Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Alfonso Cuarón|
|Produced by|| Art Linson |
|Screenplay by||Mitch Glazer|
|Based on|| Great Expectations |
by Charles Dickens
|Narrated by||Ethan Hawke|
|Music by|| Patrick Doyle |
|Edited by||Steven Weisberg|
Art Linson Productions
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$55.5 million|
Great Expectations is a 1998 American romantic drama film. A contemporary film adaptation of Charles Dickens’s 1861 novel of the same name, co-written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón and starring Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hank Azaria, Robert De Niro, Anne Bancroft and Chris Cooper. It is known for having moved the setting of the original novel from 1812-1827 London to 1990s New York. The film is an abridged modernization of Dickens's 1861 novel, with the hero's name having been changed from Pip to Finn, and the character Miss Havisham having been renamed Nora Dinsmoor. The film received mixed reviews.
Ten-year-old Finnegan "Finn" Bell, an orphan being raised by his elder sister Maggie and her boyfriend Joe, is playing on a beach in the Gulf Coast when an escaped convict overpowers him. Finn must promise to bring back food, medicine and bolt cutters to get the iron shackles off his leg. Finn complies, but is taken hostage and the convict tries to escape to Mexico but the police seize his small boat. The convict hides on a buoy and the police tow Finn back to land. The next day, Finn sees on the news that the convict was a mobster named Arthur Lustig who had escaped from death row, but has now been recaptured.
Joe is called to do gardening work at "Paradiso Perduto" ("Lost Paradise" in Italian), the mansion of the richest woman in Florida, Nora Dinsmoor. Ms. Dinsmoor has lived as a recluse since she was left at the altar by her fiancé many years before. Finn accompanies Joe and encounters Dinsmoor's young niece, the beautiful Estella. Dinsmoor invites Finn to come back and play with Estella. On Finn's first visit Estella behaves haughtily, but her aunt forces her into sitting for an impromptu portrait by Finn. While he draws, Ms. Dinsmoor warns Finn that he will fall in love with Estella and have his heart broken.
Several years pass. Maggie runs away from home and Joe raises Finn alone. Finn goes to Paradiso Perduto every Saturday and develops into a talented painter. Although Estella is at times flirtatious, even attempting to seduce Finn at one point, she leaves to study abroad in Europe without telling him. Heartbroken, Finn gives up painting and his visits to Paradiso Perduto.
Seven years later, a lawyer comes to Finn and tells him that a gallery owner in New York City is interested in showing his work. Finn is perplexed but agrees to go. Once he arrives he encounters Estella in the park, whom Ms. Dinsmoor had mentioned was also in New York. Estella is in a relationship with a wealthy businessman, Walter. She resumes her flirtatious behavior towards Finn, posing nude in his apartment and arousing the jealousy of Walter.
Eventually Finn, frustrated by Estella's evasiveness, lures her away from Walter and the two make love. She tells him that she is going away briefly to visit her aunt, but she will be back to attend the opening of Finn's show. However, on the night of the opening Estella fails to materialize. Instead, Uncle Joe shows up and inadvertently embarrasses Finn with his crudeness. Finn then goes to Estella's abode in New York, hoping to find her there, but instead he finds Ms. Dinsmoor, who reveals that she came to New York to attend Estella's wedding to Walter. When Finn becomes upset at the news, she tells him that Estella was using him all along to make Walter jealous and convince him to marry her. When she realizes how seriously she has upset him, she grows remorseful and apologizes for her manipulation, but it is too late.
Finn returns to his studio to find a strange bearded man wanting to see him: It is none other than Arthur Lustig. Finn is at first incredulous, but then he becomes uncomfortable with the old man's presence and implies that he should leave. As Lustig is walking out the door, his off-hand comments make Finn aware that he, and not the wealthy Ms. Dinsmoor, has in fact been Finn's benefactor during Finn's entire time in New York. Finn thus accompanies Lustig to the subway station.
While they are waiting for a train, Lustig sees three unsavory acquaintances on the opposite platform. Finn and Lustig outmaneuver them and get on a train. They think they are safe, but as the train is in motion one of the two men comes through the car and brutally stabs Lustig in the side. As Lustig bleeds to death in Finn's arms, he reveals that he has been Finn's benefactor in return for the kindness Finn showed him as a child.
