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Oliver Twist (1948)

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Crime, Drama  |  30 July 1951 (USA)
7.8
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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

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 ...
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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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Screen Event To Be Remembered For All Time !

Genres:

Adventure | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

30 July 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Aventuras de Oliver Twist  »

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 Walsh See more »

Goofs

When Oliver is in dock being tried for pick-pocketing, after the judge says "Oh stand away" the camera becomes an Oliver POV shot. Just before Oliver totally collapses he looks up to the ceiling, (and therefore so does the camera) briefly showing the full studio rafters, complete with lights, and the set microphone, and part of the "set ceiling". See more »

Quotes

Fagin: You'd like to make pocket handkerchiefs as easily as the Artful Dodger, wouldn't you my dear?
Oliver Twist: Yes, if you teach me sir.
Fagin: We will, my dear, we will.
See more »

Connections

Version of Oliver Twist (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Tippitiwitchet
(uncredited)
Sung by Betty Paul as 'Lucy Willow'.
Lyrics: Traditional
Music by Guy Warrack
See more »

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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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