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Great Expectations [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Ray Winstone, Gillian Anderson, David Suchet, Douglas Booth
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Jan. 2012
  • Run Time: 175 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006H3Q7LA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,917 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

“Don’t come again. Even if she begs. Forget about this house and everyone in it...”

On a cold winter's day, orphan Pip has a terrifying encounter with an escaped convict. Pip's innocent act of kindness towards this man is to have far reaching consequences for them both. Meanwhile, Miss Havisham, the reclusive owner of the grand and dilapidated Satis House, has requested Pip's presence as a playmate to her beautiful but cold-hearted daughter, Estella. Then Pip's life is suddenly transformed by the generosity of a secret benefactor. Pip abandons his loving home on the marshes for the life of a London gentleman, hoping to win Estella's hand. But the encounters of his childhood are to haunt him and shape the man he becomes.

Sarah Phelps' gripping adaptation brings out the very best of Dickens' masterpiece - part thriller, part mystery, with a powerful love story at its heart.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By markd on 9 Jan. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A modern adaptation of one of Dickens' greatest stories, but it never quite hits the spot. A number of major changes to the plot, presumably carried out to make this production feel fresh, add nothing but in fact detract from the story.
There are some great performances (Winstone) some average performances (most of the cast) and some truly awful ones (Booth and Addy).
As is common now the lighting is gloomy and dark which is offputting whilst trying to follow the action. The overuse of music again is too distracting.
It is still watchable and is not a complete waste of time but falls short of the normal BBC standard of adaptation.
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64 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Style junkie on 31 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD
Although I read voraciously and enjoy challenging literature, I find Dickens heavy going generally. I've noticed that, among enthusiastic readers like me, Dickens is like Marmite: you either love it or loath it. I often find his characters too overblown for credibility, sometimes tending (in my view) towards grotesque (though entertaining) caricatures. That said, they are often memorable - and his plots are fascinating.

I studied Great Expectations at school, but I didn't particularly like it. Perhaps that is why I felt free to enjoy this adaptation for what it is: Beautiful and interesting to look at, evocative, and believable (something I have a problem with in the writing).

I don't agree with the negative review(s) of Ray Winstone as Magwitch: Of course he was himself as usual, which itself brings a particular humanity to his roles, but I understood his Magwitch as a fully-rounded comprehensible person. I loved Gillian Anderson as Miss Haversham. I really admire her as an actor generally and, again, felt that she gave a life and a humanity to the character not present, for me, in the book. Jaggers (David Suchet) became authentic for me, as did his relationship with Molly, and I really liked this version of Wemmick (Paul Ritter). I also disagree with criticisms of the adult Estella (Vanessa Kirby) - she, too, was more vivid for me than before - and I felt she was well cast for this version (the character should not, I feel, be constrained by imagining that she would be a conventionally "beautiful" aristocratic type - that was not the character's true background; and she's MEANT to be cold and unsympathetic until near the end, isn't she?). I felt that the whole script worked very well generally, in its own right.
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43 of 53 people found the following review helpful By D. Smith on 29 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Rather surprised at the one-star review already on here (especially as it was posted before the final instalment had been broadcast) so here's a counter-balance. Great Expectations is probably Dickens masterpiece, and this adaptation captures the narrative drive and the anticipated shocks of Magwitch on the marshes, both terrorising Pip and nearly killing the as yet unrevealed Compeyson. A great performance from Ray Winstone. It also retains some of the lightness of touch and comedy of the book, though perhaps not as much as I would have liked, but a big nod to Mark Addy as the pompous Uncle Pumblechook. I don't usually warm to David Suchet, as I find it impossible to disassociate him in my mind (unfortunately) with Hercule Poirot, where he just comes over as smarmy, but here he inhabits the bones of the lawyer Jaggers, who knows everything, but refuses to reveal or clarify, until even he at the end exhibits the human frailty at his core. Gillian Anderson gave a completely different reading to the irresponsible Miss Havisham, playing fey and eerily girlish rather than the more usual jilted Maggie Thatcher lever-puller interpretation, and all the more intriguing for that.

Estella and Pip were played well (especially Vanessa Kirby's Estella) as pawns rather than wholly finished characters with self-determination and a balanced view. Another reviewer complained that Pip, on receiving his inheritance, went to London and became a wastrel and a fop. Er...that's rather one of the points of the book, isn't it, before he redeems himself by coming to care for Magwitch (and cared for in turn by Joe - oddly missed out of this version) and manages to become, along with Estella, a more rounded and compassionate human being.

Too short, of course, could have done with another episode or three, but full marks all the same.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Ia Platings on 27 Dec. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This production was originally broadcast by the BBC as a Christmas Treat for its viewers in 2011. Restricted to three episodes because of the time of year, some compression of the plot is inevitable.

My family 'did not like Dickens', so I have never been brought up with him in the way I was with Jane Austen. My impression of Dickens was the groan of my friends who were studying Bleak House for A Level. With the immedicacy of Youth, I wanted shorter plots, not ones that went on for years and years. No Dickens for me then.
So the BBC broadcasts of Dickens' novels have been an eye-opener. My husband and I found this three episode version of Great Expectations entrancing and gripping.

As a former theatrical cosumier I found the production faultless, and the acting superb. I look forward to watching this again and again. The characters have stayed with me; I long to know more about them, so off I shall go to the book. The only thing - much commented on I know - is the casting of Estelle. But better to have an actress who can act, eh? rather than a pretty face that can't. And her casting was plausible when her parents are revealed.

Sarah Phelps, who has written 50 episodes of Eastenders, was an inspired choice to take on the job of writing the screenplay. Already skilled in the art of writing soap opera, she has tackled the task of condensing Dickens admirably.
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