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Compare the opening scenes of "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens with the film versions by David Lean (1946) and Kevin Connor (1989).

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Introduction

COMPARE THE OPENING SCENES OF "GREAT EXPECTATIONS" BY CHARLES DICKENS WITH THE FILM VERSIONS BY DAVID LEAN (1946) AND KEVIN CONNOR (1989) In both the novel and the David Lean film, the very first section is where Pip explains his name. In the novel, it is an autobiographical piece, which is spoken by the adult Pip. This is also used in the David Lean film, but as it is a film, a picture is needed and this is of a book, (this is the Charles Dickens book) with the pages blowing in the wind. It stops on the first page where there is a voice over of adult Pip reading what Charles Dickens wrote in the novel about his name. Once he has finished the paragraph, the pages blow over again and it fades into the scene. This opening scene of David Leans film shows Pip running along a sea wall and past a gibbet. The sky is dark and looks very looming. ...read more.

Middle

I feel that there was most tension in David Lean's film due to Pip turning round, Magwitch just appearing and Pips startled scream. Nonetheless, Kevin Connor has also portrayed this well, but I do not think the tension built up as much. To be more effective, the rattling should have been louder and there should have maybe been more creepy sounds and images like there was in the David Lean film; the claw like branches and the face like tree-trunk, which I felt, was quite frightening and eerie. So I say that the David Lean film had the better tense atmosphere which was meant to be achieved. I think that both films capture the image of Magwitch well as was written in the novel. Both are almost perfect. They both looked like convicts and had all the necessary items- irons on legs, head scarf, very dirty, short hair, unshaven and wearing dirty, ripped rags. The way Magwitch treats Pip is the same in both films and is as written in the novel. ...read more.

Conclusion

I preferred the Kevin Connor ending as you can see the worry in Magwitch's eyes as he sees the gibbets. And then it sets the scene again, which is very effective in this film, but less good in the David Lean film because it is in black and white and harder to get a good idea of the surroundings despite it still being quite good, and totally acceptable. Neither of the films show the stepping-stones which were written in the novel but this is nothing too major. Out of the two films, I preferred the David Lean version. I like the mood it creates and I like the actors that played the parts better and all round, it was more like the novel. However, I still enjoyed the Kevin Connor version because of the fact that it is more detailed and the setting is perfect, but is fails on creating the atmosphere, not including the very first scene, which showed the river and the rusty boats and the fog. That was very effective and the atmosphere was good. Scott Humm ...read more.

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