A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Pip, a young boy being raised by his abusive older sister and her kindhearted blacksmith husband, is visiting his parent's grave on the British moors when he comes across a gruff escaped convict whom he shows a great kindness too. Soon he has been sought out by Miss Havisham, a vindicative old woman who wishes Pip to be the playmate of her adopted daughter Estella. Pip is really there so Havisham can see Estella break his heart as Pip naturally (and instantly) falls in love with her. A few years later as a young man, he receives word that he has a secret benefactor who has great expectations for him and wishes for him to travel to London and become a man of means and style. Charles Dickens' classic novel was brought to the screen by David Lean, a man of great vision who was known for his later epics but even here fashioned a grandiose film out of a great Victorian novel. The film is composed of stark black and white cinematography by Oscar winner Guy Green, and successfully compresses the story into a fast paced and thoroughly entertaining film. The cast is terrific: Anthony Wager and John Mills (both excellent) as young and old Pip, Jean Simmons and Valerie Hobson as young and old Estella, Martita Hunt as Miss Havisham, Alec Guiness in early role as Pip's friend Herbert Pocket, Bernard Miles as Blacksmith Joe, Francis L. Sullivan as a barrister, and Finlay Currie as Magwitch the escaped convict. Great Expectations is classic literature brought to the big screen in one of the finest adaptations ever conceived.