Devastated, Finn detaches himself from everything and goes to Paris to study art. He becomes successful in his own right, and eventually returns to Florida to visit his Uncle Joe. Ms. Dinsmoor has since died, but he decides to visit her house anyway. As he is sitting in the garden, he thinks he sees the apparition of Estella as a child. He follows the little girl through to the back dock where he finds the child's mother, who turns out to be Estella, who has since divorced. She admits that she has often thought of him, and asks for his forgiveness for her past cruelty. Finn forgives her and they hold hands looking out over the sea.
Director Alfonso Cuarón was a big fan of Ethan Hawke's work in Before Sunrise (1995) and strongly wanted him to play the lead. Hawke was initially not interested - he felt that the themes of class present in the story would be better served in an American context if the main character was Latino or African American. However, after meeting with Cuarón and being impressed with the director's enthusiasm for the project, Hawke agreed.
The voiceovers were not in the original screenplay. Once the film was edited together, producer Art Linson felt voiceover was needed to maintain connective tissue in the hyperstylized world Cuaron had created. Previously working with screenwriter David Mamet on The Edge , Linson hired him to write the voiceovers. Mamet was not credited in the final film.
The name of Hawke's character was undecided for a while, with the original novel's Pip sounding unpalatable given this version's modern day setting. The production later settled on Finnegan, or Finn, the name of Hawke's dog.
Alfonso Cuarón has stated that directing the film was a "horrible experience" and a film he "shouldn't have done" and made it "for the wrong reasons." Cuarón stated that he first passed on directing the script multiple times, but reconsidered when he needed money and had a chance to work with some of the names attached to the project.
The song "Siren" was written for this film by Tori Amos. The soundtrack also includes songs by popular artists such as Pulp, Scott Weiland, Iggy Pop, Chris Cornell and The Verve Pipe. Duncan Sheik's contribution, the song "Wishful Thinking", was released as a single from the soundtrack and Poe's "Today" was released as a promo. The film's score was written by Scottish composer Patrick Doyle, a veteran of many literary adaptations and frequent collaborator of Kenneth Branagh, and featured classical guitarist John Williams.
Several variations of the song Bésame Mucho are heard throughout the film. The primary recording, however, and the version released on the soundtrack, is performed by Cesaria Evora.
The soundtrack also featured the breakthrough single "Life in Mono", which became a major hit, charting on the Billboard Hot 100.
The score track "Kissing in the Rain" was sampled in the song "RoboCop" on Kanye West's 2008 album, 808s & Heartbreak .
The screenplay for this film was written by Mitch Glazer, loosely based on Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations .The film itself was then novelized by Deborah Chiel, also under the title Great Expectations.
Great Expectations received mixed or average reviews. Based on 24 critic reviews from mainstream publication, Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 55 out of 100, based on reviews from 24 critics.Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 37% based on 35 reviews.
Film critic Roger Ebert, giving it three stars out of four, wrote: "Great Expectations begins as a great movie (I was spellbound by the first 30 minutes), but ends as only a good one, and I think that's because the screenplay, by Mitch Glazer, too closely follows the romantic line."
Ethan Hawke commented on the film's release that it had the bad fortune to overlap with the release of Titanic , which premiered in theatres six weeks before Great Expectations. He stated that "nobody gave a shit about anything but Titanic for about 9 months after...particularly another romance."
Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B-" on an A+ to F scale.
All of Finn's artwork and portraits of the main characters in the film were done by Francesco Clemente, an Italian painter. The actors sat for him in private. A gallery of some of the paintings is available for viewing at Fox's website devoted to the film.
Alfonso Cuarón is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, and editor.
Great Expectations is the thirteenth novel by Charles Dickens and his penultimate completed novel, which depicts the education of an orphan nicknamed Pip. It is Dickens's second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person. The novel was first published as a serial in Dickens's weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. In October 1861, Chapman and Hall published the novel in three volumes.
Ethan Green Hawke is an American actor, writer, and director. He has been nominated for four Academy Awards and a Tony Award. Hawke has directed three feature films, three off-Broadway plays, and a documentary. He has also written three novels and one graphic novel. He made his film debut with the 1985 science fiction feature Explorers, before making a breakthrough appearance in the 1989 drama Dead Poets Society. He appeared in various films before taking a role in the 1994 Generation X drama Reality Bites, for which he received critical praise. Hawke starred alongside Julie Delpy in Richard Linklater's Before trilogy: Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013), all of which received critical acclaim.
Amelia Havisham is a character in the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations (1861). She is a wealthy spinster, once jilted at the altar, who insists on wearing her wedding dress for the rest of her life. She lives in a ruined mansion with her adopted daughter, Estella. Dickens describes her as looking like "the witch of the place".
