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

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Overview

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7.8/10   7,542 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Charles Dickens (by)
David Lean (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Oliver Twist on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 July 1951 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A Screen Event To Be Remembered For All Time !
Plot:
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 »
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
The Best Film Version of Dickens' Second Novel See more (59 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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
John Howard Davies ... Oliver Twist
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:
Runtime:
116 min | USA:105 min | West Germany:110 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
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)
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Robert Donat was desperate to play Sikes and did a screen test.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the pub, Sikes finishes talking to Fagin and puts the bottle on the table to give him a poke. The next shot shows him holding the bottle and drinking.See more »
Quotes:
Mr. Brownlow:The law assumes that your wife acts under your direction.
Mr. Bumble:If the law supposes that, then the law is a ass, a idiot! If that's the eye of the law, then the law is a bachelor. And the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
TippitiwitchetSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
26 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
The Best Film Version of Dickens' Second Novel, 15 January 2006
Author: theowinthrop from United States

In 1835 London began reading a series of comic essays or sketches by an unknown writer - it turned out a Parliamentary reporter. He wrote these pieces in a book illustrated by Hablot Browne, who drew pictures under the nickname "Phiz". The writer of the pieces decided to supply them to the public as SKETCHES BY BOZ, to complement his illustrator. The writer was actually named Charles John Huffan Dickens. He was only 23 years old, and he found himself a minor celebrity. Mr. Dickens followed this with a full novel, originally planned like the SKETCHES, but centered on a group of wealthy Englishmen touring the whole of the British Isles. Eventually this picaresque novel centered on the leader of the group, Mr. Samuel Pickwick, and his valet, Sam Weller. THE POSTHUMOUS PAPERS OF THE PICKWICK CLUB (later renamed THE PICKWICK PAPERS) was a tremendous success, especially as in the second half of the story Dickens got serious about the legal issue of breach of promise (broken engagement) lawsuits, the corruption of British lawyers, and the horrors of debtor's prison.

He began to see a formula develop here. He was more than a one book phenomenon, and he could see that while people adored his sense of humor, they also liked the serious material. His own life had been harsh - his father had been in debtor's prison, and Dickens had to work in a blacking warehouse (a warehouse where bottles were filled and labeled) as a youth. So he put a great deal in his work of the underside of life in modern England. Compare his novels with those of the two popular "Gods" of the day: Sir Walter Scott's novels were about a heroic past, while Jane Austen concentrated on personalities in the countryside (upper middle class) who were concerned about getting married. Dickens was quite different.

But for his third novel he reversed his formula - instead of a basically comic story enlightened with dramatic moments, he made it a tragic, dramatic tale enlightened with comic highlights. It was this formula he would stick to (quite successfully) from 1837 to 1870 for the bulk of his novels and short stories.

In 1836 there had been a trial of a receiver of stolen goods named Ikey Solomon. Ikey was Jewish. He was also something of a thief trainer. Found guilty, Ikey was sent to Australia for the rest of his life. Dickens decided that he would incorporate this story into his novel.

The hero, a poor boy who was brought up in an orphanage, is mistreated by those in authority (including a pompous beadle named Mr. Bumble) and eventually runs away, but falls into a gang in London led by one Fagin. Fagin is a Jewish thief and receiver in stolen goods. He is also a trainer of pickpockets and thieves, led by one called "The Artful Dodger". He also works closely with a violent, professional burglar named Bill Sykes, who has only two close relationships: his girl, a woman named Nancy, and his pet bulldog.

Oliver in the course of the story is separated from the gang when he is arrested for picking the pocket of a gentleman named Mr. Brownlow. Brownlow tries to help Oliver - he can't place it but there seems something about the boy he likes. Sykes manages to recapture Oliver again, but the latter is reunited by accident to Brownlow after he is injured in an burglary Sykes is committing.

In the meantime Mr. Bumble and his wife (the matron of the poor house Oliver was raised in) have turned over information about Oliver's real history to a stranger named Monk. Monk has also been in contact with Fagin to make sure that Oliver is kept in the gang. But then Nancy starts showing a strong conscience about what is going on about the boy.

I won't go beyond this in terms of the plot. David Lean had made several films (including BRIEF ENCOUNTER) before this 1948 film. He did a bang up job with a great cast: John Howard Davies as Oliver, Alec Guiness as Fagin, Robert Newton as Sykes, Henry Stephenson as Mr. Brownlow, Kay Walsh as Nancy, Francis L. Sullivan as Bumble, and a young Anthony Newley as the Artful Dodger. Lean trimmed much out of the six hundred page novel (short for a Dickens novel), but left the main points. His biggest actions were concerning Alec Guiness's performance as Fagin - the character is a vicious anti-Semitic caricature by Dickens (who made fitful attempts to make up for it in later editions of the novel - showing Fagin was not a good Jew either!), and the make-up job looked like something out of Julius Streicher's Nazi publication DER STURMER of a few years before. But the makeup job on Guiness was based on the illustrations of George Cruickshank and "Phiz" in their editions of TWIST when it came out. Still, in balance to this, Fagin is shown at the conclusion to have a sense of personal dignity when confronted by a deadly mob. That touch shows that Lean could go beyond Dickens' own prejudices to somewhat balance the story. The result was a masterpiece - certainly the best film adaptation of OLIVER TWIST, possibly the best version on film of a Dickens novel.

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