Great Expectations

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In celebration of our new page – Great Movies Among Dad & Daughters – we want to tell you about the film that started it all.

I am always searching the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) channel to find films that I think our daughters and I might enjoy watching together on the weekends. I learned several years ago that this channel can be a treasure to parents and caregivers of young families who are hoping to find something to watch that is not gruesome or laced with foul language and is not interested in shocking viewers with nudity or sex. There are not even any commercials! Simply put, it’s a concerned dad’s paradise when he wants to enjoy a good movie with his kids.

When I ran across the 1946 film version of Charles Dickens‘ classic literary work, Great Expectations, I was intrigued. This is a major book and one that would eventually be required of the girls to read in our local high school’s English class. Right now, though, they are 9 and 14 so I wondered if it would it be over their heads or vastly boring to them. I hit the record button anyway and decided we would watch it together and find out.

And wow!  What a movie!  What a story!  It has even inspired us to create a new page here at fatherknowsbooks titled ‘Great Movies Among Dad and Daughters.’ Check it out on our home page.

I can’t say enough good about this cinematic work, so see it whenever you can.

As the credits rolled over the final and very moving scene of the movie, the girls and I got into a conversation about why Dickens might have chosen to title his story “Great Expectations.”  It was a good talk but the most interesting thing happened – we decided that the one who experienced the “great expectations” the most in the story was us, the readers, the silent observers of the tale.  We expected certain things from certain people and were always surprised when those expectations were completely incorrect.  We judged based upon wealth and intelligence and kindness and beauty, never expecting that those very things were causing us to expect something that was not going to happen – in the way we planned it.

And that has me thinking…sounds a whole lot like real life to me.

 

Charles Dickens in the Old West

I can’t believe it.  Ben Cartwright, Little Joe, Hoss and…wait for it….Charles Dickens, all on the same show!  I was so surprised by this mixture of classic tv western and classic English author that I really had no choice but to write to you about it.  My father is an avid old west television and movie fan, so he has handed that love down to me in these past 40 years.  Bonanza remains a singular favorite and its rich story-telling is among its greatest assets.

Because of the literary angle, the particular show we wanted to share with you is from season five, episode two of the series and originally aired on September 29, 1963 on NBC.  It was titled “A Passion for Justice.”

Here is an especially good summary written by Charles Delacroix at IMDb.com about this fascinating episode:  “At Ben’s invitation, Charles Dickens comes to Virginia City to give a reading from ‘Oliver Twist’ while on a reading / lecture tour in America. While there, he stays at the Ponderosa. He becomes enraged by the townsfolk’s casual attitude toward distribution of copies of his stories published without protection of copyright laws. After confronting the local newspaper publisher, the newspaper’s office is destroyed. Already having lost the esteem of the townsfolk, Dickens now finds that the townsfolk blame him for the violence.”

If you have some time, I hope you’ll enjoy watching the episode as much as we did.  Thanks to youtube you can click below and enjoy it right away!