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Great Expectations (1974)

3.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael York, James Mason, Sarah Miles, Margaret Leighton, Anthony Quayle
  • Writers: Charles Dickens
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: 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: Echo Bridge
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2006
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00022EEY4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,109 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This production was originally filmed as a musical for theatrical release. The songs were edited out and this version of "Great Expectations" was released to television instead. Michael York does a credible job as Pip, and Sarah Miles is excellent as the snobby Estella.
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Format: VHS Tape
After the brilliant David Lean version of "Great Expectations"(1946,but released in the U.S.in 1947),with its perfect casting,beautiful black-and-white camerawork,and magnificently inventive directorial touches, any other version of Dickens' classic is bound to be a letdown. But at least,most of the other versions tried to be as subtle as the author. This ham-fisted version was originally planned as a musical---TV's answer to "Oliver!" and,while we can be thankful that the makers finally came to their senses and came to realize that,unlike "Oliver Twist", "Great Expectations" does NOT lend itself to musicalization, there is little else to be thankful for.

The motivations and personalities of the characters have been simplified,with none of the ambiguous qualities that make the novel or the David Lean film so great---as if the filmmakers were still using a musical libretto,but without the songs. Sarah Miles,for instance, rather than playing Estella as the rather cool,aloof person she has been trained to be, instead plays her as a repressed hysteric about to be driven mad herself as she feverishly ,rather than calmly and sensibly,tries to convince Pip not to love her because she can never love him (of course,we know better--why else would this Estella always be on the verge of flipping out?) Margaret Leighton, an excellent actress, turns in a beautiful performance as the mad Miss Havisham,but again the script shortchanges her by making the tragic, vulnerable, pathetic old woman into more of a raving maniac than in any other previous version (her outburst and taunting of Pip when he inquires for Estella is an insensitive touch the scriptwriters have added to the film).
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Format: DVD
I am a high school English teacher and showed the DVD after reading the novel. It was great!!! Many lines were the same and the story plot was the same (pretty much). Awesome novel. Awesome DVD. Thanks
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The 2016 Blu-ray release from "The Shout Factory" is a disgrace. Audio is very tinny and often can barely be understood. The picture flickers in many places. At times the pictures becomes fuzzy (much like a vhs tape when the tracking wasn't properly adjusted). The old budget release from Platinum is better than this one. Too bad too...James Mason and the young boy that plays the younger Pip are outstanding in their portrayals. Save your money--this Blu-ray is a total waste.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Made in 1974, this film was originally intended as musical version of Charles Dickens's classic novel. Remember, it was the time when people saw the films like "Oliver!" and "Scrooge" (musical version of "Christmas Carol"), and this "Great Expectaions" is an obvious attempt to cash in on the trend of the time. And incredible thing is, it was at first titled "Pip!" -- and the star Michael York had to practice singing, and he even recorded several songs!
The story of this beloved novel is so famous that we need no comment on that. Only I can say this; this one's script is closer to that of David Lean film than to that of the original novel. Orlick is gone, but I hope nobody will miss him, and Biddy's role is changed significantly, and so is the ending. The story goes fast, but it is nothing remarkable.
More interesting is the casting. Not that it is fine; on the contrary, it is terrible. Michael York is a fine actor, I admit (you may remember him as 'Basil' of "Austion Powers" series), but he looks hardly the adult Pip. Joe Gargery, the kind blacksmith and Pip's brother-in-law is played by Joss Ackland, whose body is too thin to be convincing. But the greatest mistake is casting Sarah Miles into BOTH roles of Estella -- young girl and adult alike. She tries to manage this impossible task, but why they did not prepare another child actor to play young Estella is a big mystery to me. Speaking of child, little Pip by Simon Gipps-Kent is too tall (Pip is only 7 years old when he meets Magwitch for the first time), and the result is quite embarrassing to see.
Supporting cast include: James Mason as Magwitch; Margaret Leighton as Miss Havisham; Anthony Quayle as Jaggers. They are good, but as you know, their roles are comparatively small.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I teach high school English. The book was actually much BETTER! None of my 93 Freshmen students liked it. I can see why... It's incredibly boring, with tacky sets, costuming and average acting. Plus, why do the main characters (Pip and Estella) look so old when, in the novel, they are young and beautiful.

Do not buy!!! Your students will hate you!
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This is a very good movie. I liked how it followed closely to how it was in the book. Great for teens reading the book in school. The characters looked different from how I imagined but overall it was good.
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