Both Bruce Prochnik, who played Oliver, and Willoughby Goddard, who played Mr. Bumble, repeated their roles in the original Broadway production of "Oliver!", which is based on "Oliver Twist". See more »
This BBC TV serialisation of the Dickens novel was quite controversial when it was first broadcast, as it was shown in a Sunday teatime slot previously occupied by children's serials, however, this was quite a gritty dramatization, and not everyone's idea of cosy Sunday viewing.
It is, nevertheless, an enjoyable production, although it is many years since I read the book, so I don't know how closely it sticks to the book's plotline.
It is however fair to point out that it does feature some of Dickens more problematic features which may put many people off. The character of Fagin (played by Max Adrian) is clearly anti-Semitic, and Dickens was criticised for it even at the time. Other features which may not play well with modern audiences are the sentimentality, the absurd reliance on coincidence to further the plot, and the fact that young Oliver seems remarkably well-spoken and well-behaved for someone brought up in the appalling conditions portrayed.
This serial has recently become available on DVD, and despite the technical shortcomings, I recommend it.
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