Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Great Expections (1946)

Recounting the tale of an orphan, apprentice to a blacksmith, who becomes the recipient of great wealth from a mysterious benefactor, this version of Great Expectations is a classic re-telling of the Dickens novel. David Lean's interpretation is subtle yet dynamic, at the heart of which are great performances from John Mills as Pip (the orphan), Valerie Hobson as Estella and of course Alec Guinness as Herbert Pocket. Actually Alec Guinness looks so young that it took me a while to figure out who it was! 

A thoroughly engrossing film, a classic in every sense of the word. My only issue was the age of Pip. Seen as a boy of 16 at the blacksmith's, it is only 4 years later that the mysterious benefactor leaves him a fortune, yet when he then moves to the city he looks about 40! David Mills is excellent in the role, but could they not have found someone closer to the right age? It doesn't take long to get past this issue though, and you can sit back and really enjoy the film.