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Parents Guide

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Sex & Nudity

  • Bill Sikes and Nancy live together out of wedlock. There is obviously a sexual relationship between them, but no sex or nudity is shown. Bill and Nancy are never even seen kissing.
  • It is roughly implied that Nancy is a prostitute.
  • There is some mildly salacious - but fully clothed - butt-shaking in the song "It's a Fine Life", and some mild sexual innuendo in "Oom Pah Pah".

Violence & Gore

  • Oliver attacks Noah Claypole, an older boy who was bullying Oliver.
  • Bill grabs Fagin by the throat menacingly, as if he were going to strangle him.
  • When Fagin sees the supposedly asleep Oliver watching him as he counts his stolen goods, he grabs Oliver by the throat and demands to know what he has seen.
  • Fagin jokingly kicks the Artful Dodger to the floor in one scene.
  • Moments after he has beaten Nancy, Bill tries to kill his pet dog by throwing a crowbar at him, but misses.
  • Bill takes Oliver as a hostage, forcing the boy to help him escape, but a policeman shoots and kills Bill before he can get away.
  • In song lyrics there are occasionally references to violence. Prominent examples of this are featured in the title song (lyrics: "What will he do when he's turned black and blue?", a reference to child abuse), as well as in the song "I'd Do Anything" (lyrics: "Would you risk 'the drop' ?"- a slang word for hanging), and in the song "As Long As He Needs Me" (the "he" being Bill Sikes), Nancy, who has just been ferociously slapped once across the face by Bill, sings "Who else would love him still, when they've been used so ill?".


  • At one point, the Artful Dodger is seen mouthing the sentence "Go to hell!" at a woman, but the sound of his voice is completely drowned out by a train whistle (this is probably how the filmmakers got around having to get a PG rating for the film - its violence was not considered PG at the time).

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • The boy pickpockets drink gin.
  • Several scenes take place in a tavern where there is much drinking and drunkenness, and a little smoking.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • Oliver is thrown into a basement after attacking Noah Claypole for insulting his (Oliver's) mother. In the basement he sings "Where Is Love?" while weeping.


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Violence & Gore

  • After Oliver is kidnapped, he suddenly slaps Bill across the face and breaks free, but Bill grabs him and is about to whip him with his belt, when Nancy intervenes.
  • Near the end of the film, Bill Sikes kills Nancy offscreen by beating her to death with a cane, in a scene lasting about 30 seconds. Only the cane is seen above a wall, whilst Nancy is heard to cry out repeatedly. Oliver listens horrified, mouthing the word "Stop!" After Bill steps back from the spot where Nancy lies, a small amount of blood is shown on his hands, and he wipes them off on his coat. She dies offscreen after he leaves the scene, but is still alive as he is running away; we see her feet twitching, although at this point she is making no sound. All we later see of the dead Nancy are her feet.
  • When Nancy refuses to help kidnap Oliver, Sikes slaps her across the face so hard that she falls off the chair on which she is sitting.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • The murder scene mentioned above.
  • Bill Sikes takes Oliver as a hostage while escaping, and forces him to climb out on a high beam to loop a rope around it, so that Sikes will be able to use the rope to swing to another building. As he reaches the other building he is shot, falls off the parapet and dies ; his body swings dangling limply from the rope as Oliver holds on to the beam above him. But he does not accidentally hang himself, as in the novel and several other film versions; the rope is around his waist when he is shot.

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