Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. Oliver is taken in by the pickpocket ... See full summary »
Fantômas makes it as the emperor of Crime. First is the robbery at the Royal Palace Hotel. Then he abducts Lord Beltham. As Fantômas' fame increases actor Valgrand creates the rôle of ... See full summary »
Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. Oliver is taken in by the pickpocket and he joins a household of young boys who are trained to steal for their master. This version of Oliver Twist is topped by Alec Guinness's masterly performance of arch-thug Fagin. Written by
Jenny Evans <J.Evans@uts.edu.au>
The wordless opening sequence, in which Oliver's mother staggers over the rain-swept moors to give birth on the steps of the workhouse, was devised by Kay WalshSee more »
In the final scene, in a close-up, Oliver is holding the elder gentleman's right hand in his left, and is to his right. When they turn the corner, in the long shot, Oliver is now being held by his right hand and is to the elder gentleman's left. See more »
Cry your hardest now, it opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes and softens down the temper. So cry away.
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This excellent film is part of a duo of Dickens' books turned into silver screen magic by David Lean in the 1940s (Great Expectations with John Mills is the other).
Keeping to the spirit of the book (although not leaving the bleak ending intact) it allows us to follow the fortunes of young Oliver (John Howard Davies, who later gave up acting to become a big shot at the BBC), through his unhappy years at the orphanage under the watchful eye of the Beadle (the huge Francis L Sullivan, who played many similar roles throughout the decade), to his association with boy thieves under the thumb of Jewish money-dealer Fagin (Alec Guinness, in one of his career highlights).
The casting is generally superb - Kay Walsh (then Mrs David Lean) is effective as Nancy, while Robert Newton is suitably unhinged and menacing as Bill Sikes. In the undertaker's, Diana Dors is showy as Charlotte the maid; while in London, Anthony Newley makes an early scene-stealing Artful Dodger (like Jack Wild in the musical version, this Dodger isn't all bad and wants to make sure Nancy and Oliver are all right).
'Oliver Twist' is one of the greats of British cinema and does justice to a complex book. Highly recommended.
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