Great Expectations (1946)

2007 #98
David Lean | 113 mins | DVD | PG

Great ExpectationsClassic adaptation of the acclaimed novel. While my experience of Dickens is woefully limited to screen adaptations, this tale is one of my lesser favourites; the first act and elements of the climax are wonderfully Gothic (and here beautifully directed to that effect), but it seems to lack the depth or importance of works such as Bleak House, Oliver Twist or A Christmas Carol.*

Though, aside from the dully straightforward middle, there’s little to dislike about the adaptation. John Mills is too old to convince as a 20-year-old Pip, but his performance is good and he’s ably supported. However, the main highlights are undoubtedly all in Lean’s brilliant direction.

4 out of 5

* I don’t remove anything when I repost my old reviews, but I must add that I now find this comment to be suitably embarrassing. ^

Brief Encounter (1945)

2007 #76
David Lean | 83 mins | DVD | PG

Brief EncounterCelia Johnson and Trevor Howard star in the classic romantic drama from highly acclaimed writer Noel Coward and highly acclaimed director David Lean.

The central character’s relationship is, famously, a very British affair — all awkwardly repressed emotions, discussion of the weather, fear of society’s opinions, stolen passionate kisses, guilt, indecision, true love and endless cups of tea. The witty screenplay, direction, and lead and supporting performances are all excellent.

Undoubtedly and deservedly a true British classic.

5 out of 5

Brief Encounter is on Film4 tomorrow, Friday 31st October 2014, at 5:20pm.

It placed 6th on my list of The Ten Best Films I Saw For the First Time in 2007, which can be read in full here.