David Copperfield Overview:

David Copperfield (1935) was a Adventure - Drama Film directed by George Cukor and produced by David O. Selznick.

The film was based on the novel of the same name written by Charles Dickens published in 1850.


The definitive Hollywood version of Dickens's 1850 tale of a young boy despised by his stepfather who overcomes early years of poverty. No film can ever come close to conveying the detail and depth of a Dickens novel, but, perhaps more than any other, Cukor's version captures the spirit of his words. Bartholomew is endearing and the deep cast of characters in support includes a priceless turn by Fields as Micawber.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1935 --- Ceremony Number 8 (source: AMPAS)

Best Film EditingRobert J. KernNominated
Best PictureMetro-Goldwyn-MayerNominated

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Quotes from

Mr. Micawber: [to young Copperfield] Boy, as I have frequently had occasion to observe, "When the stomach is empty, the spirits are low."

Barkis: No sweethearts I believe?
David Copperfield as a child: What?
Barkis: No person courting?
David Copperfield as a child: Oh. No, no.
Barkis: Ahhh. Well, when you is talking to her private, perhaps you'd tell her that Barkis is willing.
David Copperfield as a child: That Barkis is willing. Is that all the message?
Barkis: Well, y... y... yes. Barkis is willing.
David Copperfield as a child: Very well, Mr Barkis. I'll tell her.

Mrs. Clara Copperfield: What have you got against Mr Murdstone?
Nurse Peggotty: [unimpressed at the meer mention of his name] Huh!
Mrs. Clara Copperfield: Is it to be hinted at that I am lacking in affection for my precious treasure? The dearest little fellow that ever was!
Nurse Peggotty: Nobody ever went an hinted no such thing.
Mrs. Clara Copperfield: Am I a naughty mama to you, Davy? Am I a nasty and selfish bad mama? I don't love you at all do I
David Copperfield as a child: [tearful] Yes you do...
Nurse Peggotty: [the tearful three embrace] I never meant to hurt you, m'am. I never meant to.

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Facts about

Freddie Bartholomew's first American film.
According to film historians, W.C. Fields performed in only one film exactly according to script and as directed. That one was MGM's The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger in which he co-starred with Freddie Bartholomew, who was only ten years old. Fields admired the Charles Dickens book and wanted desperately to play Mr. Micawber in the movie, so he agreed to forgo his usual ad-libs and put aside his distaste at working with child actors.
Re-released in the USA in 1962.
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Best Picture Oscar 1935

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Also directed by George Cukor

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Also produced by David O. Selznick

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Also released in 1935

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