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Oliver Twist (1948) Poster

(1948)

Trivia

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Banned on inital release in both Israel and Egypt; in Israel for being anti-Semitic, and in Egypt for making Fagin too sympathetic.
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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-Semitic
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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
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Robert Donat was desperate to play Sikes and did a screen test.
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Alfie Bass was considered for the the Artful Dodger, until Kay Walsh, David Lean's wife at the time, recommended Anthony Newley who was with her in Vice Versa (1948).
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The character played by Betty Paul - "'Singer at 'Three Cripples'" was introduced as 'Lucy Willow'. At the time of the filming of "Oliver Twist", Betty Paul was appearing in London as "Suzanne Valdis" in "Bless The Bride" (a role she repeated in BBC Sunday-Night Theatre: Bless the Bride (1956)) - and in the same production, Elizabeth Webb took the leading female part of 'Lucy Willow'. This cannot be a coincidence but has apparently never been commented on.
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The company that trained and supplied animals for film and television supplied the Staffordshire Bull Terrier for the role of 'Bullseye' and also the Bull Terrier who played the role of 'Bullseye' in the film adaptation of Lionel Bart's musical 'Oliver!'.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When Nancy is bludgeoned to death, Sikes's dog was tricked into scratching at the door by a stuffed cat placed on the other side.
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In the original novel, Mr. Brownlow is not a blood relative of Oliver, but is an acquaintance of Oliver's father who gave him a portrait of Oliver's mother as a token of trust. Oliver, left for dead by Sikes after being wounded in a robbery, is rescued by members of his mother's family, who get in touch with Brownlow and put it all together. Filming this subplot would have required hiring more actors and taking up time with explanatory dialogue, so it is much more convenient to have Brownlow be Oliver's grandfather and reassign other characters' words and deeds to him.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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