|David Copperfield (2004, DVD)|
Returns not accepted
eBay Buyer Protection
Nashua, NH, USA
Free shippingBuy it now
Free shippingBuy it now
Average review score based on 5 user reviews
Forget everything you've ever read or seen on a subject that was supposedly Charles Dickens' favorite story of all the magnificent 19th Century period piece fiction he composed, ostensibly because of its autobiographical origins. In the case of this miserable cinematic flop, just after the opening scene shows a twenty-ish David Copperfield sitting in his seaside cottage study, jotting down the opening passage of "I am Born..." the writer and director should have added soon after, "...and already, I'm about to die... of boredom!"
Nothing can prepare you for the dismay of seeing this young man's endless walks on the beach; his sad and boring reminiscences and sketchy, dis-jointed and unromantic reflections. There are as well, ever present and supremely annoying flash-backs that serve only to punctuate and ruin any faint hope that anything afterward will be worth viewing. His constant posing of the question, "Will I be 'The Hero' of my own life?" will drive you mad and cause you to abandon any hope you might have for performances given in the past by the likes of either Freddie Bartholomew, Lionel Barrymore or even the great W.C. Fields to grace the screen and engage your interest. Even with the two puzzling micro-scenes involving quality actors like Attenborough and Olivier, the only other noteworthy appearance, however brief and shunted these scenes were, involved an interesting angle on Mr. Micawber, well played by the redoubtable Sir Ralph Richardson. These were the only brief scenes in this film that suggested it might be saved and not deserving of being excised and then cut up into a pile of guitar picks!
The rest of the dreary cast, along with the even more hazy, travelogue style of cinematography of dreary locales are better left unmentioned, for this movie was just one, dreary waste of time. Please... spare yourself all this disappointment and opt to look for any of the others to do justice to the hero of Charles Dickens' life. My God, even his live readings just before he died on stage in their performance must have had more spark and imagination than this poor effort... and he had no "movies" to make his points understood! Assign this dreadful piece of celluloid to the trash can where it belongs! The low end of the scale only dips to a rating of "Poor" so I will have to settle with that as my final ruling on this thing. By the By... this flick is being offered with different cover art from different companies marketing the same drivel, so don't be fooled! Shine these wastrels on and seek the better offerings surely available out there on eBay!
Albeit an interesting screenplay technique, the flashback portrayal of this Dickens classic leaves much to be desired. The most positive attributes of this Delbert Mann directed vaguery were lodged in most of the characterizations themselves. Some were powerful, moving performances by some of the most revered British actors notably Ralph Richardson, Edith Evans and Ron Moody. Lawrence Olivier's much-too-brief appearance as the delusional schoolmaster Mr. Creakle in the opening minutes of the story merely teases the viewer into false hopes of enthrallment into this production. Unfortunately, the main role of David was performed by an actor of dubious talent and skill... or was it Mann's inability to exite a compelling performance in none but the most heralded actors? It doesn't really matter in any case. Except for the inspiring photography and absorbing mood of the period depicted, the choppiness of the flashback approach only confuses the plot itself. However, within all this viewing tedium lies the wonderful Dickens story itself. Since I've never seen a theatrical performance of David Copperfield before I must admit this film does wet my appetite for a more stick-to-the-plot version in the future. You may enjoy the views of the English countryside, the workhouse, the insides of 18th century houses and the beachside estates but you may be just as disappointed as I was. Worth viewing only at the most minimum investment.
Despite the cast brilliant line-up of the finest all time British actors, this production of David Coperfield falls short of being a classic in itself. I'm not sure if it's the script or the direction. It just doesn't seem to want to jell.
I decided to buy this dvd because I had seen the movie on TV many years ago when I was a child in the 1970's and remember it fondly (and because the dvd was only seventy-five cents). The reason this is an excellent version of the Dickens classic is because the acting is wonderful, it covers as much of the storyline as one can in a movie version of a long book, and it stays true to the book. I love the british accents, I love the costumes, I love the time period, I love it all. A good movie of a great book.
Classic romance with a dark twist. Captivating and it draws you in leaving you not knowing how the plot will unfold.