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Masterpiece Classic: Great Expectations

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Masterpiece Classic: Great Expectations + David Copperfield (Charles Dickens)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ray Winstone, Oscar Kennedy, Shaun Dooley, Jack Roth, Claire Rushbrook
  • Directors: Martin Curry, Malcolm Davies, Tussy Facchin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS (DIRECT)
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2012
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (301 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0077PBPGO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,430 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An orphan boy meets an escaped convict, a crazed rich woman, a bewitching girl, and grows up to have great expectations of wealth from a mysterious patron, in Great Expectations, Charles Dickens remarkable tale of rags to riches to self-knowledge.


There isn't an adaptation around that can compete with David Lean's definitive version of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, but this BBC-PBS coproduction has its pleasures. Though it gets off to a grim start with a violent skirmish on the moors, the proceedings become less off-putting once naive young Pip (Toast's Oscar Kennedy) grows into a man of some sophistication (now played by the dashing Douglas Booth). His adventures begin when the openhearted orphan helps out escaped convict Magwitch (Oliver Twist's Ray Winstone in fiery form), little realizing the machinations he has set into motion. Afterward, his sister, who resents the burden of his presence, sends him to live with the reclusive Miss Havisham (Bleak House's Gillian Anderson), a ghostly figure clinging to memories of thwarted romance. Miss Havisham means for Pip to entertain her haughty ward, Estella (Izzy Meikle-Small), with whom Pip falls in love, but the grown Estella (Vanessa Kirby) finds him unworthy and his guardian returns him to the forges of his youth. Fortunately, a mysterious benefactor steps in to save the day (David Suchet's solicitor makes the arrangements), allowing Pip to reconnect with Estella and to befriend Herbert Pocket (Harry Lloyd, an actual Dickens descendant), but dark shadows lurk around every London corner. If Anderson, who opts for a too-high vocal register, looks young for the part and if the final sequence deviates from Dickens's original text, director Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones) still provides a moving conclusion to a two-part series that becomes more involving as it unfolds. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

The sets were great and the casting was well done.
Joanne Burns
It is a great movie for us to see how much people were perceived by their background as well as how important social status was in early England.
I really enjoyed this movie and now intend to read the book.
Sue Y

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Charity Bishop on March 22, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Some books are just purely cinematic. Great Expectations is one of them, with all the elements of a perfect gothic story: the mad woman, the creepy old house full of cobwebs and bitter memories, the stretch of the forge and the sinister man who arises from the mud to slam the young hero to the ground and threaten his life. This recent adaptation by the BBC is a visual masterpiece, full of understated and wonderful performances, as atmospheric a tale as Charles Dickens could have imagined.

The solitary Miss Havisham (Gillian Anderson) has not been seen by any of the locals in many years, not since she was jilted on her wedding day. Now shut up in her great old house, which still bears the ghosts of wounded memories in the form of a moth-eaten wedding gown and rat-infested marriage cake, she decides to enlist the assistance of a forge boy, young Pip (Oscar Kennedy), in entertaining her ward, Estella (Izzy Meikle-Small). Hoping to raise the girl to avenge the sins of her former lover, her innocent appeal causes Pip's family, which includes his unhappy sister, her good-natured husband, and their greedy uncle, to think that perhaps they might rise in society as a result of it. Miss Havisham encourages Pip to be ambitious and hints that he may have great expectations for the future, only to turn around and deprive him of the one thing he wants most, condemning him to the life of a bond servant learning the trade as a blacksmith.

But that is not the end of Pip's journey, nor his relationship with Miss Havisham... for seven years later, Pip (Douglas Booth) is informed by a London solicitor (David Suchet) that he has inherited a great sum of money. It requires abandoning his current life and becoming a gentleman in society...
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80 of 101 people found the following review helpful By M. Secaur on April 9, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
As an ardent fan of Charles Dickens, I am always open to any film adaptation in this day and age of his work, and have to admit that I was quite excited for this new 2011 production of "Great Expectations". While not my favorite of his novels, it nonetheless has a plethora of possibilties when dramatized for the screen, be it big or small. Nonethless, after viewing, I couldn't help but feel a trifle let down.

I've watched several BBC/Masterpiece productions and found them all to be enjoyable, but this one was a chore to watch, even in installments. It wasn't just the rushed pacing, the artsy, color-drained cinematography that feels more appropriate for a horror movie than Dickens, the brutal watering down of his brilliant prose into bland, almost inanely simplified dialogue, or the dropping of important chunks of the novel in favor of inserting newly-imagined scenarios that add nothing but smuttiness to the story (i.e., the inappropriate and unnecessary brothel scene, or the completely travestuous "lake" moment between Pip and Estella) that made me give this film one star; it was the fact that it just felt too modern to be a really good adaptation of Dickens, and that the very spirit of the book was conspicuously absent throughout the entire three hours.

While it's something very hard to explain, it simply never struck me as feeling "authentic", either in a historial sense or a dramatic one. Everything felt forced, like the filmmakers didn't really believe in what they were creating, and the actors just wanted to get through their lines as quickly and painlessly as they could. Honestly, I might never have known this was supposed to be "Great Expectations" aside from the occasional appearance of Miss Havisham.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 2, 2012
Format: DVD
First-off: since there are those who object to comments made on a single episode of a series on PBS that is yet to be release on DVD, then be aware that this comment is made based only on Episode 1 of 3 Episodes of the new version of Charles Dickens' GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Having said that, this first episode introduces us to a spooky, otherworldly atmosphere for the great Dickens novel. Sarah Phelps has adapted Dickens for this triptych presentation and the piece is directed with style and great attention to atmospheric detail by Brian Kirk.

The orphan Pip (Oscar Kennedy) works for blacksmith Joe Gargery (Shaun Dooley) and his Dickinsonian shrew of a wife Mrs. Joe (Clair Rushbrook) whose relative Pumblechook (Mark Addy) has designs on the future. Working with Pip is the evil Dolge Orlick (Jack Roth). Pip is wandering the foggy flatlands, comes across escaped criminal Abel Magwitch (Ray Winstone) and befriends him - an act that obviously bodes well for Pip's future. Mr and Mrs Joe receive notice from a Miss Havisham (Gillian Anderson) that she wishes to have Pip, and the Gargery family sees a way out of the drudgery in which they live. Pip is off to Miss Havisham's cobwebbed home where she remains secluded from the world since her jilted wedding day. She `adopts' Estella (Izzy Meikle-Small) and seeks a playmate for her - her reason for bringing Pip into the strange home. Bad derring-does happen - Mrs. Joe is practically killed by Orlick, some strange vibrations occur in the Havisham household, etc.
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Masterpiece Classic: Great Expectations
This item: Masterpiece Classic: Great Expectations
Price: $24.99 $13.98
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