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Oliver Twist (1948)

Not Rated | | Drama | 30 July 1951 (USA)
An orphan named Oliver Twist meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.

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

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

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>

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A Screen Event To Be Remembered For All Time !

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

30 July 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Aventuras de Oliver Twist  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character played by Betty Paul - "'Singer at 'Three Cripples'" was introduced as 'Lucy Willow'. At the time of the filming of "Oliver Twist", Betty Paul was appearing in London as "Suzanne Valdis" in "Bless The Bride" (a role she repeated in BBC Sunday-Night Theatre: Bless the Bride (1956)) - and in the same production, Elizabeth Webb took the leading female part of 'Lucy Willow'. This cannot be a coincidence but has apparently never been commented on. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Version of Oliver! (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

He Don't Know When To Stop
(uncredited)
Music by Frederick Lewis
Lyrics by Ronald Hill
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User Reviews

 
David Lean's Superb Dickens
30 June 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Still the most Dickensian of all the Oliver Twist films David Lean's inspired version, never the less is much indebted in its style to the German Expressionist Cinema. It's London is more related to Fritz Lang than Victorian England but the spirit of Dickens is alive and well in the accurately drawn caricatures from the novel. Outstanding performances by Francis J. Sullivan as ridiculous Mr. Bumble, Alec Guiness's chillingly evil Fagin despite a badly judged nose job, and the eye boggling twitching Robert Newton as the ferocious Bill Sykes. Even his dog trembles at his temper, in fact the dog is a major actor in this version.

John Newton Howard is a rather angelic Oliver, with a more refined delivery than one would have expected from a workhouse background. But it all goes decidedly well thanks to Lean's superb direction, stunning images, clever editing and a sterling cast. Viewed today so many years after it was filmed it remains the most vivid and Gothic recreation of the story. Probably Charles Dickens would approve. The heroic length recent version by Roman Polanski is generally faithful to the novel but lacks the pizazz and humour that is in Dicken's writing. David Lean made only two excursions into Dickens (Oliver Twist and Great Expectations) both milestones in cinema. One can but wonder how well he may have brought Bleak House or Our Mutual Friend to the screen.


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