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Oliver! (1968)

After being sold to a mortician, young orphan Oliver Twist runs away and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor.

Director:

Carol Reed

Writers:

Lionel Bart (book), Vernon Harris (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,448 ( 756)

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Won 5 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ron Moody ... Fagin
Shani Wallis ... Nancy
Oliver Reed ... Bill Sikes
Harry Secombe ... Bumble
Mark Lester ... Oliver
Jack Wild ... The Artful Dodger
Hugh Griffith ... Magistrate
Joseph O'Conor ... Mr. Brownlow
Peggy Mount ... Mrs. Bumble
Leonard Rossiter ... Sowerberry
Hylda Baker Hylda Baker ... Mrs. Sowerberry
Kenneth Cranham ... Noah Claypole
Megs Jenkins ... Mrs. Bedwin
Sheila White ... Bet
Wensley Pithey Wensley Pithey ... Dr. Grimwig
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Storyline

Musical adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic tale of an orphan who runs away from the orphanage and hooks up with a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Much Much More Than a Musical! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Musical

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 September 1968 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Oliver See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$16,800,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,000,000, 31 January 1980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| 4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System) (35 mm magnetic prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Carol Reed went to the Academy Award presentation in 1969, Charlton Heston, whom Reed had directed in The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) several years earlier, gave the director a copy of the book accompanied by a hand-written Dickens letter. According to Reed, "He's a very considerate man." See more »

Goofs

In the number "Who will buy?" in the first shot of the rose seller has the two roses in her right hand and the basket in the left hand but in the close up shot the basket changes to the right hand. See more »

Quotes

Fagin: [Fagin and the boys are abandoning their hideout as the mob closes in. However, Bill Sikes is determined to escape at all costs using Oliver as a hostage] Bill! Why make things worse? Leave him!
Bill: [holding Oliver in front of him] It's me, they're after! But they won't go for me! Not with the boy close, they won't. So, you keep out of this.
Fagin: [to the boys] Out the back way, come on!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tribe: Episode #3.5 (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Fine Life
(1960) (uncredited)
Words and Music by Lionel Bart
Sung by Shani Wallis, Sheila White, and Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A true work of art...excellent songs, amazing performances...
28 May 2001 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

"Oliver!" is a vast improvement over the marvelous Broadway stage version, opening up the scenes with the ability to expand the range of the material and still remain faithful to the Dickens story. Brimming with unforgettable songs and dances (that choreography by Onna White is timeless), it is so well cast--down to the smallest roles--and so faithful to the spirit of Dickens' work that you can no longer imagine that classic without the songs.

Fagin is played to perfection by Ron Moody. His "You Gotta Pick A Pocket Or Two" is just one of the highlights incorporating clever lyrics and great choreography. The boys who kidnap Oliver are a rowdy lot, looking every bit the ruffians they're supposed to be. The best of the lot is Jack Wild's Artful Dodger, leading the gang in "Consider Yourself".

But not all is light and cheery. The darker aspects of the story are sometimes a little too graphic for my taste, although all of the performances are extremely well played, including Oliver Reed as Bill Sykes. The scenes involving his demise are so melodramatic they seem to belong to another film.

Whatever the faults may be, including a rather extended running time, there is scarcely a dull moment. With songs like "Who Will Buy?" and "Where Is Love?" -- not to mention "Food, Glorious Food" -- you will find yourself falling under the spell of this great musical. Highly recommended and fully deserving of its Best Picture Oscar.


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