Based on Charles Dickens' novel, this adaptation traces the childhood of an orphan whose mother dies giving birth to him in an English work-house in the 1820s. Little Oliver Twist, already ... See full summary »
Based on Charles Dickens' novel, this adaptation traces the childhood of an orphan whose mother dies giving birth to him in an English work-house in the 1820s. Little Oliver Twist, already abused, starved and overworked, is apprenticed to an undertaker and runs away to London after being bullied by an older apprentice. There, he is taken in by Fagin, a fence and thief-trainer, and his gang of pickpockets. He is befriended by Nancy, a good-hearted prostitute, and meets her lover, the brutal housebreaker Bill Sikes. But attempts by the gang to discredit him result in his being taken in by Mr. Brownlow, a wealthy and charitable man, who proves the catalyst for Oliver's discovery of his background and identity. Here Alan Bleasdale's dramatisation differs from Dickens' novel, in that Oliver does not fall into Brownlow's hands by coincidence, and we already know his back story: he's the child of a young woman named Agnes Fleming and her married lover, Edwin Leeford, who dies while on a trip... Written by
I have just been watching this for a second time on cable TV here in Australia and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time. Full marks to Robert Lindsay as Fagin...but what an eye-opener for me was Edward Leeford/Monks played by Marc Warren. I thought to myself, "Where has this guy been hiding?" but then looking at his profile on IMDb he has done - and is doing - so much work that I can't believe that I've only just noticed him. No-one has made this much of an impression on me since I was awakened to the talents of Tim Roth. Who will be the next brilliant actor - male or female - to come out of hiding and surprise us all?
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