7.8/10
20,551
102 user 59 critic

Great Expectations (1946)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Mystery | 22 May 1947 (USA)
A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Director:

David Lean

Writers:

Charles Dickens (by), David Lean (adapted for the screen by) | 4 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Mills ... Pip
Tony Wager ... Young Pip (as Anthony Wager)
Valerie Hobson ... Estella
Jean Simmons ... Young Estella
Bernard Miles ... Joe Gargery
Francis L. Sullivan ... Mr. Jaggers
Finlay Currie ... Magwitch
Martita Hunt ... Miss Havisham
Alec Guinness ... Herbert Pocket
Ivor Barnard ... Mr. Wemmick
Freda Jackson ... Mrs.Joe
Eileen Erskine ... Biddy
George Hayes ... Convict
Hay Petrie ... Uncle Pumblechook
John Forrest John Forrest ... The Pale Young Gentleman
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Storyline

Pip, a good-natured, gullible young orphan, lives with kind blacksmith Joe Gargery and his bossy, abusive wife "Mrs. Joe". When the boy finds two hidden escaped galley convicts, he obeys under, probably unnecessary, threat of a horrible death to bring the criminals food. He must steal at peril of more caning from the battle-ax. Just when Pip fears to get it really good while they have guests, a soldier comes for Joe who takes Pip along as assistant to work on the chains of the escaped galley-convicts, who are soon caught. The better-natured one takes the blame for the stolen food. Later Pip is invited to became the playmate of Estella, the equally arrogant adoptive daughter of gloomy, filthy rich Miss Havisham at her estate, who actually has "permission" to break the kind kid's heart. Being the only pretty girl he ever saw, she wins his heart forever, even after a mysterious benefactor pays through a lawyer for his education and a rich allowance, so he can become a snob in London, by ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Great Thrills! Great Romance! Great Suspense! Great Adventure! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 May 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Grandes esperanzas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP350,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,329
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cineguild See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This movie is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Goofs

When Pip goes home to his rooms before Magwitch returns, two clocks are heard striking the hour outside. The second one plays Westminster chimes. Big Ben in Westminster was the first to have these (hence the name) and this wasn't built until 1859, some years after the action. See more »

Quotes

Magwitch: Keep still, you young devil, or I'll slit your throat!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The identity of the actress playing Molly is never revealed, because this would constitute a spoiler. See more »

Alternate Versions

In some prints, after the fifteen minute "convict episode" at the beginning of the film ends, we hear the adult Pip's (John Mills) voice-over saying, "it was a year later", as Mrs. Joe arrives home in the carriage. As now usually shown, there is no voice-over in this sequence. See more »

Connections

Featured in Zhivago: Behind the Camera with David Lean (1966) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A miracle of invention, economy and detail
25 January 2007 | by J. SpurlinSee all my reviews

This adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic novel, directed by David Lean from a script he co-adapted, and photographed by Guy Green, is a miracle of invention, economy and detail. Every piece on every set; every line of dialogue; every gesture and line reading of every actor; every black-and-white frame of this beautiful film seems perfect. Dickens's characters, situations and themes are all vividly dramatized. Pip, Pocket, Joe, Mr. Jaggers, Magwitch and—unforgettably—Miss Havisham, are all here and all ready to move, amuse, frighten and entertain anyone willing to spend time with them.

I haven't read the book since I was thirteen. I vividly remember Miss Havisham, but I don't remember noting the contrast between her and Magwitch, the ex-convict. She becomes bitter and vengeful after a great heartbreak; he becomes great of heart through one small act of kindness. That's what made the movie for me this time; but clearly there's richness to spare for future viewings.

There is so much here not only for Dickens fans, but for anyone who loves movies. I especially liked that shot from Pip's point of view as he becomes sick. It's the kind of crazy effect beloved of filmmakers, too; but I love it not so much for itself, but for being the right shot at the right moment. Some directors hide, others show off, but directors like David Lean know how to do both and know when to do which.


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