The film features a young Timothy Spall in the bit-role of Constable #1. Coincidentally, Spall would go on to play Fagin in the 2007 miniseries adaptation of Oliver Twist, written by Sarah Phelps. See more »
[deciding on Oliver's name]
The last was 'S'... Swubble. This is 'T'. I name him Twist... Oliver Twist.
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While the David Lean film is the definitive version, this adaptation has its flaws but is a solid and underrated one
I will tell you, the 1948 David Lean film is magnificent, and the definitive version of Charles Dickens' classic novel. Now I liked this; it did have a decent script, director Clive Donner does more than acceptably portray the harshness of the Victorian era, and fluid camera-work considering it is noticeably lower budget an adaptation of the novel out of all the adaptations I have seen. The performances were very good; George C.Scott was oily, vile, manipulative and shrewd like Fagin should be. I will admit, although I am a massive Tim Curry fan, I was initially perplexed why he was cast as Sikes. Curry isn't exactly big and burly and I don't associate him as a violent murderer, but in terms of acting, he was extremely chilling and very effective in his role. Especially when he sees images of Nancy after he kills her, and speaking of the death scene, that was very brutal. In fact, this film is one of the more violent adaptations of the novel I've seen. I liked the dog too. Cherie Lunghi is as lovely as ever, and indeed vulnerable as Nancy, and Michael Horden is a splendid Mr Brownlow. In fact the only two weak performances came from Richard Charles as Oliver-he just couldn't carry the film on its own- and Timothy West sadly is miscast as Mr Bumble not being grotesque enough. The plot was hugely condensed of the content from the book, and consequently lacked the masterly storytelling that made the David Lean film such a classic. All in all, a flawed but respectable adaptation of a complicated book. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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