out of 5 stars stunning
visually awe inspiring. if ethan hawke could act, this would have been a good place to start, but regardless he is surrounded by excellence and a piece of fiction that allowed him... Read more
Published 3 months ago by aldo ray
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME LOVE STORY!!
Absolutely awesome love story! My wife and I love this movie! I purchased this movie! You will love it too!
Published 3 months ago by Donny D.
4.0 out of 5 stars A PLeasant Surprise!
This fim too me by surprise and as I wathced it I wondered how I had never seen it before untilba friend let me borrow her DVD copy. It is a story that rings true and authentic. Read more
Published 3 months ago by jzactor
5.0 out of 5 stars Unrequited love story
Sexy and intense. This is a modern twist on an old classic tale. You will not be disappointed. Great cast.
Published 4 months ago by Danielle
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie!
This puts Robert Deniro and Gwenthe Paltrow at their best. This movie is amazing! If you like stories with an interesting tale, get it today.
Published 4 months ago by Jason
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites..
I own over 700 movies and this one is in the top 10. I've loaned this movie to several people and most are hesitant but always return it with nothing less than appreciation for... Read more
Published 5 months ago by brad
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