IMDb > Oliver Twist (1948)
Oliver Twist
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Oliver Twist (1948) More at IMDbPro »

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Oliver Twist -- Expressionistic noir photography suffuses David Lean's Oliver Twist with a nightmarish quality, fitting its bleak, industrial setting. In Dickens' classic tale, an orphan wends his way from cruel apprenticeship to den of thieves in search of a true home. Here Alec Guinness is the quintessential Fagin, his controversial performance fully restored in Criterion's digital transfer.


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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Charles Dickens (by)
David Lean (screen play) ...
View company contact information for Oliver Twist on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 July 1951 (USA) See more »
A Screen Event To Be Remembered For All Time !
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Lean and Dickens - A Winning Combination See more (59 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
John Howard Davies ... Oliver Twist

Robert Newton ... Bill Sykes

Alec Guinness ... Fagin
Kay Walsh ... Nancy
Francis L. Sullivan ... Mr. Bumble
Henry Stephenson ... Mr. Brownlow
Mary Clare ... Mrs. Corney

Anthony Newley ... Artful Dodger
Josephine Stuart ... Oliver's Mother
Ralph Truman ... Monks
Kathleen Harrison ... Mrs Sowerberry
Gibb McLaughlin ... Mr. Sowerberry
Amy Veness ... Mrs. Bedwin
Frederick Lloyd ... Mr. Grimwig
Henry Edwards ... Police Official
Ivor Barnard ... Chairman of the Board
Maurice Denham ... Chief of Police
Michael Dear ... Noah Claypole
Michael Ripper ... Barney

Peter Bull ... Landlord of 'Three Cripples'
Deidre Doyle ... Mrs. Thingummy

Diana Dors ... Charlotte
Kenneth Downey ... Workhouse Master (as Kenneth Downy)
W.G. Fay ... Bookseller
Edie Martin ... Annie
Fay Middleton ... Martha
Graveley Edwards ... Mr.Fang
John Potter ... Charlie Bates
Maurice Jones ... Workhouse Doctor
Hattie Jacques ... Singer at 'Three Cripples'
Betty Paul ... Singer at 'Three Cripples'
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Johnny Briggs ... Undetermined Minor Role (uncredited)
Albert Chevalier ... Courtroom Policeman (uncredited)
Erik Chitty ... Workhouse Board Member (uncredited)
Arthur Mullard ... Undetermined Minor Role (uncredited)
Nosher Powell ... Undetermined Minor Role (uncredited)
Eustace Shipman ... Doctor Who Delivers Oliver (uncredited)
Paul Stockman ... Fagin's gang member (uncredited)
Dennis Wyndham ... Man In Street Who Punches Oliver (uncredited)

Directed by
David Lean 
Writing credits
Charles Dickens (by)

David Lean (screen play) and
Stanley Haynes (screen play)

Eric Ambler  contributor to screenplay (uncredited)
Kay Walsh  contributor to screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Ronald Neame .... producer
Original Music by
Arnold Bax  (as Sir Arnold Bax D. Mus. Master of the King's Musick)
Cinematography by
Guy Green (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Jack Harris 
Casting by
Dennis Van Thal (uncredited)
Set Decoration by
T. Hopewell Ash (uncredited)
Claude Momsay (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Margaret Furse (costumes)
Makeup Department
Stuart Freeborn .... makeup (as Stuart Freebourne)
George Blackler .... makeup associate (uncredited)
Biddy Chrystal .... hairdresser (uncredited)
Production Management
Norman Spencer .... production manager
Pat MacDonnell .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
Bob McNaught .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
George Pollock .... assistant director
Chuck Simpson .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
John Bryan .... sets designed by
T. Hopewell Ash .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Claude Mauncy .... set dresser (uncredited)
Geoffrey Woodward .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Stanley Lambourne .... sound recordist
Gordon K. McCallum .... sound recordist
Winston Ryder .... sound editor
George Paternoster .... boom operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Stanley Grant .... special effects
Joan Suttie .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Les Bowie .... matte painter (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Oswald Morris .... camera operator
Jim Body .... focus puller (uncredited)
John Godar .... focus puller (uncredited)
Alan Hume .... focus puller (uncredited)
Charles Trigg .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Dorothy Edwards .... wardrobe mistress (uncredited)
Bob Rayner .... wardrobe master (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Clive Donner .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Harriet Cohen .... the "Oliver" themes played by
Muir Mathieson .... conductor
The Philharmonia Orchestra of London .... the "Oliver" themes played by (as the Philharmonia Orchestra of London)
John Huntley .... music staff (uncredited)
Other crew
J. Arthur Rank .... presenter (as J.Arthur Rank)
Maggie Unsworth .... continuity (as Margaret Sibley)
Wenham Bill .... production assistant (uncredited)
Stuart Chant .... publicist (uncredited)
Iris Dalton .... production secretary (uncredited)
Vicky Fuggle .... production secretary (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
116 min | USA:105 min | West Germany:110 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:G | Canada:G (Ontario) | Egypt:(Banned) (original release) | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 | Sweden:15 | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (re-release) (2006) | UK:U (video rating) (1987) (1990) | UK:U (re-rating) (1948) | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) (1947) (Janus print) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (MPAA rating)

Did You Know?

Robert Donat was desperate to play Sikes and did a screen test.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When the crowd chase Oliver down an alleyway following the theft at the bookstore, the "brick" wall wobbles, revealing its flimsy structure.See more »
Mr. Bumble:Cry your hardest now, it opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes and softens down the temper. So cry away.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Oliver & Company (1988)See more »
He Don't Know When To StopSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
24 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
Lean and Dickens - A Winning Combination, 26 December 2002
Author: gbheron from Washington, DC

Charles Dickens and David Lean. What a combination; a novel by one of the greats of 19th century literature brought to film by one of the 20th century's best directors. Can't miss? You're right; David Lean's "Oliver Twist" is a great movie. The casting and acting is superb, every role a standout. I'd read "Oliver Twist" years ago, and watching the movie transported me back to the Victorian London of the novel. Alec Guinness is the perfect Fagin, after seeing this version I can't think of any other actor ever playing him. Bill Sikes, Nancy, Artful Dodger, Mr. Bumble, and of course Oliver. All perfect. The direction is without peer. The sets and cinematography resemble the best of German Expressionist work from the previous generation. Buildings at odd angles, light playing havoc with the dark shadows. I'm blathering....

My recommendation is to dig this up in the classics section of the video store and treat yourself to an oldie but a goodie.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (59 total) »

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