French playboy Michel Marnet and American Terry McKay fall in love aboard ship. They arrange to reunite 6 months later, after Michel has had a chance to earn a decent living.
The misadventures of two social-climbing women in small town America.
Aunt Betsey will eventually have a showdown with the villainous Murdstone over the boy's welfare and decides to keep him on in her household to raise him properly. There, David spends much of his time with the fantastic Mr. Dick (Lennox Pawle), a defective fellow who lives under the belief that long deceased King Charles I inhabits his head. Nonetheless Aunt Betsey trusts Dick as a shrewd decision maker.
The married Anna Karenina falls in love with Count Vronsky despite her husband's refusal to grant a divorce, and both must contend with the social repercussions.
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Murdstone and his bushy browed sister make life hell not only for young David, who's subject to a brutal whipping, but his sweet mother as well who's soon driven to her grave. Murdstone expresses his dislike and disgust for David before shipping him off to work in a relative's winery where he has the good fortune of lodging with the perpetually broke Mr. Micawber and family.
David Copperfield was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Academy Award for Best Picture (losing out to Mutiny on the Bounty), Best Film Editing, and Best Assistant Director (Joseph M. Newman), and was nominated for the Mussolini Cup for Best Foreign Film at the Venice Film Festival (losing out to Anna Karenina).
A pair of lookalikes, one a former French aristocrat and the other an alcoholic English lawyer, fall in love with the same woman amongst the turmoil of the French Revolution.
Even as a big fan of Freddie Bartholomew I don't particularly agree with the common assessment that the first half of David Copperfield (1935) is much better than the second. At the same time I guess there's more than some merit to the idea when even the film's director, George Cukor, acknowledged the problem and explained that this was because the first volume of Charles Dickens' 1850 novel was superior to the second volume!
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The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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There were several notable differences in the film from the book. For instance, in the film David never attends Salem House boarding school, and so the characters he met there do not appear, with the exception of Steerforth, who instead made his appearance as head boy of David's school he attended after going to live with Betsey Trotwood.
Three British soldiers on the Northwest Frontier of India struggle against the enemy - and themselves.
While I wouldn't have minded MGM leaving in whatever filmed Fields' footage existed I can imagine the downside of this would have been turning David Copperfield into a W.C. Fields picture and stealing emphasis from the title character.
Beyond adult versions of characters earlier played by children, and the presence of several characters who were around at the end of the first half of the picture, namely those played by Edna May Oliver, Lennox Pawle, Lewis Stone and Roland Young, we also have the eventual return of two of the other more important characters we've met, Lionel Barrymore's Peggotty and W.C. Fields' Micawber.
Enough years pass for Freddie Bartholomew to grow into Frank Lawton, another British born actor who'd previously appeared in the cast of 1934 Academy Award winning Best Picture Cavalcade (1933). Lawton is very believable as an adult version of Bartholomew, especially considering most audiences had little to no previous knowledge of either actor at the time of David Copperfield's release.
Title: The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger (1935)
The story was adapted by Hugh Walpole from the Dickens novel, and the film was directed by George Cukor from a screenplay by Howard Estabrook and Lenore J. Coffee, who was not credited.
After being wrongly convicted as a traitor, Peter Blood, an English physician, is sent to exile in the British colonies of the Caribbean, where he becomes a pirate.
It is still shown in many countries on television at Christmas. It is rated with four out of four stars every year in Halliwell's Film Guide.
Lewis Stone is one of the few disappointments, likely the fault of his character making him invisible, though he is allowed to get up his own dander at Heep in one scene. I've already mentioned my feelings about Madge Evans, Stone's daughter on the screen which adds up to a very boring family, and my elation over Maureen O'Sullivan, whose part is as juicy as Stone's is bare boned.
The following few paragraphs of Lennox Pawle biography is cobbled together mostly from that February 23, 1936 New York Times obituary and supplemented by bits of the few other obscure references I came across in my search for information:
If you don't have a Kindle, Amazon offers some alternatives for reading eBooks here.
Perhaps no greater praise would be heaped upon David Copperfield than that which came from Andre Sennwald of the New York Times in his review of January 19, 1935. Reserving most of his column's space to congratulate W.C. Fields on his job as Micawber, Sennwald writes "It is my belief that this cinema edition of 'David Copperfield' is the most profoundly satisfying screen manipulation of a great novel that the camera has ever given us."
This was selected by The New York Times as one of the 1000 greatest movies ever made.
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David Copperfield (1935)
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In another significant film, Gone with the Wind, which was also produced by Selznick, Melanie Wilkes (Olivia de Havilland) reads aloud from the novel David Copperfield while she waits for the vigilantes to come home from the raid. In Margaret Mitchell's novel, Melanie actually read Les Misérables at this point.
Early in the production process of David Copperfield David O. Selznick had considered filming the book as two separate movies. A note in the American Film Catalog mentions that the second film would have cost an additional $100,000 (468), but since the completed 130-minute film wound up costing over a million dollars to make that doesn't sound like a deal-breaking number.
An English valet brought to the American west assimilates into the American way of life.
George Cukor's oscar-nominated screen version of the Dickens classic novel is lavishly mounted and extremely well acted by W. C. Fields and the rest of the cast
Cedric Gibbons designed a recreation of 19th century London on the MGM backlot. The scenes set outside Aunt Betsey's house atop the white cliffs of Dover were filmed at Malibu. MGM even filmed the exterior of Canterbury Cathedral, which only appears in the film for less than a minute. Special effects, including many matte shots, were by Slavko Vorkapić.
We meet the world of David Copperfield through Freddie Bartholomew's eyes. We'll judge it through Frank Lawton's.
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The situation gets even cloudier in later press reports where Bartholomew's parents claim that Freddie's Aunt had kidnapped him to America. Whether shanghaied by Selznick and MGM or his Aunt, Bartholomew was in the U.S. and the part was his.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.