Classic Movie Quest: “Great Expectations (1946)” and “Bringing Up Baby (1938)”

Monday 25 February, 2013

Great Expectations (1946)

Great expectations. what can I say about the 1946 version of Great Expectations, starring John Mills and Alec Guinness?

Well, to reflect my real opinion, I’ll try to keep it brief.

I had Great Expectations for this film (I saw an opportunity and I seized it) and they all fell flat.

Admittedly, I didn’t know the full story before I watched the film, I’ve never read the book. I do like Dickens, though, so part of my expectations were based on that.

It’s hard to say whether it’s the film I had a problem with, or the story and the characters from the original novel, if the film is considered close enough for that.

The main problem I had was that I didn’t find any of the characters likeable, but I didn’t dislike them enough to care to know their back stories and they’re motivation anyway. In one way, they are real reflections and representations of flawed people you find in real life throughout history, in another, there’s nothing else to them and I found them too boring, and annoying, to watch.

I would go into a summary of the story, but it’s too complex to sum-up adequately  All I can really say is that I found it to be a story of loose ends tied up with the help of a contrived love story.

If the novel is better than this film depicts, maybe when I watch a later version I’ll end up feeling differently.

1 point for good acting, another point for brilliant casting.

Bringing Up Baby (1938):

I had to stop watching this film when Katherine Hepburn’s character stole Cary Grant’s character’s clothes to get them “pressed”.

If there’s one thing that gets my blood boiling, it’s manipulative people getting their way because they make out that something they’ve done that upsets, annoys or disturbs the person was just them trying to be helpful.

I didn’t see what happened next, but in real like the manipulative person tells the upset person that they were only trying to help, they’re being unappreciative and there’s no need to be like that. I wasn’t to watch another minute of it for fear that that was going to be used as some sort of RomCom plot device, considering her actions up until that point were lesser one’s of the same variety.

I can understand how that situation might have been funny and read differently back when the film was set, back when the film was made, but I’m surprised to find just how much people like this film in this day and age of political correctness and social awareness gone mad. This is the day and age where Tom Thumb is considered racist and ableist, and yet Katherine Hepburn’s Character’s actions are accepted as romantic comedy hi jinx.

…But then we’ve recently been given 50 Shades of Gray, which is also considered romantic for some unfathomable reason, instead of the abusive and unsafe relationship it really is, so I don’t know why I’m so surprised, really.