Great Expectations

January 30th, 1998


more trailers Great Expectations

Garcelle Beauvais at event of Great ExpectationsLiv Tyler at event of Great ExpectationsVanessa Angel at event of Great ExpectationsHarry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna at event of Great ExpectationsHelen Hunt at event of Great ExpectationsGreat Expectations

Modernization of Charles Dickens classic story finds the hapless Finn as a painter in New York pursuing his unrequited and haughty childhood love.

Release Year: 1998

Rating: 6.6/10 (26,739 voted)

Critic's Score: 55/100

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Stars: Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hank Azaria

Based on Charles Dickens' timeless tale, this is a story of the love of a man for an unreachable woman. Updated to modern day New York City, the story concerns a man of modest background who falls in love with a rich girl. But when a mysterious benefactor greenlights the man to make his dreams come true, everything done has the ultimate goal of making Estella fall in love with him...

Writers: Charles Dickens, Mitch Glazer

Ethan Hawke - Finnegan Bell
Gwyneth Paltrow - Estella
Hank Azaria - Walter Plane
Chris Cooper - Joe
Anne Bancroft - Ms. Dinsmoor
Robert De Niro - Prisoner / Lustig
Josh Mostel - Jerry Ragno
Kim Dickens - Maggie
Nell Campbell - Erica Thrall
Gabriel Mann - Owen (as Gabriel Mick)
Jeremy James Kissner - Finnegan at Age 10
Raquel Beaudene - Estella at Age 10
Stephen Spinella - Carter Macleish
Marla Sucharetza - Ruth Shepard
Isabelle Anderson - Lois Pope

Taglines: Let desire be your destiny.


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 30 January 1998

Filming Locations: Astor Place, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Opening Weekend: $9,593,290 (USA) (1 February 1998) (1867 Screens)

Gross: $26,333,044 (USA) (29 March 1998)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

In his book, "What Just Happened?", producer Art Linson reveals that the narration in the movie was written by David Mamet. It was done for free, on the condition that nobody ever find out he did it.

Revealing mistakes: During the beginning sequence where the young Finn is splashing through the shallow water, drawing in his notebook, you can see indentations in the page indicating where the creatures eye is to be drawn

Finn: The night all of my dreams came true, and like all happy endings,It was a tragedy, Of my device, for I succeeded. I had cut myself loose from Joe, from the past, from the gulf, from poverty I had invented myself. I'd done it cruelly, but I had done it. I was free!

User Review


Rating: 10/10

I have never read Dickens' "Great Expectations," but I can tell you that this is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Let me clear something up right away. This is not a b-movie, a cheesy remake, or even a remake. It is my understanding that this movie is loosely based on the Dickens' book, but that it does follow the themes, just not the exact story. This is a great movie, it is a modern classic. The acting is excellent. Ethan Hawk is amazing, he really is a top notch actor. He's not just a young sexy leading man type who gets by on looks and a touch of acting (as I had previously thought since he looks like the typical Matt Dillion or a Lowe type). Gwyneth Paltrow is absolutely stunning and plays her role perfectly. De Niro has a nice, powerful role, and duh, he's awesome in this movie. Anne Bancroft was hauntingly superb in this movie, you'll see what i mean. Hank Azaria and Chris Cooper play great supporting roles. I think this movie was probably Chris Cooper's breakthrough role, and he was great.

The movie was breathtakingly shot. The cinematography was better then even the recent crouching tiger hidden dragon. The movie gives you a feeling of awe and mystery because of it's settings. It's a work of art. The writing...based on a classic Dickens novel..come on it is superb. No cheesy lines; yes there are heartfelt beautiful lines, but none cheesy or over-emotional or over the top dialogue. The writing and actors clicked perfectly. Need I say the story was both interesting and intriguing (based on Dickens' Great Expectations). It may be loosely based or not, but it was GREAT.

The directing pulled everything together and added some nice tricks to make this movie a Modern classic. And the way music was used to intensify this movie and when and where it was used was absolutely brilliant, and i suppose this is the director's job, WELL DONE.

The music was almost as important as the acting in this movie. The musical score for this movie is one of the best I have ever encountered. It makes this movie move you. And just as good are the music (songs) the movie uses, how and when they are used. This is one of the few movies that thrives on sound (music) to help create it's mood, power and emotion and it is done masterfully.

This movie is a masterpiece. Beautiful on the eyes, ears, heart, and mind. I feel sorry for you if you don't ever get to experience this movie, it is a MUST see.