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David Copperfield (1935)

The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger (original title)
A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

Charles Dickens (by), Hugh Walpole (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edna May Oliver ... Aunt Betsey
Elizabeth Allan ... Mrs. Copperfield
Jessie Ralph ... Nurse Peggotty
Harry Beresford ... Dr. Chillip
Freddie Bartholomew ... David - the Child
Hugh Walpole Hugh Walpole ... The Vicar
Basil Rathbone ... Mr. Murdstone
Herbert Mundin ... Barkis
John Buckler John Buckler ... Ham
Fay Chaldecott Fay Chaldecott ... Little Em'ly - the Child
Una O'Connor ... Mrs. Gummidge
Lionel Barrymore ... Dan Peggotty
Violet Kemble Cooper ... Jane Murdstone
Elsa Lanchester ... Clickett
Jean Cadell ... Mrs. Micawber
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Storyline

When David's father dies, his mother remarries. His new stepfather Murdstone has a mean and cruel view on how to raise a child. When David's mother dies from grief, Murdstone sends David to London to work for a living. When David escapes to his aunt Betsey his life starts to get better. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Metro·Goldwyn·Mayer's Greatest Motion Picture See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1935 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

David Copperfield See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

W. H. Henry, who had taken the role of Eustace McGargle in the London version of POPPY, desperately wanted the role of Mr. Micawber, but his wife was deathly ill, and he would not leave her bedside. He recommended that W.C. Fields be given the role, and the studio eventually complied. Other reports say that it was Charles Laughton who recommended Fields for the role, because he did not feel that he was giving a good performance as Micawber. Laughton had similar feelings while he was playing the title role of I, Claudius (1937). See more »

Goofs

Mr Micawber chases away David's tormentors and puts his arm around him, but the arm is gone in the next immediate shot. In all scenes with W.C. Fields there are indeed continuity errors that editing does not mask. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Dick: Aw, cherub! How does the world go? Huh? I'll tell you what, I shouldn't wish to be mentioned. It's a mad world! Mad as bedlam, boy. Ha-ha!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Film opens with the last sentence of Charles Dickens's preface to the original edition: "Like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts, a favourite child, and his name is David Copperfield." See more »

Alternate Versions

Also shown in a computer colorized version. See more »


Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Partially Sung a cappella by W.C. Fields twice
Played a few times in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The best cast, best rendition of a classic novel ever.
20 August 2004 | by gjames3See all my reviews

I've read "David Copperfield" at least a half dozen times. If it's not the greatest novel in the English language, then it's darned close to it. Like any Dickens work, there are plots within plots and scores of major and minor character. With the exception of excluding poor Traddles, this film catches the essence of the story better than any since--and I defy anyone to cite a better movie for casting the right actor with the right character. Of course, W.C. Fields' Mr. McCawber was superb and has been cited time and again as a great characterization, but it's also difficult to fault Basil Rathbone's Mr. Murdstone, Edna may Oliver's Aunt Betsy, Roland Young's Uriah Heep, Freddy Bartholomew's young David, Lionel Barrymore's Mr. Peggoty or Maureen O'Sullivan's Dora Spenlow. As well, George Cukor's direction and period details are top-notch, as is the screen adoption of a very complicated novel. It's simply one of the greatest movies ever made.


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