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Thursday, July 25, 2013

From The UK Favorites List ...


Lean/Dickens Triumph in Great Expectations (1946)

I'd guess this to remain the towering treatment of Dickens by movies --- can't think offhand of one better. Kevin Brownlow tells well the story of production in his bio of director David Lean. What I'd add is theory that Great Expec paved inspiration's way for Hammer's horror cycle to come, a gothic flavor Lean lends being much similar to what Terence Fisher and others at Bray would achieve on smaller budgets, but effectively all the same. Certainly there are players here who would swing Hammers down the line, and speaking of which, I don't know two scarier scenes than what Lean stages --- Pip met in the graveyard by an escaped convict, and later trying to put out the screaming fire that is Miss Havisham, Martita Hunt's fate worse than in later Brides Of Dracula. We had this wonderful show once in high school, run in two parts over a couple days of lunch period in an auditorium leaking enough light to spoil what values a 16mm print could convey, but a best option in days long before Region 2 Blu-Ray delivered splendid imagery now to be had.

2 Comments:

Blogger Kevin K. said...

We've watched "Great Expectations" on a couple of different Christmas Eves over the years. A great way to mark the holiday, as well as being one of the genuine cinema classics. Although that scene in the graveyard scared the hell out of my then-13 year old daughter.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Kevin Deany said...

The first time I saw "Great Expectatins" was in a high school English class spread over three days, I think. Rapt attention from beginning to end.

4:22 PM  

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