"Great Expectations" Are Fulfilled With Dickens' Queer Appeal To Hollywood

The news that Hollywood has decided to cinematise a fine book usually causes one to have that queer feeling in the liver usually only associated with love at

The dagger of such an undertaking is not that it will fall to please those who do not like their Dickens, but rather, that it will irritate these who do. Speaking for the latter group of movie-gooier, I can reassure them that their author has proved himself excellent movie-timber.

In the scramble for the covered orchids et al, it would occasion little surprise if the boy and girl who play Pip and Esiella when young get the largest balsam. One of equal size and fragrance should grace the village black smith Joe, who is delightful. Henry Hall is up to his usual standard as the convict, although he seems to have stepped straight out of "Tobacco Road" forgetting to re-touch his make up. Florence Reed is a grisly bridge, growing yearly more grisly as the morbid Miss Havisham. Her twenty year old wedding cake is such a masterpiece of Hollywood cobwebbing that even Pip, when asked what it is, says "dunno Mum. . ." Phillips Holmes achieves an accurate and gloriously irritating cockney accent of such poignancy that no one is more relieved than the audience when he finally learns to speak like a gentleman. He is union persuasive as the blacksmith's apprentice but is the epitome of gentility when be waltzes at Richmond House.

Even if Dickens does not constitute an attraction, "Great Expectations" is still worth seeing as it is one of these rare things, a good movie.