Iain Gray Freelance Writer

Great Expectations - Review

David Lean’s magnificent film is perhaps less indebted to Charles Dickens’s novel than it is to the profoundly beautiful cinematography of Guy Green.

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From the desolate marshes and eerie graveyard to the sinister house of Miss Havisham, he employed numerous tricks to satisfy Lean’s demands for a heightened sense of realism, in the process creating unforgettable images.

Lean, meanwhile, stripped much of the substance from the story’s supporting characters and made the narrative vigour reliant on Pip, the book’s narrator.

And having chosen this route it seems as though Lean couldn’t face either of Dickens’s defiantly futile endings, opting instead for an explicitly romantic conclusion which nevertheless warms the heart like tearing open the curtains in a dark, dusty room.


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