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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

The wordless opening sequence, in which Oliver's mother staggers over the rain-swept moors to give birth on the steps of the workhouse, was devised by actress Kay Walsh (Nancy). See more »

Goofs

17 minutes into the film, Oliver is delivered for his apprenticeship and the old gentleman is holding a candle. As he approaches the door you can see an electric cable powering the "candle" being pulled quickly along by his feet. See more »

Quotes

Nancy: [about Oliver] I thieved for you when I was a child not half his age, and I've thieved for you ever since, don't you know it!
Fagin: And if you have, it is your living!
Nancy: Aye, it is. It is my living. And you're the wretch that drove me to them long ago, and that'll keep me there, day and night, day and night, DAY AND NIGHT!
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 Batman vs. Robin (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Tippitiwitchet
(uncredited)
Sung by Betty Paul as 'Lucy Willow'.
Lyrics: Traditional
Music by Guy Warrack
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Best-Looking B&W Movie Ever
23 December 2005 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

After viewing over 10,000 movies, I still have the same opinion I had after I saw this movie the first time and had watched maybe a thousand films at that point: this is simply the best-looking black-and-white film I've ever seen.

On the Criterion DVD, scene after scene is just jaw-dropping. I have never seen so many incredible shots with wonderful contrasts of light and dark. Much of this is filmed dark rooms or nighttime in the cobblestone streets. Those scenes, combined with many facial closeups, great buildings, and interesting camera angles, all make this an incredible viewing experience.

All of this helps make up for watching a depressing story. It was just unappealing, at least to me, because all the people except for the little boy are unlikable. Some of them mistreat the little kid and that's difficult to watch. I'm a sucker for nice people, especially an innocent child, and to see suffer is not fun to me.

One of those bad guys, however, is memorable: Fagin, played by Alec Guiness. In this film, he has to be one of the ugliest people I've ever seen, sporting the biggest nose ever put on screen. A teenage Anthony Newley as "the artful Dodger" also stands out.

But, as someone who is into art, David Lean's direction and Guy Green's camera-work draw me back to this DVD every couple of years...and at least I always know there is a happy ending for the one nice kid in the film.


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