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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

This movie is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #32. 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

Mr. Bumble: Cry your hardest now, it opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes and softens down the temper. So cry away.
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 »


Soundtracks

He Don't Know When To Stop
(uncredited)
Music by Frederic Lewis
Lyrics by Ronald Hill
See more »

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User Reviews

 
David Lean's Superb Dickens
30 June 2007 | by johnmbaleSee all my reviews

Still the most Dickensian of all the Oliver Twist films David Lean's inspired version, never the less is much indebted in its style to the German Expressionist Cinema. It's London is more related to Fritz Lang than Victorian England but the spirit of Dickens is alive and well in the accurately drawn caricatures from the novel. Outstanding performances by Francis J. Sullivan as ridiculous Mr. Bumble, Alec Guiness's chillingly evil Fagin despite a badly judged nose job, and the eye boggling twitching Robert Newton as the ferocious Bill Sykes. Even his dog trembles at his temper, in fact the dog is a major actor in this version.

John Newton Howard is a rather angelic Oliver, with a more refined delivery than one would have expected from a workhouse background. But it all goes decidedly well thanks to Lean's superb direction, stunning images, clever editing and a sterling cast. Viewed today so many years after it was filmed it remains the most vivid and Gothic recreation of the story. Probably Charles Dickens would approve. The heroic length recent version by Roman Polanski is generally faithful to the novel but lacks the pizazz and humour that is in Dicken's writing. David Lean made only two excursions into Dickens (Oliver Twist and Great Expectations) both milestones in cinema. One can but wonder how well he may have brought Bleak House or Our Mutual Friend to the screen.


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