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

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Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   7,575 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 definitive film version of the story – atmospheric, dark and well acted 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


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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:
The film's release in the US was delayed until 1951 because of protests from Jewish pressure groups, who judged Alec Guinness's portrayal of Fagin to be anti-SemiticSee more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the workhouse, after Oliver eats the gruel, his piece of bread remains on the right side of the dish. Soon after the piece of bread is in front of his dish.See more »
Quotes:
Noah Claypole:Do you know who I am?
Oliver Twist:No Sir.
Noah Claypole:I'm Mr Noah Claypole and you're under me so don't you forget it!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Oliver Twist (1974)See more »
Soundtrack:
He Don't Know When To StopSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
44 out of 50 people found the following review useful.
The definitive film version of the story – atmospheric, dark and well acted, 4 December 2004
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

When his mother just about makes it to the workhouse before giving birth then dying, Oliver Twist is born into the only world he has ever known – the workhouse and poverty. When he draws the short straw from among the children, Oliver asks for more food at dinner and promptly finds himself up for sale for £5 to any honest trader willing to take him in. Oliver is taken to work for an undertaker until a fight over his mother makes him run away to London where the masters will never find him. Taken in by Fagin's group of child pickpockets, Oliver starts to settle in, until a brush with the law starts to bring his family history to the attention of those lacking scruples.

Watching this film now (or indeed at the time of its release in the UK) it is hard to imagine that it would have sparked a riot in Berlin in its first showing in 1949 or that it was banned for two years in America on the grounds of being anti-Semitic and was only released after significant cuts (10 minutes) had been made. Of course the cynic in me would suggest that the US was making any excuse to limit British films in its cinema due to competition (they don't need to do that any more!) but I guess history is written by the winners and Hollywood is definitely winning that battle. Ironically enough the film was also banned in Israel and Egypt because of Fagin – with Israel claiming that Fagin was anti-Semetic and Egypt claiming he was too sympathetic. Any roads, regardless of the historical controversy this film is still considered by many to be the definitive version of Dickens' story and often is in top ten or so when polls for 'greatest British films' are carried out. The plot is dark and sombre as befits the source material, painting a dark world of thieves, poverty and workhouses within which the story of Oliver and his destiny are told. In essence it is a simple story but it is the atmosphere and characters that make it more interesting.

This may have been as successful as some of Lean's other films due to the daft controversies around it, but his is still a very effective job as director. The film feels Victorian and hopeless – just like the lives of those in the story, and Lean creates a real atmosphere of despair and fear that is enjoyably dark and has moments that I was surprised to see in a film of the period. The cast do well with the characters and are a big part of its working. Ignoring all the hysteria over 'bad' characters being ethnic (good to see things haven't changed that much), Guinness is good as Fagin and doesn't allow himself to be just a ethnic stereotype – he is exploitative but he is also human and we get to see him as just being somebody else's 'boy' as well as Oliver. Newton is who I see when I think of Bill Sykes and Davies is a good Oliver even if his accent is way too posh for a workhouse baby and the film tends to lose him among all the more interesting and seedy characters we come across. Support is good from the likes of Walsh, Sullivan, Newley and others, all combining to produce a colourful collection of dark characters in the seedy streets of London.

Overall this is a good story even if it loses the Oliver story halfway through for a while in favour of the other characters. The direction is great and the whole film is dark and atmospheric. The acting is roundly good and supports the wealth of seedy characters on which the film is built.

I'm not a massive fan of Dickens by and large but if I want to see a version of this story then this is the film I return to.

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See more (59 total) »

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