David Copperfield (The Personal History, Adventures, Experience & Observation Of David Copperfield) (1935)

GEORGE CUKOR

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  USA, 1935.  Adaptation by , Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1935.  

Freddie Bartholomew and W.C. Fields in David Copperfield.

Somehow, this Hollywood adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel manages to pare the mammoth story down to two and a half hours and not let it ever feel flimsy, and George Cukor does such a wonderful job coaxing heartfelt performances from his actors that even literary purists will appreciate it. The story follows the young boy of the title () from his early days being raised by his widowed mother in a country cottage until she marries a very evil man who drives her to an early grave and turns his harsh attentions to David. Eventually, David grows up to take part in the business world, finding new love in his quirky aunt () and affection in a beautiful girl whom he marries (). is marvelous as the hopeless Mr. Macawber, who is a friend to David at some times and an obstacle for him at others.

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