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 …
User 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 andunforgettablyMiss 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.