Great Expectations: Masterpiece Theatre

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Charles Dickens' classic novel, which has been brought to the screen at least six times in the past (including a modernized adaptation released in 1998), is committed to film once again in this production for television by the BBC. Pip is an orphan who lives with his older sister and her husband Joe, a blacksmith. Pip is occasionally sent to visit Miss Havisham (Charlotte Rampling), an eccentric old crone who lives in a huge but filthy mansion and is always dressed in a decrepit bridal trousseau. Miss Havisham ...
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Overview

Charles Dickens' classic novel, which has been brought to the screen at least six times in the past (including a modernized adaptation released in 1998), is committed to film once again in this production for television by the BBC. Pip is an orphan who lives with his older sister and her husband Joe, a blacksmith. Pip is occasionally sent to visit Miss Havisham (Charlotte Rampling), an eccentric old crone who lives in a huge but filthy mansion and is always dressed in a decrepit bridal trousseau. Miss Havisham has a ward, a lovely young woman named Estella, with whom Pip is immediately smitten. However, Pip is convinced a boy of poor circumstances could never win her heart, which fills him with a desire to better himself. While economics would dictate a fate as Joe's assistant, one day Pip receives a message from a lawyer named Jaggers -- an anonymous benefactor has made it possible for Pip to leave the blacksmith's shop and pursue a gentleman's education in London. Pip (played as an adult by Ioan Gruffudd) soon moves to the city, where he hopes to gain knowledge, wealth and the affections of Estella (Justine Waddell). This version of Great Expectations made its American premier on the PBS cultural series Masterpiece Theatre, where it was shown as a three-part miniseries.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Access to the Masterpiece Theatre web site; Scene selection; Closed captions
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
This 1999 BBC production combines brilliant cinematography, acting, and costume design to create a masterly production that captures the soul of Charles Dickens' finest book, Great Expectations (1861). The story chronicles the rise of young Philip Pirrip -- Pip for short -- from humble blacksmith apprentice to proud gentleman. Along the way, the camera first roves the sullen gloom of the Kentish countryside and the stark interior of a decaying mansion, then explores the winding back streets of seamy London. Light constantly wars with shadow, and occasionally the vivid red of a bloody nose or a butchered pig daubs a crass splotch upon the canvas. The actors are all nearly perfect for their parts -- from gigantic Clive Russell as kindly Joe Gargery, to beautiful Justine Waddell as Pip's first and only love, the elusive Estella. As the story unfolds, Gabriel Thomson (the young Pip) wins the sympathy of the audience with innocent vulnerability, and Ioan Gruffuds (the adult Pip) retains this sympathy even though his character allows money and status to rule his life, at least for a while. Apparently Gruffuds and director Julian Jarrold realized that there is much that is modern in Pip. Like a misguided yuppie, he chooses power and position over friends and family, pride and vanity over humility and modesty. After Pip realizes his mistakes, Gruffuds wisely forgoes sentimentality when he acts out Pip's redemption and his reconciliation with the people he loves. Other notable performances abound, in particular those of Waddell, Russell, Charlotte Rampling as Miss Haversham, Ian McDiarmid as Jaggers, and Bernard Hill as Abel Magwitch. The period costumes of the village and city dwellers earned the motion picture a top British award. The production itself won an Emmy nomination for Best Miniseries after it debuted on American television.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/28/2004
  • UPC: 783421337596
  • Original Release: 1999
  • Rating:

  • Source: Wgbh / Pbs
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Sound: Dolby Digital
  • Time: 3:00:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ioan Gruffudd Pip
Justine Waddell Estella
Charlotte Rampling Miss Havisham
Ian McDiarmid Jaggers
Bernard Hill Abel Magwitch
Technical Credits
Julian Jarrold Director
Rebecca Eaton Executive Producer
Tony Marchant Adaptation, Screenwriter
David Snodin Producer
Michael Wearing Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Bringing Up Pip [11:45]
2. Not Much to Look At [11:59]
3. Playing for Miss Havisham [11:03]
4. Progress for All [12:48]
5. Unusual Business [11:34]
6. A Face From the Past [12:21]
7. Back Home [14:56]
1. Trouble in the Grove [13:21]
2. Looking Behind [11:19]
3. Estella's Choice [14:24]
4. Miss Havisham's Regrets [11:40]
5. The Law Catches Up [12:45]
6. The Best People in the World [13:28]
7. Happily Ever After? [9:31]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Scene Selection
      Scene Selections, Part 1
      Scene Selections, Part 2
   DVD-ROM Features
   Accessibility Options
   Other Products of Interest
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderful!

    Very good movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Great Expectations is my favorite Dickens novel, and this film did an impressive job of keeping fairly true to the story line and the characters. What made this outstanding were the performances of the actors, Pip’s naivete, Miss Havisham’s grotesque personality, Estella’s coldness, Joe’s downright lovability…... The nuances of the interaction between characters was extraordinary, only occasionally deviating slightly from the original plot, I think true Dickens fans will agree it was a well made adaptation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews