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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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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
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

The nominees for Best Director at the 1969 Academy Awards were announced by Ingrid Bergman, Natalie Wood, Diahann Carroll, Rosalind Russell and Jane Fonda. In a scripted introduction, they mocked the secondary nature of each of the female leads in the nominated films. Bergman stated they were there "somewhat reluctantly"; Fonda and Russell stated that the directors "had done their best/ to make female stars obsolete". Carroll said the only woman in 'Oliver!' "sang two songs and got choked for her trouble". Receiving the award from Fonda, Reed made no reference to this introduction in his brief, self-effacing acceptance speech. See more »

Goofs

The steps at London Bridge are depicted wrong. The real steps were narrow at the top, and widened horizontally at the bottom, allowing a person to hide and eavesdrop on (or watch) those on the upper steps without being seen. The book got this right. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Brownlow: Wait! Is the boy hurt, ill-treated? If so, I shall...
Nancy: [referring to Bill Sikes] I can't say no more, PLEASE! He'll kill me as it is if he finds out!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Moviemakers (1968) 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

Pure movie magic!
28 November 2003 | by dtucker86See all my reviews

Its strange that the film that won the best picture Oscar at the 1968 Academy Awards was a film made in England, but if ever a movie deserved that honor, I think it is Oliver. This movie is a true classic that should be on every best picture list and given a place of honor at The American Film Institute. Movie musicals died out a long time ago and it is a shame because this is the best movie musical I have ever seen. Usually movie musicals are slipshod with some great numbers mixed in with some poor ones. Oliver does the impossible, because every number and every dance in this film hits the bullseye! From "Food Glorious Food" to "Consider Yourself" to "Who Will Buy This Wonderful Morning". Ron Moody, Shani Wallace (as Nancy) and Mark Lester as Oliver all give outstanding performances. Mark Lester was at one time the most famous child actor in the entire world. He was the Ricky Schroder of his day or the MacAuley Culkin of his day (I'll bet he wishes he could have made the kind of money they did!). Mark Lester is now a doctor in England and I wrote him a couple e-mails and he talked about Oliver and what a fine experience it was making the film. Shani Wallace was a fine English actress who never got the credit she deserved. She was so good as the sweet, loving Nancy who took a shine to little Oliver and gave her life saving him (her murder scene still makes me shiver, even Charles Dickens said that bothered him when he wrote it!). Doctor Lester wrote me that Shani Wallace was like a big sister to him and it shows on the screen. Ron Moody is delightfully hammy as Fagin. He sort of reminds me of Charles Laughton the way he carries the part to its ludicrous extreme but you savor it along with him. Charles Dickens was so good at portraying the poverty and horrible living conditions of his time and this film shows that especially in the workhouse. Children really lived under those conditions and it is horrifying. The scene that got me is where they are being served horrible gruel and are walking by the dining room where Mister Bumble and his henchmen are dining like kings! That really made me angry. Anyhow, Oliver is a wonderful film that would stand up to any film today and is a good viewing experience for the whole family. It will leave you with a happy heart and a lump in your throat and what more could you ask for?


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