Great Expectations (1974)

Great Expectations (1974)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Great Expectations Photos

Movie Info

This third talking-picture version of Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations stars Michael York as Pip, the humble British lad whose aspirations to become a gentleman are financed by a mysterious benefactor. We first see young Pip (played by Simon Gipps-Kent) coming to the aid of escaped convict Magwitch (James Mason). Once this episode has apparently run its course, we find Pip the guest of the wealthy, reclusive, half-mad Miss Havisham (Margaret Leighton), and the worshipper-from-afar of Havisham's snooty niece Estella (played as both a teenager and an adult by Sarah Miles--breaking the usual cinematic tradition of casting two actresses in the role). This brief exposure to the finer things in life leads Pip on the winding road to betterment, with a few surprises in store for him. Great Expectations premiered November 22, 1974, as a Bell System Family Theatre presentation.
Classics , Drama , Television
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Transcontinental Films

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Sarah Miles
as Estella
Margaret Leighton
as Miss Havisham
James Mason
as Abel Magwitch
Robert Morley
as Pumblechook
Anthony Quayle
as Jaggers
Joss Ackland
as Joe Gargery
Andrew Ray
as Herbert Pocket
James Faulkner
as Drummle
Rachel Roberts
as Mrs. Gargery
Simon Gipps-Kent
as Pip, as a Boy
Maria Charlès
as Sarah Pocket
Elaine Garreau
as Cousin Camilla
Richard Beaumont
as Pocket, as a Boy
Erik Chitty
as Old Man
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Critic Reviews for Great Expectations

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Audience Reviews for Great Expectations


Considering this is a television reproduction of the Charles Dickens classic novel, it is surprisingly good. Even more surprising it was supposed to be a musical, but the filmmakers completely cut the music, and it does not show. The problem is that the Dickens story and the main character, Pip, is most frustrating, undoing much of the good efforts. It is a classic coming of age tale divided into three parts. First, we meet a youthful boy amidst a difficult life of a laboring family. An eccentric wealthy old woman pays Pip to play with a rich girl, Estella, for her entertainment. He immediately falls for her and her luxurious lifestyle, even though she treats him like garbage. Later as a young man, he seeks to rise above his current poverty to a life of riches where he can win Estella's affection. Amazingly, he encounters an offer of a large sum of money from an anonymous donor to become a refined gentleman, just as he wanted. After becoming a distinguished man of class, he learns where his money comes from and feels disillusioned with his phony lifestyle. He matures as a man but at no point puts this despicably proud woman out of his thoughts. The characters and the situation are interesting, but the values I identify with are not. Pip's unwavering love for Estella is largely for her superficial lifestyle, but he does not realize this or rise above her. The acting and direction are good but with a frustrating main character like this, it is hard to like it. It is a fine movie, but I blame the shortcomings on Charles Dickens and his characters.

Russell Guest
Russell Guest

Good acting from York, but other than that, I didn't care for this movie. It's slow and boring and predictable. The book is probably better.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Umm...This isn't the version I saw, but it's the closest thing to it. The version I like has Anthony Calf as Pip and he's cute!

Chelsea B.
Chelsea B.

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