David Lean

Great Expectations

Great Expectations

One of the great translations of literature into film, David Lean's Great Expectations brings Charles Dickens's masterpiece to robust on-screen life. Pip, Magwitch, Miss Havisham, and Estella populate Lean’s magnificent miniature, beautifully photographed by Guy Green and designed by John Bryan.

Film Info

  • David Lean
  • United Kingdom
  • 1946
  • 118 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  • Spine #31

Special Features

  • The original theatrical trailer
  • Subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired

New cover by Gordon Reynolds

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

Great Adaptations

Great Adaptations

DVD Box Set

4 Discs

$79.96

Special Features

  • The original theatrical trailer
  • Subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired

New cover by Gordon Reynolds

Great Expectations
Cast
John Mills
Pip
Valerie Hobson
Estella
Bernard Miles
Joe Gargery
Francis L. Sullivan
Mr. Jaggers
Martita Hunt
Miss Havisham
Finlay Currie
Magwitch
Alec Guinness
Herbert Pocket
Anthony Wager
Young Pip
Jean Simmons
Young Estella
Credits
Director
David Lean
Producer
Ronald Neame
Music
Walter Goehr
Editing
Jack Harris
Production design
John Bryan
Cinematography
Guy Green
Executive producer
Anthony Havelock-Allan
Screenplay
David Lean
Screenplay
Ronald Neame
Screenplay
Anthony Havelock-Allan
Screenplay
Kay Walsh
Screenplay
Cecil McGivern
From the novel by
Charles Dickens

From The Current

Great Expectations
Great Expectations

It was quite a surprise to learn that David Lean had not read Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations before he embarked on his film version in 1945. The closeness of the adaptation, the understanding of the characters, make one swear it was made by an…

By Adrian Turner

/
The Many Sides of James Agee
The Many Sides of James Agee

In honor of his birthday this week, four of our favorite writers—Michael Sragow, Charles Maland, Farran Smith Nehme, and Geoffrey O’Brien—take a close look at the style and influence of a great American movie critic.

/
Ali Abbasi’s Top 10
Ali Abbasi’s Top 10

It’s no surprise that the director of the wildly unpredictable Border, Sweden’s entry for the best foreign-language film Oscar, has a soft spot for renegades like Pasolini, Buñuel, and Lynch.


Michael Korda’s Top 10
Michael Korda’s Top 10

Author Michael Korda (Charmed Lives: A Family Romance) writes: Few things are more challenging than picking ten favorites out of such a long list of distinguished films.


Guillermo del Toro’s Top 10
Guillermo del Toro’s Top 10

In compiling his top ten Criterions, Cronos director Guillermo del Toro had a hell of a time limiting himself. Del Toro humorously bemoaned the “unfair, arbitrary, and sadistic top ten practice,” so instead he decided on ties or rather, “themat


Bruce Goldstein’s Top 10
Bruce Goldstein’s Top 10

Recipient of a special New York Film Critics Circle award for visionary programming, Bruce Goldstein is the Repertory Program Director of New York’s Film Forum, for which he has created more than 350 film festivals and spearheaded the rereleases of


Explore

David Lean

Director

David Lean
David Lean

For many cinephiles, the name David Lean signifies grand moviemaking—sweeping epics like Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. But the long and eclectic career of this legendary British director encompasses arresting intimacy as well, as evidenced by the films of his in the Criterion Collection. Among those are pictures that he was responsible for editing, early on in his work in film: some of his national cinema’s greatest hits, including Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard’s Pygmalion, Gabriel Pascal’s Major Barbara, and Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 49th Parallel. In the forties and early fifties, having moved to directing, he made several luminous films, including adaptations of such classic and important contemporary works from the stage and page as Harold Brighouse’s Hobson’s Choice, Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit and Still Life (Brief Encounter, in the film version), and Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. All are graced by evocative, shadowy black-and-white cinematography and elegantly restrained compositions. Summertime, his gorgeous 1955 Technicolor trip to Venice with Katharine Hepburn, marked a turning point in his career: the sun-dappled location shoot was galvanizing for Lean, and the remainder of his films, from The Bridge on the River Kwai to A Passage to India, could be considered outdoor spectacles. Yet Lean’s deep interest in complex characters, his brilliant way with actors, and his classic sense of storytelling were never trumped by scale.