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Great Expectations (The Criterion Collection)
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In most respects, this film stayed true to the novel. But it is impossible to condense Dickens into a spare two-hour film. Perhaps it was because I had just finished the novel the day before, but I couldn't help but notice how some characters were missing, many scenes were eliminated, the ending was changed and the plot seemed an oversimplification of the one I had just lived with in the book for the past month.
Without exception, all of the actors were excellent, but I wondered a bit at the casting. John Mills played the young pip who was supposed to be 20. In reality, he was 38 years old at the time and, in those days before plastic surgery, even had some crows feet around his eyes. Alex Guinness, who was cast as Herbert Pocket who befriends the adult Pip, was actually 32 and both of these gentlemen just didn't have the freshness of youth that was so apparent in the Dickens novel.
Age didn't seem to matter though in the casting of the convict. Finlay Currie, with his craggy face and threatening bearing was 68, but he played the role as if it was created just for him.Read more ›
As Pip matures,(now played by John Mills) he now realizes that his initial perception of the universe as intrinsically unstable was essentially a correct one. What he does learn, at great cost to his pride and self-respect, is that he can alter the equations of this universe slightly by a corresponding alteration in his perception of that universe.Read more ›
The print is uniformly awful all the way through - with scratches, blocking, lines, blurring of the image - it's clear that little or no restoration has gone into this. An old DVD version would be just as good.
When you view other fully restored titles on Blu Ray like "Zulu", "2001: A Space Odyssey", "Cool Hand Luke" and "Black Narcissus" (see reviews for the last two) and the wonderful job done on all of the Bond movies (especially the earlier ones) - you realise what a horrible let down for fans this version is. Unfortunately, too many companies are jumping on the BR bandwagon now with oldies, because of course there's a fresh new marketplace for them. Note how clean the image on the box is - when there isn't a single frame on the disc that looks so beautifully cleaned up.
Amazon reviews are there to inform customers - help them make an informed choice; well, one day the British Film Institute will finally get its act together and frame-by-frame restore David Lean's extraordinary works - thereby preserving them properly as the artistic National Treasures they are... But for now, unless you absolutely have to have this, avoid this shoddy reissue.
Great Expectations is one of Charles Dickens' greatest novels, and the movie, in my opinion, is David Lean's greatest accomplishment as a director. You'd have to be a cynic not to be captured by this story of a young, poor boy, an orphan raised in a blacksmith's home by his sister and her husband, who unexpectedly becomes a young gentleman of great expectations.
Lean chose actors who bring the characters vividly to life. Pip (John Mills) is a young man who has become self-satisfied with the mysterious funds he receives that have enabled him to become a gentleman. In time, however, he realizes "that in becoming a gentleman, I had only succeeded in becoming a snob." But Pip's innate honesty and humanity come through as he accepts the debt he owes to his benefactor and faces the love he has for Estella. Jean Simmons as young Estella and Valerie Hobson as Estella the woman are beautiful and cruel, as Estella was raised to be by Miss Havisham. Francis L. Sullivan is perfect as the large, shrewd lawyer, Mr. Jaggers, who knows all the secrets. Miss Havisham is played by Martita Hunt. Miss Havisham was abandoned on her wedding day years before.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this because it is perhaps my favorite of the Charles Dickens movies, as its original is my favorite among his novels. I much doubt this treatment could ever be bettered. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Phyllis A. Karr
Great movie. The CD arrived early and I was very pleased with it.Published 2 months ago by Scaramouche44
I saw for the first time last night David Lean’s 1946 film Great Expectations, based on one of Charles Dickens’ finest novels. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Russell Fanelli
Thank you for such excellent service and the movie was excellent!!!!Published 4 months ago by John Book Worm
Another great Dickens transfer to the screen. A perfect film.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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