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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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 ...
Henry Stephenson ...
Mary Clare ...
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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>

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A Screen Event To Be Remembered For All Time !

Genres:

Adventure | Crime | 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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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

The end credits misspell Bill Sikes' name as 'Sykes'. 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.
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Soundtracks

Camberwell Road on a Sunday Night
(uncredited)
Lyrics: Traditional
Music by Guy Warrack
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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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