Great Expectations was first made into a motion picture in 1934 by Universal Pictures. Directed by Stuart Walker and starring Jane Wyatt, Phillips Holmes, and George Breakston, this version is now available on videocassette. The 1946 film version has justifiably become a classic, featuring fine performances by John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Bernard Miles, Francis L. Sullivan, Martita Hunt, Alec Guinness, Finlay Currie, Anthony Wager, and Jean Simmons. Directed by David Lean, this production remains remarkably true to Dickens’s novel. In 1974 Joseph Hardy directed an acceptable made-for-television movie of Great Expectations starring Michael York, Sarah Miles, and James Mason.
A good adaptation for classroom use is Encyclopaedia Britannica Films’ two-part, 69-minute film Great Expectations (1963-1964). This version has two complementary instructional films featuring Clifton Fadiman: Early Victorian England and Charles Dickens, 35 minutes, and The Novel: What It Is, What It’s About, What It Does, 35 minutes. The Learning Corporation of America has released a 118-minute version of Great Expectations produced by David Lean.