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 »

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Series cast summary:
 Mrs Bedwin (4 episodes, 1999)
 Monks (4 episodes, 1999)
 Mr Brownlow (4 episodes, 1999)
 Elizabeth Leeford (4 episodes, 1999)
 Mrs. Mann (4 episodes, 1999)
David Ross ...
 Mr Bumble (4 episodes, 1999)
Sam Smith ...
 Oliver Twist (3 episodes, 1999)
John Grillo ...
 Mr Grimwig (3 episodes, 1999)
Charlotte Le Moignan ...
 Young Rose Fleming (3 episodes, 1999)
 Nancy (3 episodes, 1999)
 Fagin (3 episodes, 1999)
 Bill Sikes (3 episodes, 1999)
Alex Crowley ...
 Artful Dodger (3 episodes, 1999)
 Rose Fleming (3 episodes, 1999)
 Bet (3 episodes, 1999)
 Charley Bates (3 episodes, 1999)
Liz Smith ...
 Sally (2 episodes, 1999)
 Homely Maid (2 episodes, 1999)
 Mr. Fleming (2 episodes, 1999)
 Giles (2 episodes, 1999)
Morgan Jones ...
 Brittles (2 episodes, 1999)
 Agnes Fleming (2 episodes, 1999)
David Bark-Jones ...
 Dr. Losberne (2 episodes, 1999)
Laura Grace Cockroft ...
 Chertsey Maid (2 episodes, 1999)
 Edwin Leeford (2 episodes, 1999)
Rosalind March ...
 Mrs. Corney (2 episodes, 1999)
 Woodcroft (2 episodes, 1999)
 Mr. Sowerberry (2 episodes, 1999)
 Blacksmith Bignall (2 episodes, 1999)
Alan Pentony ...
 Pedlar (2 episodes, 1999)
Hilary Sesta ...
 Martha, Female Pauper (2 episodes, 1999)


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 G.M. Baxter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 October 2000 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(4 parts)

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Did You Know?


The very flowery wording in the episode titles is based on the language which Charles Dickens used for the chapter titles in his original novel "Oliver Twist". See more »


Charley Bates: I will not peach on Nancy!
Artful Dodger: She just peached on us!
[Charley punches him and the boys fight]
Artful Dodger: Get up!
[Dodger yanks him up]
Artful Dodger: Now, I'm gonna go back now and tell Fagin what you done. And then, I'm gonna go with him. Maybe we'll hide now and go tomorrow. But you got nowhere to go and no where to hide
[Dodger slaps Charley]
Artful Dodger: Good-bye Charley.
See more »


Version of Oliver Twist (1974) See more »


Fantasia for Piano 4 Hands in F Minor
Music by Franz Schubert
Played onscreen by Michael Kitchen
See more »

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User Reviews

Absolutely marvelous!
13 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am a huge Dickens fan. I have read Oliver Twist, and have even written college papers on the novel. This movie is by far the best version of Oliver Twist ever made (this includes David Lean's movie, the Polanski version, and the musical). The casting is superb; Robert Lindsay (Fagin) is one of the best character actors I have ever seen, Michael Kitchen plays Mr. Brownlow to perfection, and Andy Serkis (Bill Sykes) brings out every ounce of Bill's brutal personality with excellent feel for the character. Yes, the movie necessarily takes what the novel originally revealed in the last pages (concerning Oliver's parentage and the mystery surrounding his birth) and more fully dramatizes it; this is the nature of the beast. Making movies about books is difficult enough, especially with Dickens' panache for complicated plots. But this version of the movie brings out every element of Dickens' story with taste and excellence. One of the best Dickens adaptations out there.

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