David Copperfield (1913 film)

David Copperfield is a 1913 British black-and-white silent film based on the novel David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. It is the second-oldest known film adaptation of the novel. Running six reels, it is significant as a very early British feature film at a moment when the world film industry was beginning its move away from traditional short films towards longer and more ambitious works.

David Copperfield
Still from David Copperfield (1913)
Directed byThomas Bentley
Produced byCecil Hepworth
Written byCharles Dickens (novel)
Thomas Bentley
Starring Alma Taylor
Reginald Sheffield
Distributed byWalturdaw
Release date
August 1913
1 December 1913 (US)
Running time
67 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
English intertitles

The film was made by the Hepworth Manufacturing Corporation, was produced by Cecil Hepworth and was written and directed by Thomas Bentley.[1] In the United Kingdom it was released in August 1913, and in the United States it was released on 1 December 1913. It ran at 67 minutes on seven reels.[2]

A review of the film in The Dickensian said:

"It occupies close upon two hours to exhibit and is divided into six parts, telling the story of David's life from Blunderstone to his happy union with Agnes. Obviously the part of David is enacted by three different actors, Master Eric Desmond, Mr Len Bethel and Mr Kenneth Ware. The first-named being one of the cleverest child actors we have seen. We have no space to speak of all the characters presented. Each and all of them were Dickens' creations to the life and not mere exaggerations as is often the case.

The film not only includes all of the most prominent characters and all the necessary incidents of the book to make the story intelligible to the lay reader, but they have been enacted in the actual places in which the novelist laid them."[3]



  1. David Copperfield on the British Film Institute website
  2. David Copperfield on 123 Nonstop Movies
  3. David Copperfield on the Cinemaatograph, The Dickensian , Vol IX, No. 10, October 1913
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