Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|David Copperfield |
Actors: Freddie Bartholomew, Frank Lawton, Jay Eaton, Frank Hayes, Sam McDaniel
Directors: Gene Burdette, George Cukor, Hugh Harman
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts, Animation
"We are friends for life." The man speaking: Micawber, played by W.C. Fields with great comedic charm and human warmth. The child addressed: David, played by Freddie Bartholomew in his Hollywood debut. The movie: David Cop... more »
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A BEAUTIFUL FILM
scotsladdie | 11/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dickens, with his vast humanity and that amazing vitality of his which created a whole world of characters, contains inexhaustable riches for the screen, though his long rambling plots are the despair of scenerio writers. His people--types, caricatures, or whatever you choose to call them--are distict and individual in appearance, actions and speech--and are rare parts for good actors. The trick in getting Dickens effectively on the screen was an enormously difficult one of selecting and condensing--keeping enough to satisfy the Dickens lover who complains bitterly when any favourite character or episode is left out. Some may find Dickens as being overlong, overly sentimental and often more than a bit tedious; at any rate, however, this is excellent Dickens! Good intentions and imposing ambitions are plentiful enough in the making of movies, but woefully rare are the instances where technical excellence, good taste and judgement and an intelligent sense of the rightness of things combined to bring thowe intentions and ambitions to a successful issue. DAVID COPPERFIELD is one of those rare and happy successes. It met every reasonable expectation competently and generously, and the film was highly praised by the critics and public alike back in 1935. This filmed version of the classic novel by Dickens, is remarkably faithful to the source - rich in atmosphere and fine characterisations. David himself is played ideally by both Freddie Bartholomew and Frank Lawton; they miraculously seem to be the same person at different ages! If Frank Lawton seems less interesting, its only because his adventures are so mild compared with those of Bartholomew. W.C. Fields' whole career seemed to have been a preparation for his role as Micawber; he is magnificent in his off-beat role. Edna May Oliver and Jessie Ralph give flawless pictures of Betsey Trotwood and Peggotty. The black villainy of the Murstones is done in just the right spirit by Basil Rathbone and Violet Kembell Cooper while Roland Young makes you actually feel the dampness of Uriah Heap's hands! The film is a splendid picture-book of the novel, custom made for those who admire the splendid novel by Dickens."
An Oldie But A Goodie
Michael N. Cantwell | 12/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Charles Dickens, like Jane Austen, is a 19th Century writer whose stories translate very well to the cinema. It is because of the strength of the characters and the fact that most of the stories have a happy ending and the baddies end up properly punished.David Copperfield, while somewhat faded in the physical quality of the video itself, as a film is a perfect example. It's full of wonderful character actors who seem to be having the times of their lives in their parts. Basil Rathbone is at his villanest, as the evil stepfather, Mr. Murdstone. Roland Young is particularly effective as the slimey Uriah Heep. And the great W.C. Fields personifies the always hopeful Mr. Micawber. Dickens would have loved his interpretation of the wonderful mountebank. The only clinker in the whole cast is Freddie Bartholomew, who often comes across as a whiney twit. I'm sure Fields would have liked to have given him a kick in the pants, like he did Baby LeRoy in The Old-Fashioned Way. I recommend the film heartily for young and old. You will certainly recognize the same virtues and vices in people you see today. Unfortunately, good and evil nowadays don't always result in the same outcomes as in Charles Dicken's time.When you've finished this film, move on to Great Expectations with Alec Guiness, Jean Simmons and John Mills; Oliver Twist with Alec Guiness, Robert Newton and Anthony Newley and A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim. If you aren't dripping with good will and cheer by then, let's face it you're either dead or Scrooged. Happy Holidays!"
Near Perfect Dickens Adaptation: No One Makes Films Like Thi
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 10/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are so many adaptations of Charles Dickens, but many of them in and after the 1950s are actually made for television like BBC mini-series. The golden era of the Dickens FILMs was the 1930s and 40s, when David Lean's `Great Expectations' and `Oliver Twist' were produced in England. Before these classics, however, Hollywood also made two great films based on Dickens in the same year from the same studio: MGM's 1935 version of `Tale of Two Cities' and `David Copperfield.'
George Cukor's `David Copperfield' respectfully treats the immortal characters Dickens created. The original's plot was never changed drastically, and you still feel that this is a Hollywood film - Hollywood in the 1930s when the name of producer David O. Selznick appears on the screen AFTER the director's name. Then the film shows a book cover, and someone slowly turns over the page. No one makes films like this today
The film starts with the delightful turn of Edna May Oliver as Aunt Betsy Trotwood, one of the juiciest roles in this film, and she never disappoints us. Beautiful Elizabeth Allan (then on contract to MGM, also seen in `Tale of Two Cities') effectively plays the young mother of David, too young and maybe foolish. Basil Rathbone as chilling Murdstone makes a great contrast with her sunny personality that is destroyed by his cold heart.
Cukor's `David Copperfield' is usually associated with W. C. Fields's Mr. Micawber, which is surely convincing and funny without overacting, but as I have pointed out, there are so many good actors besides Fields (who actually replaced Charles Laughton after the shooting had started). MGM's studio system sometimes damaged the career of the talented actors such as Buster Keaton who was often miscast during his MGM era, but as far as `David Copperfield' is concerned, every player is put in right place. Watch angelic Maureen O'Sullivan as the endearing and doomed heroine Dora, and you know what I mean. Well, I want more Lionel Barrymore and Elisa Lanchester, but I admit the film is near perfect.
Of course nobody is perfect, and so is George Cukor. No matter how he tries, the film's location never looks authentic, and at one scene an obviously painted backdrop stands for the city of London. By today's standard this is unacceptable, but as I said, no one makes films like this today. Enjoy the world of Dickens, and Hollywood when it was making real Hollywood films."
Disappointing DVD transfer of a Great Classic
B. G. Carroll | Liverpool, England, UK | 11/02/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When Warners announced that the original nitrate camera negative had been found for George Cukor's 1935 DAVID COPPERFIELD and that it would digitally remaster the film for DVD, I was delighted. However, the results are so disappointing that I really doubt any restoration was ever even attempted.
The print on display here is in pretty wretched condition, with a plethora of marks, scratches and other blemishes on almost every frame. True, this is a 70 year old film, and one must make allowances - but if the original negative WAS available, then much could have been done to minimise the damage of time and restore the image.
I think that Warners didn't want to spend the money, which may explain why the DVD slipcase makes no mention of digital remastering or original negatives at all...!
What a great pity and a missed opportunity."