Ron Moody toned down his East London Yiddish accent for the film as compared to the original 1960 London stage version, partly for intelligibility to American audiences and partly to avoid accusations of anti-semitism (although Moody was himself "100% Jewish"). In his autobiography Moody admitted he also changed his accent for the film because a Jew in England in 1837 would not have had his accent. What came to be regarded as Jewish accents was actually the result of immigration of Jews to the UK from Germany and Poland later in the 19th century. See more »
In the number "Who will buy?" in the first shot of the rose seller has the two roses in her right hand and the basket in the left hand but in the close up shot the basket changes to the right hand. See more »
A true work of art...excellent songs, amazing performances...
"Oliver!" is a vast improvement over the marvelous Broadway stage version, opening up the scenes with the ability to expand the range of the material and still remain faithful to the Dickens story. Brimming with unforgettable songs and dances (that choreography by Onna White is timeless), it is so well cast--down to the smallest roles--and so faithful to the spirit of Dickens' work that you can no longer imagine that classic without the songs.
Fagin is played to perfection by Ron Moody. His "You Gotta Pick A Pocket Or Two" is just one of the highlights incorporating clever lyrics and great choreography. The boys who kidnap Oliver are a rowdy lot, looking every bit the ruffians they're supposed to be. The best of the lot is Jack Wild's Artful Dodger, leading the gang in "Consider Yourself".
But not all is light and cheery. The darker aspects of the story are sometimes a little too graphic for my taste, although all of the performances are extremely well played, including Oliver Reed as Bill Sykes. The scenes involving his demise are so melodramatic they seem to belong to another film.
Whatever the faults may be, including a rather extended running time, there is scarcely a dull moment. With songs like "Who Will Buy?" and "Where Is Love?" -- not to mention "Food, Glorious Food" -- you will find yourself falling under the spell of this great musical. Highly recommended and fully deserving of its Best Picture Oscar.
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