Michael Caine auditioned for the role of Bill Sikes in the original (1960) London stage production of the musical on which this film is based and not, as is often reported, in this film adaptation. See more »
Bill Sykes' shadow does not match his actual steps when we first see him. See more »
Wait! Is the boy hurt, ill-treated? If so, I shall...
[referring to Bill Sikes]
I can't say no more, PLEASE! He'll kill me as it is if he finds out!
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A high-spirited, lively version of the well-known story, the film manages to fit in songs and dances without subtracting from the deeper issues in Dickens' novel. The times are depicted vividly well, with excellent sets and costumes, and the film works as both surface entertainment for the young generation, and as a drama with deeper ideas behind it for the more adult viewer. As a musical, the story is not as potent as otherwise - if you compare it to David Lean's version for example - but yet the film explains parts of the story better than Lean's version did. It is not a perfect film as such, with some dances routines seeming pointless and a length that does become a tad annoying, but it is such a brilliant realisation of Dickens, and it is so well done, that it is hard not to think highly of the film. Ron Moody especially is very good: perfect as Fagin in an Oscar nominated role.
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