Great Expectations

Great Expectations

David Lean (1946)

PG Certificate


Our Score
David Lean will always be best remembered for his Technicolor epics, but this black-and-white adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel is one of his early masterpieces. It's a carefully pruned version of the book that excises entire characters but retains the magical Dickens spirit as it tells the tale of orphaned Pip (played as a boy by Anthony Wager and as an adult by John Mills), who comes into an unexpected fortune. From the opening sequence on the Kentish marshes, when the young Pip encounters Finlay Currie's terrifying escaped convict, through to his love for Estella (played by Jean Simmons as a child and Valerie Hobson as an adult), this is superlative film-making from one of Britain's greatest directors. It looks magnificent and earned Oscars for cinematographer Guy Green and designers John Bryan and Wilfrid Shingleton.


An orphan falls in love with the cold-hearted adopted daughter of an eccentric old woman. A mysterious benefactor gives him the chance to rise through London's high society, but in the process he forgets his humble roots and is not prepared for the truth about the girl he loves and the stranger funding his new life. Drama, based on Charles Dickens' novel, starring John Mills, Jean Simmons, Finlay Currie and Alec Guinness.

Cast & Crew

Pip as an adult John Mills
Estella as an adult Valerie Hobson
Joe Gargery Bernard Miles
Jaggers Francis L Sullivan
Miss Havisham Martita Hunt
Abel Magwitch Finlay Currie
Herbert Pocket Alec Guinness
Wemmick Ivor Barnard
Pip as a child Anthony Wager
Estella as a child Jean Simmons
Director David Lean
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: BFIAvailable on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 2 Feb 2007