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Oliver Twist (1948)

Not Rated | | Drama | 30 July 1951 (USA)
An orphan named Oliver Twist meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.

Director:

David Lean

Writers:

Charles Dickens (by), David Lean (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Newton ... Bill Sykes
Alec Guinness ... Fagin
Kay Walsh ... Nancy
Francis L. Sullivan ... Mr. Bumble
Henry Stephenson ... Mr. Brownlow
Mary Clare ... Mrs. Corney
Anthony Newley ... Artful Dodger
Josephine Stuart Josephine Stuart ... Oliver's Mother
Ralph Truman Ralph Truman ... Monks
Kathleen Harrison ... Mrs Sowerberry
Gibb McLaughlin ... Mr. Sowerberry
Amy Veness Amy Veness ... Mrs. Bedwin
Frederick Lloyd Frederick Lloyd ... Mr. Grimwig
John Howard Davies ... Oliver Twist
Henry Edwards ... Police Official
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Screen Event To Be Remembered For All Time !

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 July 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Aventuras de Oliver Twist See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cineguild See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alfie Bass was considered for the the Artful Dodger, until Kay Walsh, Sir David Lean's wife at the time, recommended Anthony Newley who was with her in Vice Versa (1948). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Fagin: You'd like to make pocket handkerchiefs as easily as the Artful Dodger, wouldn't you my dear?
Oliver Twist: Yes, if you teach me sir.
Fagin: We will, my dear, we will.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail! (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Camberwell Road on a Sunday Night
(uncredited)
Lyrics: Traditional
Music by Guy Warrack
See more »

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User Reviews

 
David Lean's superior Dickens adaptation
20 February 2005 | by didi-5See all my reviews

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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