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John Mills, Valerie Hobson and Alec Guinness star in David Lean's classic, perennially popular version of Dickens' rags-to-riches tale.
Made immediately after David Lean's triumph with Brief Encounter, this perennially popular and critically acclaimed version of Dickens' rags-to-riches tale is, for many, the benchmark against which all adaptations of the "Sparkler of Albion" are still measured. If not slavishly faithful, Lean's Great Expectations nonetheless superbly conjures Dickens' world; the fog-enshrouded opening in the graveyard where the orphan Pip meets the escaped convict Magwitch instantly established itself as one of the most memorable sequences in film history. As with Lean's immediate follow-up, Oliver Twist, the cast could not be bettered: John Mills as the grown-up Pip, Jean Simmons and Valerie Hobson as the young and adult Estella, Alec Guinness as Herbert Pocket, Francis L. Sullivan as the gruff lawyer Jaggers, and Finlay Currie as Magwitch.