Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This third talking-picture version of Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations stars Michael York as Pip, the humble British lad whose aspirations to become a gentleman are financed by a mysterious benefactor. We first see young Pip (played by Simon Gipps-Kent) coming to the aid of escaped convict Magwitch (James Mason). Once this episode has apparently run its course, we find Pip the guest of the wealthy, reclusive, half-mad Miss Havisham (Margaret Leighton), and the worshipper-from-afar of Havisham's snooty niece Estella (played as both a teenager and an adult by Sarah Miles--breaking the usual cinematic tradition of casting two actresses in the role). This brief exposure to the finer things in life leads Pip on the winding road to betterment, with a few surprises in store for him. Great Expectations premiered November 22, 1974, as a Bell System Family Theatre presentation.
benefactor, convict, love, niece, orphan, recluse, upper-class