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Great Expectations (1974)
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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).Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Do not buy!!! Your students will hate you!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had read the book years and years ago. The movie was a good adaptation and my wife and I watched it together for a very enjoyable evening at home.Published on April 13, 2014 by Bill Robertson
I thought it would be hard to portray Dickens' wonderful story any better than this. All the characters are ideally cast, and Robert Morley brings some humour and charm to this... Read morePublished on April 13, 2014 by Chris Webb
I have the VHS version. The DVD was a good update. The coloring was clear, not distorted as remakes sometimes are.Published on April 11, 2014 by meurgatroyde
We were trying to watch the 1946 version and accidentally watched this one. The older version is much better (and can be watched for free on youtube). Read morePublished on September 22, 2013 by Seth Guenther
They certainly make them better today than they used to! Saw the BBC 1999 version which was so far superior it wasn't even funny.Published on March 26, 2013 by T. Michael Murray
The 50's version captures the dark gloom of Mrs Labishes Home. Mason plays the escaped Con and shoul have been the Lawyer.Published on January 28, 2013 by JOE R