Great Expectations. 1946. Directed and adapted by David Lean. Starring John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Martita Hunt, Finlay Currie, Alec Guinness, Eileen Erskine, and Bernard Miles.
I feel I should first point out that this is the only adaptation of Great Expectations that I've seen. I have no other film with which to compare it. Is it faithful to the book? Somewhat. It does take liberties. With the ending it takes HUGE liberties. I'm not sure Estella is Estella enough--if that makes sense.
As I was watching it, Mom made the observation that Estella is in many ways similar to Scarlett O'Hara--in her selfish heartlessness. I don't know that Estella deserves a happily-ever-after ending. I would have more respect for Pip, perhaps, if he wasn't so head-over-heels with Estella and blind to her greatest faults. Oh, he knows she has faults. But he seems to ignore/dismiss them. Her insides don't match her outsides--and he seems okay with that, more than okay with that.
But when I really stop and consider Pip--is he a great judge of character in general? He is just as blind when it comes to Joe. The way Pip feels about Joe--the way he's ashamed of him, embarrassed by him, dismissive of him, at times rude to him--if only by default of complete and total ingratitude--makes me angry.
I liked the film okay. I do think they took a few liberties here and there. I'm not sure the film includes all my favorite dialogue-driven scenes. But I'd really have to watch the film again to double-check. (I don't want to.)
Quotes from Small House at Allington
A self-imposed trouble will not allow itself to be banished.
“Ah, that’s so like you. I always said you’d no feeling of real romance. If I cared for a woman I’d give her the coat off my back.” “I’d do better than that,” said Johnny. “I’d give her the heart out of my body. I’d be chopped up alive for a girl I loved; but it shouldn’t be for another man’s wife.”
We saw that he had difficulty in writing it, but the miracle was, that any man could have found it possible to write it.
Love does not follow worth, and is not given to excellence; — nor is it destroyed by ill-usage, nor killed by blows and mutilation.
“Mothers do not often get tired of their children, whatever the children may do of their mothers.”
“I don’t know that any good would be got by knocking him over the head. And if we are to be Christians, I suppose we ought to be Christians.”
“What sort of a Christian has he been?” “That’s true enough; and if I was Bernard, I should be very apt to forget my Bible lessons about meekness.” There are some things for which a man ought to be beaten black and blue.” “So that he shouldn’t do them again?” “Exactly.”
“I don’t know much about being in love with her,” said Johnny, turning very red as he spoke. “But I’d go through fire and water for her, my lord. I knew her years before he had ever seen her, and have loved her a great deal better than he will ever love any one.
My belief is that in life people will take you very much at your own reckoning.
There are certain maladies which make the whole body sore.
John Eames had reached his office precisely at twelve o’clock, but when he did so he hardly knew whether he was standing on his heels or his head.
No one thinks of defending himself to a newspaper except an ass; — unless it be some fellow who wants to have his name puffed.
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