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Oliver! (1968) Poster

(1968)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (6)  | Continuity (7)  | Factual errors (4)  | Miscellaneous (1)  | Plot holes (1)  | Revealing mistakes (3)  | Spoilers (1)

Anachronisms 

In the song "I'm Reviewing The Situation," Fagin imagines himself owning "a suite at Claridge's." However "Oliver!" is based on Dickens' "Oliver Twist," which was set in the 1830s, and Claridge's Hotel was not founded until 1854.
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In "Who will Buy", just after the school girls are pushed into the pool, a family leaves a house and the mother is wearing hat and clothing more appropriate to the 1890s rather than the 1830s. She has on a large hat with a brim as opposed to a bonnet and her dress is definitively from a later era.
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Charlotte the young girl who works as a maid at the Sowerberry's funeral parlor has the hairstyle that wasn't common for women until the late 1960s/1970s.
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The window cleaners who appear during the song "Who Will Buy" are using aluminium ladders painted brown.
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On his way to London, Oliver gets onto a cart which is being pulled along a tarmac road. The first tarmac road in Britain was in 1902, the story was set in the 1800s.
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Nancy, Bet, their fellow barmaids and the saleswomen of WHO WILL BUY all wear their hair loose in what was one of the most popular fashions of the late 1960s; the high class ladies of the latter number, on the other hand, wear their hair in the correct fashions of the 1830s.
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Continuity 

In the "I'd do anything" scene, Bet's hair changes
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When Oliver gets out of bed and goes to the window during the lead-in to "Who Will Buy?", his hair is tousled and sticking up. When the camera angle changes to the outside, his hair is neatly combed.
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While singing "As Long As He Needs Me," Nancy's dress hangs off her shoulder and then in the next shot it is back on her shoulder.
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During the number "I'd Do Anything" Nancy's companion is seen with unbound hair, then a half ponytail, then unbound again.
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In the number "Who will buy?" in the first shot of the rose seller has the two roses in her right hand and the basket in the left hand but in the close up shot the basket changes to the right hand.
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During the "Who will buy" scene, the military band march in followed by soldiers. However when they march off screen the soldiers are leading the band.
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Mrs Bumble is seen ringing the bell hanging from the ceiling at beginning of the film telling that breakfast is ready. But when the boys come down the stairs singing "Food, glorious food", her and the bell disappear.
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Factual errors 

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.
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The "Boy For Sale" scene is historic nonsense: even during the harshest phases of the Poor Laws, a workhouse pauper could not be traded like a slave from one "owner" to another. Apprentices could be had for nothing, and it was state representatives like Bumble who had to pay tradespeople like Sowerberry for the service of taking paupers off the state's hands, rather than the other way around. The book got this right.
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When Bill brings Oliver to his flat before going on a job, he pulls a box from under his bed. He then puts a tire iron in his breast pocket, 70 years before tires were invented for cars.
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In the number, "Who Will Buy", the question is asked, "Where is the man with all the money, it's cheap at half the price". Anything is cheaper at half the price. The correct statement would be, "It's cheap at twice the price," which is the original English adage.
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Miscellaneous 

Fagin receives some stolen trinkets from Bill Sykes just before Bill gets his supper but there was no way Bill should have been able to keep all the stolen goods inside his coat.
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Plot holes 

When Oliver starts his journey from the workhouse town to London, it's winter. As his travel proceeds, the winter snow melts, and the landscape becomes green. By the time he arrives in London, it's clearly summer, judging from the people's clothes and the abundance of vegetables. While conversing with the Artful Dodger, Oliver explains that he has been walking for seven days.
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Revealing mistakes 

Right before the song "Pick A Pocket or Two" starts, when Oliver asks Fagin "Is this a laundry then sir?", You can see Artful Dodger mouthing the exact same words as Oliver did.
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Just after Oliver asks for more gruel and is taken by Mr. Bumble to the governor of the workhouse, they are standing at the door - Oliver mouths Mr. Bumble's lines, and then to cover it up, starts wiggling his tongue.
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Bill Sykes' shadow does not match his actual steps when we first see him.
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Spoilers

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Revealing mistakes 

At the end, Fagin and Dodger walk out of the city down a long cobblestone street. As they walk directly towards the sun rising in the distance, with their faint shadows seen following them appropriately, we also see larger, more pronounced shadows on the brick wall to their left - which is at a full 90 degree angle away from the sun in front of them.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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