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Great expectations - review of three film versions.

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Introduction: In my English lessons I have been reading great expectations as part of my pro 1914-prose study, and have chosen to do my media assignment on film adaptations of the book. I will be comparing and contrasting the three film versions, David Leans 1945 film is the eldest version which is in black and white, the BBC serialisation and the latest BBC film version, and the original novel. I will structure my essay by writing about different areas of the adaptations e.g. soundtrack, first with similarities then differences between the versions. Sequencing: The sequencing of the opening scene of great expectations adaptations are all quite similar except the latest BBC adaptation, the David Lean and BBC serialisation have the same sequencing, book so it is unlike the 2 other film versions. The David Lean film and BBC serialisation have the sequencing almost of the book so tell the story in the same way as Charles Dickens did. While the David lean version is more compact due to time limitations and the BBC serialisations has more detail they both tell the same set of events in the same way. And only differ from the book in the very beginning where they show Pip the central character in the book running across the marshes to the church, where the book starts in the churchyard. ...read more.


Then the convict turns him upside down a lot of rustling and jingling from the convict's chain on his leg. The convict then demands items from Pip in the following dialogue while eating an apple and breathing heavily. At the end of the scene where Pip is running home across the marshes, the whistling winds from the graveyard are heard again. The arrival of the Convict in BBC serialisation soundtrack is different to the David Lean version you hear Pip trip and as he gets he catches sight of the convict and takes a surprised breath. The convict then moves toward him you can hear the chain on his leg jingle with every step he takes, he then talks to Pip. He shakes Pip lot's of jingling and grunting, when he resumes dialogue with Pip he is eating a piece of bread. Just before the end of the scene the convict threats Pip speaking in a whisper, then walks of to bouncy music with his chain jingling. The Convict is introduced in the latest BBC version soundtrack by Pip falling with a thud, trying to hide breathing deeply. The Convict catches up breathing heavily and his chain jingling with his footsteps, as the Convict finds Pip, Pip lets out a scream then the convict say's a short amount of dialogue. ...read more.


The appearance of the Convict is very similar in all three versions, which hold true to the book description ' A fearful man, all in course grey, with a great iron on his leg'. The David Lean version while holding true to the book description but makes the Convict more frightening to the audience than the other two versions, as it is limited to black and white to make an impact. The BBC serialisation shows the convict more as a worn out exhausted figure that is more likely to make audiences fell sorry for him than be frightened. He is truer to the description laid down in the book than the other to versions down the blackened face and rag tied around his head. The Convict in the latest BBC version is a cross between the two other versions he is more frightening in appearance than the BBC serialisation Convict, but less true to the books description and more detailed than the David Lean versions Convict. Conclusion: After watching and reviewing all three-film adaptations, I have decided in my opinion that the BBC serialisation is the best adaptation of the book. Because of the level of detail that tells the story as well and in the same fashion that made the book such a large success, I find it an excellent alternative or compliment to reading the novel. Adam Ali Great Expectation Page 1 07/05/2007 ...read more.

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