David Lean certainly isn't the worst classic director I know, though his films are a bit too lofty and rigid to be truly to my liking. Great Expectations is no different. It is a fine companion piece to Lean's Brief Encounter, but ultimately I didn't really care for the characters, nor the story.
The plot spans quite the timeline, starting with a young Pip aiding an escaped prisoner and helping out Miss Havisham, an old spinster. When Pip is older an unknown benefactor is providing for his livelihood, but not knowing where his money comes from seriously complicates Pip's life.
From there on out the story becomes more complicated, but without characters to care for it doesn't really matter. At least the cinematography is nice, with very detailed sets that look their finest in black and white. Performances are too wooden though and the pacing is sluggish, especially for a film that kisses the two hour mark.