Henry Hobson is a successful bootmaker, a widower and a tyrannical father of three daughters. The girls each want to leave their father by getting married, but Henry refuses because marriage traditions require him to pay out settlements.
Brenda de Banzie
Noël Coward's attempt to show how the ordinary people lived between the wars. Just after World War I, the Gibbons family moves to a nice house in the suburbs. An ordinary sort of life is ... See full summary »
Based on the Charles Dickens novel, this movie 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 and he joins a household of young boys who are trained to steal for their master. This version of Oliver Twist is topped by Sir Alec Guinness' masterly performance of archthug Fagin.Written by
Jenny Evans <J.Evans@uts.edu.au>
In the pub, Sikes finishes talking to Fagin and puts the bottle on the table to give him a poke. The next shot shows him holding the bottle and drinking. See more »
You'd like to make pocket handkerchiefs as easily as the Artful Dodger, wouldn't you my dear?
Yes, if you teach me sir.
We will, my dear, we will.
See more »
The film did not premiere in the U.S. until 1951, after ten minutes of footage involving Alec Guinness as Fagin had been cut, due to Jewish pressure groups who claimed that Guinness's portrayal was offensive and anti-Semitic. See more »
This excellent film is part of a duo of Dickens' books turned into silver screen magic by David Lean in the 1940s (Great Expectations with John Mills is the other).
Keeping to the spirit of the book (although not leaving the bleak ending intact) it allows us to follow the fortunes of young Oliver (John Howard Davies, who later gave up acting to become a big shot at the BBC), through his unhappy years at the orphanage under the watchful eye of the Beadle (the huge Francis L Sullivan, who played many similar roles throughout the decade), to his association with boy thieves under the thumb of Jewish money-dealer Fagin (Alec Guinness, in one of his career highlights).
The casting is generally superb - Kay Walsh (then Mrs David Lean) is effective as Nancy, while Robert Newton is suitably unhinged and menacing as Bill Sikes. In the undertaker's, Diana Dors is showy as Charlotte the maid; while in London, Anthony Newley makes an early scene-stealing Artful Dodger (like Jack Wild in the musical version, this Dodger isn't all bad and wants to make sure Nancy and Oliver are all right).
'Oliver Twist' is one of the greats of British cinema and does justice to a complex book. Highly recommended.
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