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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 (242 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 (242 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000035Z20
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,796 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Great Expectations (1998)" on IMDb

Special Features


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
96 of 107 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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30 of 33 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
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
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 Great!!!!!
I like this movie so much.
Published 2 hours ago by Leroy Sierra
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!
Cuaron tells Dicken's story like no other movie Director has accomplished. The perfect cast (Gwyneth will immediately seduce you), Lubesky's cinematography, Clemente's artworks,... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Alvaro Leal
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie I had it in BHS and purchase it in DVD for the better quality.
Published 14 days ago by Luis Ledon
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the old version...
Good movie...very entertaining...
Published 15 days ago by Linda Avila
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 27 days ago by Cindy S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
El producot llego a tiempo y cuenta con muy buena calidad. Estoy satisfecho.
Published 1 month ago by Mario Marti-Brenes
5.0 out of 5 stars A love romance movie for everyone under the sun
A great love movie for the 21st century
Published 1 month ago by Mitchell Krasnerman
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
timeless story
Published 1 month ago by CLAUDIO TRICHES
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this
I love this movie but the picture is horrible its not even full screen the picture is super little in this box surrounded by black. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sana
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 2 months ago by will crow
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