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Oliver Twist (1948)

Not Rated | | Drama | 30 July 1951 (USA)
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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:
John Howard Davies John Howard Davies ... Oliver Twist
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
Henry Edwards ... Police Official
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Storyline

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 and he joins a household of young boys who are trained to steal for their master. This version of Oliver Twist is topped by Alec Guinness's masterly performance of arch-thug 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

In his search to find the perfect Oliver, David Lean held an open audition at Victoria Palace in which he received some fifteen hundred applications and interviewed all but eighty of them. Not one matched the image he had in mind for Oliver but in a stroke of luck, agent Ted Lloyd spotted the ideal candidate - John Howard Davies - at the home of an associate. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning as the storm rages there are two successive shots of shaking bare tree branches silhouetted against the storm clouds. On the second shot a crew member's hand and forearm can be seen shaking this branch. See more »

Quotes

Noah Claypole: Workhouse, what's your mother?
Oliver Twist: She's dead.
Noah Claypole: What - she die of workhouse?
Oliver Twist: They said she died of a broken heart.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film did not premiere in the U.S. until 1951, after ten minutes of footage involving as Fagin had been cut, due to Jewish pressure groups who claimed that Guinness's portrayal was offensive and anti-Semitic. See more »

Connections

Version of Las aventuras de Oliver Twist (1987) 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

Robert Newton as Bill Sykes and Sir Alec Guinness as Fagan-two of the best actors ever in their greatest roles!
24 August 2001 | by countryway_48864See all my reviews

David Lean knew how to capture the essence of Dickension London pitch-perfectly.

Robert Newton gives the finest performance of his life as Bill Sykes, the murderous thief who uses Alec Guinness' Fagan as his fence. The two men have an uneasy relationship that comes apart toward the end of the film. As actors, Newton and Guinness have a chemistry and an acting partnership that is superb. I have rarely seen two actors so perfectly matched in any film. I only wish they had done other films together.

Sykes has a girlfriend, Nancy, who is loyal to the point of death. The murder scene and the scene that follows are brilliant. There is Sykes, drunk and paranoid accusing his only love of betraying him. She pleads for her life in vain. The next scene is oddly quiet. Sykes in a chair contemplating the body with early morning light streaming through a filthy window onto the body. Newton's portrait of Sykes, the man who killed the thing he loved most in the world- the guilt and remorse that flutter across his face are wrenching. That silent scene will stay with me forever.

There was a great deal of controversy over Guinness's portrait of Fagan. His explanation of himself to Oliver, "They say I am a miser..." is chilling and pathetic at the same time. In this early film of Sir Alec's you see his genius for characterization. Guinness played Fagan as a Jew with a distrust and a hatred of humanity that is hard to top.

Director Lean assembled the finest actors in England at the time for his Oliver Twist. He created a seamless story that was a classic the moment it was released. David Lean's Oliver Twist is still the BEST adaptation of ANY Dickens story on film.

Special praise goes to the film score, which has been recorded many times and has entered the classical music rep. as incidental music. The Oliver Theme and the Fagan theme are instantly recognizable.

A MUST SEE!


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