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Oliver Twist (1948)

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Crime, Drama  |  30 July 1951 (USA)
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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 »



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Title: Oliver Twist (1948)

Oliver Twist (1948) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Howard Davies ...
Kay Walsh ...
Francis L. Sullivan ...
Henry Stephenson ...
Mary Clare ...
Josephine Stuart ...
Ralph Truman ...
Kathleen Harrison ...
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Amy Veness ...
Frederick Lloyd ...
Henry Edwards ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Screen Event To Be Remembered For All Time !


Adventure | Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 July 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Aventuras de Oliver Twist  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The company that trained and supplied animals for film and television supplied the Staffordshire Bull Terrier for the role of 'Bullseye' and also the Bull Terrier who played the role of 'Bullseye' in the film adaptation of Lionel Bart's musical 'Oliver!'. See more »


The end credits misspell Bill Sikes' name as 'Sykes'. See more »


Mr. Brownlow: How would you like to grow up a clever man and write books?
Oliver Twist: I think I'd rather read them sir.
Mr. Brownlow: What, don't you want to be a book writer?
Oliver Twist: I think I'd rather be a bookseller sir.
See more »


Version of Le théâtre de la jeunesse: Oliver Twist (1962) See more »


He Don't Know When To Stop
Music by Frederick Lewis
Lyrics by Ronald Hill
See more »

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User Reviews

David Lean's superior Dickens adaptation
20 February 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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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