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      David Copperfield

      Released Jan 8, 1935 2h 10m Drama List
      100% Tomatometer 6 Reviews 76% Audience Score 500+ Ratings Abused by his cruel stepfather (Basil Rathbone) after his mother dies, young David Copperfield (Freddie Bartholomew) first finds shelter in the convivial home of Mr. Micawber (W.C. Fields) and later grows up under the protection of his kindhearted Aunt Betsey (Edna May Oliver). As an adult, David meets the beautiful Agnes Wickfield (Madge Evans) and attempts to free her struggling family's business from villainous blackmailer Uriah Heep (Roland Young) and his henchmen. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (6) Critics Reviews
      Sean Axmaker Stream on Demand ... a superior adaptation, a handsome film, and a prime example of Hollywood filmmaking of the thirties at its best. Sep 8, 2023 Full Review Campbell Nairne Cinema Quarterly It is the quality of the characterisation almost as much as the carefully elaborated period detail which recreates the spirit of coaching England as Dickens embalmed it in the novel. One can almost smell the aroma of harness and cold mutton. Feb 4, 2021 Full Review Meyer Levin (Patterson Murphy) Esquire Magazine No need to add to the heap of comments on this excellent picturization of the beloved Dickens novel... Apr 17, 2020 Full Review Ann Ross Maclean's Magazine Possibly the young people who are hustled off to David Copperfield by enthusiastic parents... will probably enjoy it a lot more than they expected to. Aug 6, 2019 Full Review Fernando F. Croce CinePassion The screen bulges from the pleasure of Dickens Nov 22, 2015 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com 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 Rated: B+ Mar 4, 2011 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (57) audience reviews
      Joel H I've never read David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, but I wanted to be more familiar with the classic novel. Therefore, I decided to give this film a shot. The standout performance here is Freddie Bartholomew. That kid carries this movie on his shoulders during his time on the screen. His acting is authentic, and you really feel for him as a character. Once another actor takes his place, the story kind of slumps a little. It's a slower film, as well, even though they cut out a bunch of stuff from the book. I think it was good for me to watch David Copperfield, and I may even read it someday. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 11/03/23 Full Review william d Decent enough version of the classic story. Edna May Oliver is excellent as Betsy Trotwood. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Frances H Packed with some of the greatest of British and American character actors, this the best film version of the Dickens classic! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/06/22 Full Review Audience Member This version of David COPPERFIELD is quite a good one, in that it does trim the 800 plus page novel down to reasonable coherence. There are some characters that one misses, but they are understandably cut due to length considerations. While Steerforth and his betrayal of the Peggoty Family is in the film (including the dual tragedy at it's conclusion), the sub-story of Little Em'ly's friend Martha and the business regarding Steerforth's mother, Rosa Dartle, and Mrs. Mowcher were dumped (Mrs. Mowcher would have been hard to cast). Pity, Mrs. Mowcher's famous speech to David about not confusing her physical attributes with her mental ones is missing. Also Steerforth's butler Littimer appears once, but the film does not get into the ironic coda of his imprisonment. While Uriah Heep's villainy against Mr. Wickfield and his clients is shown, his willingness to dig up dirt against other "enemies" is not shown. In particular his treatment of Dr. Strong (David's second schoolmaster), his young wife, and Jack Dalton is not developed (which is sad as it proves Mr. Dick is not simple minded). But those are minor points really. The best jobs in the film are the work of the performers under George Cukor's direction: Edna Mae Oliver as the crusty, wise Aunt Betsy; Roland Young as the evil, greasy Uriah Heep (his best villain part); and W.C.Fields as Wilkins McCawber (Dicken's tribute to his lovable but improvident father) is superb - the one time his comic personae met the proper dramatic role; and Lionel Barrymore as Dan Pegotty determined to find his lost, ruined niece. Freddy Bartholemew's performance as young David is wonderful. But I must admit that Frank Lawson is a trifle colorless as the grown up David (although he has a funny moment at a dinner that Dora (Maureen O'Sullivan) tries to prepare). It is a weakness but a small weakness in a nearly perfect film. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review joe m An enjoyable film, "David Copperfield" is filled with colorful characters and set pieces that make one want more - more since even at over 2 hours the film is just too short to do justice to Dickens' literary masterpiece. All the scenes are much too truncated and cursory. "David Copperfield" is simply one of those books that is much better served by TV and being done as a mini-series or such. Yet, it still holds up to the test of time and especially to see some of England and Hollywoods greats - Elsa Lancaster, Lionel Barrymore and WC Fields - if even in brief appearances. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member The well-developed and interesting characters honestly make the film. The plot itself is a bit predictable and boring. Sometimes the film moves way too fast at some points and too slow at others. The film moves pretty quickly tho for the most part luckily and the acting is pretty good. I like the cinematography as well and the script. The second half of the film not as good as first, but I really like the lead hero type that Copperfield turns into. I'm glad we don't have child labor anymore, thanks in partly to Dickens story the film is based off. A classic that makes you want to read the book. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/15/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Abused by his cruel stepfather (Basil Rathbone) after his mother dies, young David Copperfield (Freddie Bartholomew) first finds shelter in the convivial home of Mr. Micawber (W.C. Fields) and later grows up under the protection of his kindhearted Aunt Betsey (Edna May Oliver). As an adult, David meets the beautiful Agnes Wickfield (Madge Evans) and attempts to free her struggling family's business from villainous blackmailer Uriah Heep (Roland Young) and his henchmen.
      Director
      George Cukor
      Producer
      David O. Selznick
      Screenwriter
      Charles Dickens, Hugh Walpole, Howard Estabrook
      Distributor
      MGM/UA Home Entertainment Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
      Production Co
      Metro Goldwyn Mayer
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jan 8, 1935, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 21, 2016
      Runtime
      2h 10m
      Sound Mix
      Mono
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