Watch David Copperfield
- 1 hr 58 min
David Copperfield is a 1970 British-American movie adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel of the same name. One of many adaptations of the classic tale, this film features an impressive cast of actors and actresses and a well-produced plot that showcases David's journey from adversity to triumph. The movie follows David Copperfield (played by Robin Phillips) as he grows up in a world of poverty and abuse. After his father dies, David is sent to live with his cruel and abusive stepfather, Mr. Murdstone (played by Darren Nesbitt), and his sister, Jane (played by Laurel Goodwin). Eventually, David is sent away to a boarding school where he befriends the beaming and charming James Steerforth (played by Julian Holloway). David's mother soon marries again, to the kindly Mr. Mactabish (played by Paul Whitsun-Jones), and their family moves to a cottage in the nearby countryside.
The plot of David Copperfield weaves through David's adolescence, his apprenticeship to the gentle and kind Mr. Micawber (played by W. C. Fields), his school days with Steerforth, and his relationships with a host of other memorable characters. In many ways, the plot is a classic rags-to-riches tale that follows David as he overcomes adversity and achieves his dreams.
One of the most memorable parts of the film are the performances of the actors and actresses. Richard Attenborough plays David's kindly Aunt Betsey, while Cyril Cusack is Merdle, a pompous financier who is obsessed with wealth and status. Edith Evans gives a commanding performance as David's austere and cruel headmistress, Miss Murdstone, while Susannah York adds a layer of vulnerability in her portrayal of David's childhood sweetheart, Dora Spenlow.
The production values of David Copperfield are also noteworthy. The sets and costumes are lavish and capture the feel of early 19th century England, which provides a vivid backdrop for the film's events. The movie was shot mainly in Ireland, and some of the natural landscapes and architecture add a rustic atmosphere to the story.
The direction of the film by Delbert Mann is also praiseworthy. As he adapts this Dickensian classic into a motion picture, Mann captures the essence of Dickens' writing style by emphasizing the contrasts between the black and white qualities of the story's characters. He also worked closely with his ensemble of actors to ensure that they delivered their lines and their performances convincingly and effectively.
The movie's score, composed by Malcolm Arnold, adds to the atmosphere of the film, and its use of classical musical pieces enhances the viewer's experience. The cinematography, by Oswald Morris, is also cinematic and full of variety. Morris' use of natural light and color filters enhances the beauty of the sets and the countryside, and helps the viewer to feel as though they are really in the world of David Copperfield.
Overall, David Copperfield is a beautifully produced and well-acted movie adaptation of a classic novel. The film captures the essence of Dickens' writing and creates a sense of realism that makes viewers feel as though they are part of the story. The performances of the cast of characters enter into the heart to make them memorable, each playing their part with conviction, and their interaction gives the movie an extended emotional depth.
David Copperfield is a 1970 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 58 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.8.