Inspired by Great Expectations

I was reminded by a little picture posted by Into the Gloss of one of my favorite movies from my college years…Great Expectations, the 1998 version, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Ethan Hawke, Anne Bancroft and Robert DeNiro. Anyone else remember this movie??? I recall it being slightly creepy, visually stunning and one I watched over and over for the scenery, decor, fashion and art.

The divine Anne Bancroft as Ms. Dinsmoor aka Miss Havisham. Her crazy ass outfits, wigs and makeup were fascinating!

The famous Francesco Clemente did all the art work for the film…

Gwyneth’s wardrobe in this movie was one of my first film wardrobe crushes ever.

Oh that house…

The movie was actually filmed at the Ringling Brothers historic Florida mansion Ca’ d’Zan.

The trailer brings me right back such a specific time…. I need to watch this again!

I think of kelly green and gold when I think of this film… and layers and layers of luxury clouded by the mustiness of a long vintage. Ok, we can skip the mustiness, but the vintage, not a chance. And while I tend to be less dramatic (visually, at least), I really could eat up this kind of decor and way of dressing.

bar cart/chair/ring/ necklace/wallpaper/gown/caftan/ chandelier

(p.s. anyone know why my photoshop fonts are all bitmapped all of the sudden?? EEEKS)


  1. It looks like something is going on with your anti-aliasing. Did your text get switched to “Sharp” or “smooth” or something else? Look in your character window.

  2. loved loved loved this movie (and incidentally, love the book with its double endings). there were so many tragic moments. i found the artwork gorgeous, but also the soundtrack – when i hear some of those songs its like stepping back to a specific part of the movie. if you don’t get a chance to watch, i highly recommend a listen.

  3. Trifecta of delights! Love this movie (need to order from Amazon); adore Francesco Clemente and wife, Alba; and, I have stood on the terrace of the Ringling Mansion and imagined the elegant parties and elegant guests. What a great way to start my day. Thank you beautiful lady.

  4. Ahhh! This is one of my favorite movies of all time (same version)! It too brings me back to a very specific, not exactly great by some standards, time in my life! I still have the soundtrack CD that I listened to on repeat in college! Love this post!

  5. saw this movie when it came out – loved it then and love it still. i was obsessed with GP’s clothes, too and the set design was spectacular!! i was always a fan of the book. i remember i went out and bought the soundtrack immediately, too. great post!

  6. I lurrrrve this movie. I was completely fascinated by the all-green wardrobe. Couldn’t figure out WHY? (But who cares? It’s lovely and transporting.)

  7. Mmm, I was in the midst of a major Ethan Hawke crush when that movie came out. And I too fell in love with GP’s wardrobe and the amazing set designs.


  8. One of my favorite films. One I was transfixed by the first time I watched and had have watched it countless times since. The mise-en-scene was just superb. Everything a feast for the eyes. The green, oh the green!! This post took me back to a place in time and made me smile. Thanks! :)

  9. What a great post! I am coveting that Issa dress. I have a 100 year anniversary of my Junior League this year and I would love to wear that dress, though I don’t think it is on my austerity plan at the moment. I love Great Expectations! My bestie and I met in our freshmen honors English class when we had to act out a scene from the book. Because of the lack of boys, I had to play Pip to her Estella! My husband and I often refer to things as Havaiham-esque for Miss Havisham: our friend’s grandfather’s awesome but rundown Georgetown mansion with a moat, a over the top spinster, etc.

  10. Although most of the film was shot at the old Ringling Bros estate, the fountain scene was shot at the old Guggenheim estate in Sands Point, NY, now called, “Hempstead House”. I grew up right around the corner, and my husband and I had our wedding reception there. It was fantastic. Wish I could upload a pic from hubby and I dancing in front of the same fountain.

  11. We just visited “The Ringling Bros” complex in Sarasota…I need to return there is SO MUCH to see and marvel. That green really takes center stage! franki

  12. I loved that movie too. It was visually stunning – green in every scene I think? I thought I was the only person who noticed that at the time?! – thank goodness that was not the case.

  13. Love this movie too! Amazingly talented cast — Chris Cooper as Ethan Hawke’s father too! And just visually stunning. I remember reading an interview where Ang Lee talked about the color green inspiring him. I think this was the last movie he did the cinematography for before he began to direct… right?

  14. Loved seeing this! A friend came across your site and forwarded it to me. (If you look at my blog, you’ll see why!) I have not seen this movie. But as soon as I finish my Great Expectations project, I plan to hunt it down. Thanks for sharing!

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