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David Copperfield (1935)

The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger (original title)
A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

Charles Dickens (by), Hugh Walpole (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edna May Oliver ... Aunt Betsey
Elizabeth Allan ... Mrs. Copperfield
Jessie Ralph ... Nurse Peggotty
Harry Beresford ... Dr. Chillip
Freddie Bartholomew ... David - the Child
Hugh Walpole Hugh Walpole ... The Vicar
Basil Rathbone ... Mr. Murdstone
Herbert Mundin ... Barkis
John Buckler John Buckler ... Ham
Fay Chaldecott Fay Chaldecott ... Little Em'ly - the Child
Una O'Connor ... Mrs. Gummidge
Lionel Barrymore ... Dan Peggotty
Violet Kemble Cooper ... Jane Murdstone
Elsa Lanchester ... Clickett
Jean Cadell ... Mrs. Micawber
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Storyline

When David's father dies, his mother remarries. His new stepfather Murdstone has a mean and cruel view on how to raise a child. When David's mother dies from grief, Murdstone sends David to London to work for a living. When David escapes to his aunt Betsey his life starts to get better. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Star Cast of 65 Players See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1935 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

David Copperfield See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Freddie Bartholomew was discovered after an extensive casting search in both the US and the UK. Louis B. Mayer was pushing hard for his young star, Jackie Cooper, but David O. Selznick was determined to cast someone less American. Bartholomew traveled to America with his aunt who - some say - effectively kidnapped him and took him to America against his parents' wishes. See more »

Goofs

Micawber, an Englishman, speaks with an American accent (see trivia). See more »

Quotes

Aunt Betsy Trotwood: Now that there's a child coming, what will you call your girl?
Mrs. Clara Copperfield: Perhaps it will be a boy.
Aunt Betsy Trotwood: Don't contradict. I have a pre-sentiment that it will be a girl. And I shall be her godmother. She shall be christened Betsy Trotwood Copperfield. She must be well brought up, I shall see to that. Far better than my impractical nephew would have done.
Mrs. Clara Copperfield: Mr. Copperfield has been dead only six months. It is cruel of you to speak unkindly of him to me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The main title of the film shows the novel's full, extended title: "The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger", rather than the title by which it is more popularly known, "David Copperfield". Poster advertising for the film, as well as reviews and all popular references to it, used the shortened title, as did later television listings for it. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also shown in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jamaica Inn (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

The First Noel
(uncredited)
Traditional 17th century carol or earlier
[Partially Sung and played during the opening credits]
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable Version of the Story, With a Very Good Cast
10 August 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

With a very good cast and a well-conceived adaptation of the novel, this version of "David Copperfield" is enjoyable in its own right, and it does a good job of preserving the most important themes of the original. The quirks and characteristics of most of the characters are captured effectively by the cast. Freddie Bartholomew is engaging in the title role, and the cast members as a whole work together and complement each other well.

It would be hard even to list all of the good performances. Edna May Oliver almost seems to have born to play Dickens's kind of strong-willed but caring female character. W.C. Fields is perhaps somewhat different from the novel's conception of Micawber, but he is quite entertaining, and he gets plenty of good lines. Characters like Uriah Heep, Mr. Dick, the Murdstones, and several others could have come straight from the novel. As the adult Copperfield, Frank Lawton is sometimes rather bland, but he is likable and is at least believable as Bartholomew's grown-up counterpart.

The story, of necessity, is episodic and moves quite quickly, usually including only the highlights of the narrative. But it does a very good job of this, making each sequence work well, and efficiently fitting each one into the story as a whole. George Cukor certainly deserves a good deal of credit for making it work and fit together so well. The settings, which are always important in a Dickens story, are also for the most part pretty good.

The original novel "David Copperfield" is such a fine classic of literature that no two-hour movie could be on quite the same level, but this version is quite enjoyable, and it does a very good job of depicting the atmosphere and most of the important events of the story.


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