While this film is not especially well-remembered today, and has been eclipsed by practically all of the later film versions of the Charles Dickens novel, it did begin a Hollywood "fad" for Dickens that lasted for about five years. It was followed by Great Expectations (1934) (a poorly reviewed and now forgotten version with Jane Wyatt and Phillips Holmes), the classic MGM all-star David Copperfield (1935), Universal's Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935) (with Claude Rains), the classic A Tale of Two Cities (1935) - another MGM Dickens blockbuster - and MGM's 1938 A Christmas Carol (1938) with Reginald Owen. There would be very few versions of Dickens from Hollywood after that; most films based on Dickens' books would be made by British studios. However, notable exceptions have been the many versions of "A Christmas Carol" produced for American television. See more »
When Oliver chases the coach, rubber tire tracks are visible in the mud. See more »
My baby, my boy. I want to see him.
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When it was obvious talking pictures were not going to be a fad, it was time to make sound versions of Charles Dickens' classics. In this case, the adaptation of "Oliver Twist" (1922) starring Jackie Coogan and Lon Chaney appears have been the inspiration. This revision comes from the low-budget "Monogram" studios and, while this is clearly what they would have considered a prestige production, today it comes across as cheap.
There was obviously no time for the director and performers to do more than block scenes. Some of it looks like a dress rehearsal. Most unapprised of all is "Little Rascal" Dickie Moore in the title role. However, "Oliver Twist" is actually a very difficult role to play. You have to be a young boy who can play it without gin, sex, or a beard to twirl.
***** Oliver Twist (2/28/33) William J. Cowen ~ Dickie Moore, Irving Pichel, William 'Stage' Boyd, Doris Lloyd
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