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Great Expectations Details


Immediately grabbing the audience's attention with a heart-stopping opening scene in a dark graveyard, acclaimed British director David Lean realizes the cinematic potential of Charles Dickens' classic 1861 novel, and the result is considered by many to be one of the finest literary adaptations ever made as well as one of the greatest British films of all time. Crystallized into a tight 118-minute running time by Lean, Ronald Neame, and a corps of uncredited contributors, this is the story of young Pip, a lad of humble means whose training as a gentleman is bankrolled by a mysterious benefactor. Along the way, Pip falls in love with the fickle Estella, befriends the cheerfully insouciant Herbert Pocket, has memorable encounters with the escaped convict Magwitch and the lunatic dowager Miss Havisham, and almost (but not quite) forgets his modest origins as the foster son of kindhearted blacksmith Joe Gargery. The role of Pip is evenly divided between Anthony Wager as a child and John Mills as an adult; Alec Guinness makes his starring film debut as the jaunty Pocket; Jean Simmons and Valerie Hobson are costarred as the younger and older Estella; and Martita Hunt is unforgettable as the mad Miss Havisham ("It's a fine cake! A wedding cake! MINE!") Remade several times, Martita Hunt resurfaced in 1989 as a TV miniseries, with Jean Simmons, originally the young Estella, tearing a passion to tatters as Miss Havisham; and in 1998 it was remade again, in a contemporary version, with Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert DeNiro, and Anne Bancroft in the Miss Havisham role. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:December 26, 1946


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences John Bryan Best Black and White Art Direction 1947 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Anthony Havelock-Allan Best Screenplay 1947 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences David Lean Best Director 1947 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences David Lean Best Screenplay 1947 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Guy Green Best Black and White Cinematography 1947 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ronald Neame Best Screenplay 1947 Nominee


John Mills
as Pip
Valerie Hobson
as Estella/Her Mother
Finlay Currie
as Abel Magwitch
Francis L. Sullivan
as Jaggers
Alec Guinness
as Herbert Pocket
Jean Simmons
as Estella as a girl
Freda Jackson
as Mrs. Joe
Martita Hunt
as Miss Havisham
Bernard Miles
as Joe Gargery
Hay Petrie
as Uncle Pumblechook
Everley Gregg
as Sarah Pocket
George Hayes
as Compeyson
Torin Thatcher
as Bentley Drummil
Anthony Wager
as Pip as a boy
Eileen Erskine
as Biddy
O.B. Clarence
as The Aged Parent
Richard George
as Sergeant
Frank Atkinson
as Mike
Eileen Erskine
as Biddy
Richard George
as Sergeant
O.B. Clarence
as The Aged Parent


David Lean
Ronald Neame
Ronald Neame
David Lean
Charles Dickens
Book Author
Kay Walsh
Anthony Havelock-Allan
Guy Green
Walter Goehr
Composer (Music Score)
Jack Harris
John Bryan
Production Designer
Anthony Havelock-Allan
Executive Producer
Norman Spencer
Production Manager