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Oliver Twist (1933)

 -  Drama  -  28 February 1933 (USA)
4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 219 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 2 critic

An orphan boy in 1830's London is abused in a workhouse, then falls into the clutches of a gang of thieves.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
William 'Stage' Boyd ...
Bill Sikes (as Wm. Boyd)
Doris Lloyd ...
...
...
Sonny Ray ...
George K. Arthur ...
George Nash ...
Clyde Cook ...
Chitling
Lionel Belmore ...
Tempe Pigott ...
Nelson McDowell ...
Virginia Sale ...
Harry Holman ...
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Storyline

An orphan boy in 1830's London is abused in a workhouse, then falls into the clutches of a gang of thieves.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

28 February 1933 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Balsley & Phillips Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Goofs

When Oliver is trying to keep up with the horse cart on his adventure to London, he is clearly stopping each time to get into the correct position before doing a flip. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Oliver's Mother: My baby, my boy. I want to see him.
See more »

Connections

Version of Oliver Twist (1912) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not the best adaptation, but wonderfully entertaining nonetheless
4 January 2007 | by (Deutschland) – See all my reviews

This 1933 version of the Charles Dickens masterpiece is a true oddity. Featuring performances ranging from very good to hysterically bad, and camera work ranging from amateurish, with glimpses of visual artistry and beauty. Dickie Moore is a very young Oliver Twist, with the face of an angel, but zero acting ability. This fact didn't bother me as some of the faces this kid makes are just so hilarious and inappropriate for the scene he is playing, that you just gotta love him! It is actually an endearing performance. Sonny Ray, the actor who played the Artful Dodger had to be pushing 40, which also brought about some unintentional laughter. He also was utterly devoid of any acting talent whatsoever, which makes me wonder just why he was cast at all. However others fare much better here. William Boyd was quite effective and fearful as the sinister Bill Sykes, and Irving Pichel certainly looked the part of Fagin. Also worth mentioning is an actress named Barbara Kent, who played the part of 'Rose'. Again, no acting talent whatsoever, but she possessed that certain porcelain beauty that is associated with silent film stars, and she is delightful to look at here. It must not be forgotten that this is a 1933 production, and one of the first 'talkies'. This was a transitional time for cinema, as actors were still employing the techniques that were used during the silent film days, where body movements and facial expressions were greatly exaggerated in order to get the point across without spoken dialog. This kind of acting is sometimes present here, and i do not think it hinders the production. The best performance has to be that of Nancy Sikes, played wonderfully here by actress Doris Lloyd. She played that difficult part with the right measure of hardness, with a heart and a good nature kept well hidden from scoundrels Fagin and Bill. The fact that this has such a low budget lends this old film a spooky, sometimes surreal quality. There is some effective use of shadows and light. The dark, murky quality here makes Fagin and the others appear as sickly degenerates. And best of all it follows the Dickens story quite faithfully, omitting certain things for budget reasons, most likely. I love the story so much, and those who love to see these immortal characters come to life should get great enjoyment out of this film. This is the third film adaptation of Oliver that I have obtained. I enjoyed the Polanski version, and the David Lean version even more. So by the time I got around to this version it was just a pleasure to see all these characters that I know so well come to life in yet another production of this timeless story. Also the fact that this film is so old lends it another level of mystery and strange beauty somehow. Sometimes a low budget adds to the grittiness of the material. And this is one of the few versions that includes the final scene of Fagin in prison, where he is visited by Oliver, an important scene that is sadly missing from the David Lean version. For fans of the book and the other films, I recommend hunting down this lesser-known film version of a literary masterpiece. This should be a treat especially, for fans of the earlier days of cinema.


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