David Copperfield (1969)

Date: 1969
Director: Delbert Mann
Production Company: 20th Century Fox Television, Omnibus, Sagittarius Production

Stars: Ralph Richardson, Ron Moody, Laurence Olivier, Robin Phillips, Cyril Cusack, Edith Evans, Pamela Franklin, Susan Hampshire, Michael Redgrave, Wendy Hiller
Location(s): London, Suffolk

Region(s): ,


The legendary novel by Charles Dickens comes to life as David Copperfield tells the story of his youth in this colourful interpretation.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson


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From a window in the White Swan Hotel, David Copperfield looks out onto the beach. Little White Lodge between South Green and the beach in Southwold, Suffolk.

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Martin Skipper has sent this shot showing that Little White Lodge is not now quite as little as it was. (RL)

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“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show”. After writing the first line of his autobiography, David leaves his rooms.

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David Copperfield (Robin Phillips) stands on the beach, alone with his memories. IMDB mentions Benacre Beach in Suffolk as a location but these old groynes or sea defences follow a similar pattern to those along the coast at Easton before erosion obliterated the coastline.

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A mail coach approaches the White Swan. Looking towards Constitution Hill and Queen’s Road on South Green in Southwold.

Panning right with the coach brings more of Little White Cottage into view.

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A further shot from Martin showing the changes made over the years. (RL)

After stepping from the coach, Agnes Wickfield (Susan Hampshire) makes her way into the White Swan. Little White Cottage in Southwold.

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A further shot from Martin of the location today. (RL)

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In flashback, a young David Copperfield (Alastair Mackenzie) is led from the bottle washing factory where he works by Wilkins Micawber (Ralph Richardson). This is St. Katharine Docks in London E1.

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Taking the youngster in, the penniless Mr. Micawber explains the financial meaning of happiness. St. Katharine Docks West Dock with now demolished and replaced warehouses visible through the pillars.

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Made homeless when Micawber is hunted by his creditors, David Copperfield seeks out his Great Aunt near Dover.

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The tired and hungry boy approaches the cottage of his Aunt Betsy.

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Betsy Trotwood (Edith Evans) sits with Young David after calling Mr. Dick (Emlyn Williams) from the rear of the cottage for advice.

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A drunken night with his friends is recalled by David. This looks very much like Kings Bench Walk in London EC4.

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Watched by David, James Steerforth (Corin Redgrave) climbs a lamp post.

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Back in the present, David Copperfield questions the meaning of his life. Martin Skipper identifies this and Capture 15 as Southwold Harbour just in front of the Harbour Inn. (RL)

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A memory of when Steerforth arrives at the small port to sail his boat. Southwold Harbour, see Capture 14. (RL)

Agnes Wickfield does her own reminiscing. Above the Promenade on Gunhill Cliff in Southwold.

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There was no one reminiscing when Martin visited.......or maybe he asked them to move! (RL)

When David joins her, the two watch a young couple frolic on the grass. Looking across Gun Hill in Southwold.

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Martin took this picture of the cannons that are still in place as is a lamp, albeit a different one as well as the house with an extension. (RL)

Back to the past where Steerforth is leading David to his accommodation in the Temple. Facing south on Middle Temple Lane in London EC4 with Brick Court and Fountain Court on the right. The location was also seen in ‘Brothers in Law’, 'The Battleaxe' and ‘The Girl on the Boat’.

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The same location captured by Peter.

A Milkman (Gordon Rollings) shouts at a customer who fails to pay a bill before the two men enter to discover a seemingly ailing Mr. Micawber. Hare Court on Middle Temple Lane in Middle Temple.

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Peter moves with the action for this next one.

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Despite the actions of her yapping dog, David enjoys time with Dora Senlow (Pamela Franklin). This looks like Inner Temple Garden with Harcourt Building in the background.

Visiting Canterbury, David approaches the offices of Wickfield and Heep. In reality, New Square in Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2.

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The accoutrements of modern world renovations greeted Peter.

The camera pans to follow as the young man enters the offices where he finds Mr. Micawber at work for Uriah Heep. The archway leads from Carey Street.

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A pan from Peter.

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David walks along a foggy street where he almost bumps into Daniel Peggotty.

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With Miss Murdstone (Anna Massey), Mr. Murdstone (James Donald) and himself as mourners, David recollects the funeral of his Mother.

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Uriah Heep (Ron Moody) listens as Mr. Micawber denounces him as a villain in front of David, Betsy Trotwood, Agnes Wickfield, Thomas Traddles and Mr. Dick.

David, Betsy and Mr. Dick return home to find that Dora has fallen down the stairs. Recognised by Paul Canty as Canonbury Place in London N1, this location was seen before in 'Corridors of Blood'.

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Peter provides this comparison.

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Watching the coach carry Agnes to Dover, David stands alone outside the White Swan. Little White Cottage in Southwold, Suffolk.

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At Gravesend Docks, David and Clara Peggotty bid farewell to Mr. Peggotty and Emily as they are rowed to a ship bound for Australia. The West Dock at St. Katharine Docks E1 with The Ivory House to the right. The docks also appear in 'Circus of Fear', 'The Long Good Friday', 'Attack on the Iron Coast' and 'The Trygon Factor'.

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David runs along the clifftops near Dover . . . .

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. . . . into the arms of Agnes Wickfield.