“Great Expectations” is a film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel of the same name, directed by David Lean in 1946. The film is a coming-of-age story about Pip, a young orphan boy who is raised by his abusive sister and her blacksmith husband in rural England in the early 1800s.
One day, while visiting the graves of his parents, Pip encounters an escaped convict who demands that Pip bring him food and a file to remove his leg irons. The convict is later caught, but Pip’s kindness towards him has not gone unnoticed. Soon after, Pip is summoned to the decaying mansion of Miss Havisham, a wealthy, eccentric spinster who has been living in seclusion for many years after being jilted at the altar on her wedding day. Miss Havisham hires Pip to play with her adopted daughter, the beautiful but cold-hearted Estella, whom she is raising to break men’s hearts as revenge for her own broken heart.
Pip becomes infatuated with Estella, and his desire to become a gentleman and win her heart becomes his driving ambition. His life changes dramatically when he is unexpectedly given a large sum of money by an unknown benefactor, and he moves to London to become a gentleman. However, as he rises in society, he begins to lose touch with his humble roots and the people who cared for him.
As the years pass, Pip learns the truth about his benefactor, Miss Havisham, and Estella, and he comes to realize the mistakes he has made in his pursuit of wealth and status. He discovers that true happiness comes from love and loyalty, not money and social status, and he must learn to reconcile his past mistakes and make amends.
The film features outstanding performances by John Mills as Pip, Valerie Hobson as Estella, Martita Hunt as Miss Havisham, and Alec Guinness as Pip’s friend, Herbert Pocket. The stunning visuals, haunting score, and compelling storytelling make “Great Expectations” a timeless classic that has captured the hearts of generations of viewers.
Charles Dickens, David Lean, Ronald Neame
John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager