David Lean’s Oscar-winning 1946 adaptation of Great Expectations is still arguably the best adaptation of Charles Dickens’s novel, and possibly the best Dickensian film adaptation ever – apart from The Muppet Christmas Carol obviously (I’m joking).
Admittedly, it doesn’t adapt the entire novel. Lean’s version was based on abridged stage version of the book that was made by Alec Gunniess, who stars in the film version as Herbert Pocket. However, the story of young Pip Pirrip (Anthony Wager) helping escaped convict Magwitch (Finlay Currie), providing company for spinster Miss Haversham (Martita Hunt), and finally being offered the chance to become a gentlemen still make for fine entertainment.
It was certainly entertaining enough to win the Oscars for “Best Art Direction” and “Best Cinematography”.
Great Expectations is on Film4 at 14.40.