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 the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. Oliver is taken in by the pickpocket ... See full summary »
A married couple and their teenage twins move to Meadowlands, a friendly and seemingly safe suburban town, to start a new life. Here, they will soon realize that secrets and mysteries are plentiful, and past is a difficult thing to bury.
Ray 'Harley' Davidson is a hustler. With flash clothes and a fast mouth, Harley lives life in the fast lane. With his passion for all things gambling, money runs like water through Harley's... See full summary »
In a storm, in a workhouse, to a nameless woman, young Oliver Twist is born into parish care where he's overworked and underfed. As he grows older his adventures take him from the ... See full summary »
The Virgin Queen explores the full sweep of Elizabeth's life: from her days of fear as a potential victim of her sister's terror; through her great love affair with Robert Dudley; into her ... See full summary »
Rose sings and plays the hymn "Abide With Me". The words were not written until 1847, and the tune wasn't published until 1861, in the classic "Hymns Ancient and Modern". This song did not exist at the time Oliver Twist takes place. See more »
I feel sorry for anyone who makes his first acquaintance with Dickens' classic through this ill-conceived version that tampers irreparably with the original story.
The first mistake was hiring a screenwriter best-known for work on a British soap to write the script. She felt obligated to make it more "hip" by inserting words and dialog that aren't appropriate to the time period, and by completely twisting parts of the plot and some of its main characters. For instance, the comic subplot of Bumble and Corny leaves out some of the best scenes, and instead "sexes up" the Widow Corny. And Oliver himself is changed from a lost innocent into a smart-mouthed punk. (PS - I know that Corny is spelled with an "e" but IMDb's spell- checker keeps changing it.)
The casting doesn't help. Timothy Spall, who is wonderful in almost everything he does, never seems to settle in to the character of Fagin, and the make-up and hair artists make him look like an ugly fat woman most of the time. Nancy has changed color, Bill Sykes is nothing more than a yobbo, not the looming villain so well-portrayed by Oliver Reed in the musical version. Even the reliable Edward Fox turns in a two-dimensional performance as Brownlow.
The music score is also horrendous, jumping from style to style but never anything remotely Victorian. (Electric guitar? Banjo? Steel drums?)
I don't have a problem with making new versions of classics. I also don't have a problem with updating classics, as in WEST SIDE STORY or even Baz Luhrman's ROMEO + JULIET. But what we have in OLIVER TWIST is a warped classic, a hack's idea of making a great plot more palatable for the 21st-century audience. You can change the ambiance or the costumes, but don't give us a new story and claim it's a classic. This type of bilge is running rampant in current British productions (Wuthering Heights, Marple, etc.). Seek out an older version for something that resembles the original, or at least holds the original in high regard. The director and screenwriter for this production obviously see Dickens as raw material to be improved upon. The joke is on them.
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