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(1948)

Parents Guide

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Certification

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Certification

Sex & Nudity

  • Bill Sikes and Nancy live together out of wedlock, and have an implied sexual relationship, though this is never actually stated. No sex or nudity is shown.

Violence & Gore

  • Oliver is beaten with a cane for "misbehaving" by Mr. Sowerberry, the undertaker to whom he is apprenticed. Noah Claypole, an assistant, sadistically smiles while this is going on.
  • Oliver sees Fagin counting up his stolen goods. When Fagin sees this, he demands to know in a threatening voice what Oliver has seen.
  • At one point, Fagin throws a coffee pot at the Artful Dodger, but it misses him and hits the wall.
  • When the mob chases Oliver believing that he has picked Mr. Brownlow's pocket, a man punches Oliver and knocks him out cold.
  • Bill tries to beat Oliver after Oliver tries to escape, but Nancy stops him. In anger, she tries to physically attack Fagin, but then faints.
  • The unhappily married Widow Corney throws objects at her husband Mr. Bumble after he insults her sarcastically. This scene, though, is played for laughs.
  • Bill knocks the Artful Dodger out with his pistol after the Dodger tries to alert the mob approaching the hideout that Bill is there.

Profanity

  • Mr. Bumble can be heard saying "The law is an ass."

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • Some of Fagin's boys smoke.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • Earlier in the film, at the undertaker's, Oliver has to sleep in a room filled with coffins.

Spoilers

The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Violence & Gore

  • When Bill Sikes discovers that Nancy is plotting to return Oliver to his benefactor, he kills her by beating her to death with a huge club after stunning her with the butt-end of his pistol (no blood in the film). She is mostly offscreen during the murder, but we hear what sounds like a combination of Bill's dog howling and Nancy's screams. Bill's dog claws at the locked door of the bedroom (where the murder takes place), frantically trying to escape. Bill tries to kill the dog after the murder, so that the dog will not lead the police to him, but the dog senses what is on Bill's mind and runs away.
  • Unlike the 1968 musical "Oliver!", Fagin incites Sikes to kill Nancy, by twisting the truth just enough to make Sikes believe that she betrayed everyone to the police. After the murder, Sikes imagines that he sees and hears Nancy's ghost telling him that she didn't inform on him.
  • Bill is shot by a policeman while trying to lower himself over a rooftop. The pain of the wound makes him loosen his grip while the rope is still around his neck, and he hangs himself accidentally.
  • An angry mob breaks into Fagin's hideout after the murder, and as they do, Fagin says "Strike them all dead! What right have you to butcher me?" The mob then grabs Fagin, hauls him away, and a bystander yells "They've got Fagin!", at which the rest of the mob cheers.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • The scene immediately following the murder of Nancy is possibly even more frightening than the murder itself. Bill Sikes sits alone in his bedroom, looking at the dead body. (The only time we see the dead body is after he has thrown a blanket over it; all we see of Nancy is her arm and her hand, neither of which have blood on them.) Bill's dog sits shivering in terror. Bill is also terrified and begins to hallucinate. He thinks he hears Nancy's ghost telling him that she did not inform on the gang and that Fagin tricked him into believing so, then he hallucinates that he kills Fagin (also by clubbing him); finally, and most terrifying of all, he hears some howling, and from the way that the dog in the film howls, we cannot be sure whether it is his cries or the screams of the murdered Nancy that we are hearing. The Artful Dodger, who is the one who spied on Nancy as she went to see Brownlow, is the first to discover the body, and is horrified and stricken with remorse.

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