Estella Havisham is a significant character in the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations.
"Pip" is the fourteenth episode in the fourth season of the American animated television series South Park. The 62nd episode of the series overall, it first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on November 29, 2000. Going by production order, it is the 5th episode of Season 4 instead of the 14th. The episode is a parody and comedic retelling of Charles Dickens's 1861 novel Great Expectations, and stars the South Park character Pip, who assumes the role of the protagonist of the novel, who is his namesake. "Pip" features no other regular characters from the show. The story is narrated in a live action parody of the anthology television series Masterpiece Theatre, with the narrator played by Malcolm McDowell.
Great Expectations is a 1946 British film directed by David Lean, based on the 1861 novel by Charles Dickens and starring John Mills, Bernard Miles, Finlay Currie, Jean Simmons, Martita Hunt, Alec Guinness and Valerie Hobson. It won two Academy Awards and was nominated for three others.
Abel Magwitch is a major fictional character from Charles Dickens' 1861 novel Great Expectations.
Great Expectations is a British-American television serial based on Charles Dickens' 1861 novel of the same title. The serial was first broadcast in the US in three parts on The Disney Channel in 1989, and in the UK in six parts on the ITV network in 1991.
Great Expectations is a 1934 adaptation of the 1861 Charles Dickens novel of the same name. Filmed with mostly American actors, it was the first sound version of the novel and was produced in Hollywood by Universal Studios and directed by Stuart Walker. It stars Phillips Holmes as Pip, Jane Wyatt as Estella and Florence Reed as Miss Havisham.
Great Expectations is a 1974 film made for television based on the Charles Dickens 1861 novel of the same name. It was directed by Joseph Hardy, with screenwriter Sherman Yellen and music by Maurice Jarre, starring Michael York as Pip, Simon Gipps-Kent as Young Pip and Sarah Miles as Estella. The production, for Transcontinental Films and ITC, was made for US television and released to cinemas in the UK. It broke with tradition by having the same actress play both the younger and older Estella. The film was shot by Freddie Young. It was filmed in Eastmancolor and it was entered into the 9th Moscow International Film Festival in 1975.
Great Expectations is a 1999 television film adaptation of Charles Dickens’s 1861 novel of the same name. It was aired on BBC Two in the UK, and on Masterpiece Theatre in the US.
Ca' d'Zan is a Venetian Gothic revival residence in Sarasota, Florida, adjacent to the Sarasota Bay. The residence was the winter home of the American circus owner, developer and art collector John Ringling and his wife Mable.
Compeyson is the main antagonist of Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations, whose criminal activities harmed two people, who in turn shaped much of protagonist Pip's life.
Great Expectations is a three-part BBC television drama adaptation by Sarah Phelps of the Charles Dickens’s 1861 novel of the same name, starring Ray Winstone as Magwitch, Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham, Douglas Booth as Pip, Vanessa Kirby as Estella and David Suchet as Jaggers. The adaptation was first broadcast on British television over the Christmas period in 2011.
Great Expectations is a 2012 British film adaptation of Charles Dickens' 1861 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Mike Newell, with the adapted screenplay by David Nicholls, and stars Jeremy Irvine, Helena Bonham Carter, Holliday Grainger, Ralph Fiennes and Robbie Coltrane. It was distributed by Lionsgate.
The Invisible Woman is a 2013 British biographical drama film directed by Ralph Fiennes and starring Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander. Written by Abi Morgan, and based on the book of the same name by Claire Tomalin, the film is about the secret love affair between Charles Dickens and Nelly Ternan, which lasted for thirteen years until his death in 1870. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on 31 August 2013, and was released in the United Kingdom on 7 February 2014. The film received a Best Costume Design nomination at the 86th Academy Awards.
Philip Pirrip, called Pip, is the protagonist and narrator in Charles Dickens's novel Great Expectations (1861). He is amongst the most popular characters in English literature. Pip narrates his story many years after the events of the novel take place. The novel follows Pip's process from childhood innocence to adulthood. The financial and social rise of the protagonist is accompanied by an emotional and moral deterioration, which forces Pip to recognize his negative expectations in a new self-awareness.
John Linson is an American film producer, television producer and founder of Linson Entertainment. He is known for producing films such as Great Expectations, Lords of Dogtown ,The Runaways and the television series Sons of Anarchy and Yellowstone.
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