Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist

4.5 4
Director: David Lean, Robert Newton, Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh

Cast: David Lean, Robert Newton, Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh

     
 

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David Lean's adaptation of Oliver Twist is given the deluxe treatment from The Criterion Collection on this DVD. The disc offers a standard full-frame image that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. Subtitles specifically designed for the deaf and hearing-impaired are available. Supplemental

Overview

David Lean's adaptation of Oliver Twist is given the deluxe treatment from The Criterion Collection on this DVD. The disc offers a standard full-frame image that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. Subtitles specifically designed for the deaf and hearing-impaired are available. Supplemental materials include a theatrical trailer. This classic film gets the home video release it deserves with this disc, which is recommended for anyone interested in classic movies.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
David Lean's ambitious interpretation of this Charles Dickens classic is a powerful but flawed film. Guy Green's hyaline cinematography dominates the picture from its opening shots of a terrified young woman stumbling around in a stormy heath to its closing scenes of mob violence. His camera is perched above the characters, implying moral superiority to the many flawed characters, while making the ever-vulnerable Oliver look cowed and beaten. The turbulent world of mid-19th century London, with its incessant hustle and bustle of human industry, is recreated so carefully that the vibrant set designs almost overshadow the memorable characters that roam these streets. A smorgasbord of urban decay, social disorder, and class conflict imbues the film with a potent sensuality, as both natural elements and human architecture conspire to consume the disadvantaged. An unrecognisable Alec Guinness, endowed with pounds of prosthetics to mask his youthful vigour, creates a sympathetic Fagin out of a potentially racist caricature. Robert Newton's Mephistophelean Bill Sikes is exemplary, particularly in the scene in which he brutally murders Nancy then sits in tortured and hysterical contemplation of the deed. Dickens' faith in the human spirit is well-depicted in Oliver's ability to survive despite the cruelty of this unjust world. Both Dickens when he wrote the novel and Lean when he filmed it were men near the beginning of their careers whose optimism shone through the darkness of the material. However, the film closes with scenes of mob vigilantism and sentimentality that carry messages betraying the social commentary that precedes them.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/12/1999
UPC:
0037429128121
Original Release:
1948
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
1:56:00
Sales rank:
21,105

Special Features

The original theatrical trailer; Subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Newton Bill Sikes
Alec Guinness Fagin
Kay Walsh Nancy Sikes
Francis L. Sullivan Mr. Bumble
John Howard Davies Oliver Twist
Anthony Newley Artful Dodger
Mary Clare Mrs. Corney
Ralph Truman Monk
Josephine Stuart Oliver's Mother
Gibb McLaughlin Mr. Sowerberry
Kathleen Harrison Mrs. Sowerberry
Amy Veness Mrs. Bedwin
W.G. Fay Bookseller
Maurice Denham Chief of Police
Ivor Barnard Chairman of the Board
Peter Bull Landlord of "Three Cripples"
Frederick Lloyd Mr. Grimwig
Edie Martin Annie
Kenneth Downey Workhouse Master
Deirdre Doyle Mrs. Thingummy
Michael Dear Noah Claypole
Maurice Jones Workhouse Doctor
Diana Dors Charlotte
Henry Edwards Police Official
Hattie Jacques Singer
Henry Stephenson Mr. Brownlow

Technical Credits
David Lean Director,Screenwriter
Arnold Bax Score Composer
John Bryan Set Decoration/Design
Margaret Furse Costumes/Costume Designer
Stanley Grant Special Effects
Guy Green Cinematographer
Jack Harris Editor
Anthony Havelock-Allan Producer
Stanley Haynes Screenwriter
Muir Mathieson Musical Direction/Supervision
Ronald Neame Producer
Joan Suttie Special Effects

Scene Index

Chapters
0. Chapters
1. Logos [:19]
2. Opening Titles [1:21]
3. The Parish Workhouse [3:19]
4. Birth And Death [3:29]
5. Oliver's Presentation To The Board [3:45]
6. "Please Sir, I Want Some More" [3:19]
7. Apprentice To Mr. Sowerberry, The Undertaker [4:23]
8. Old Sally's Bit Of News [6:22]
9. Oliver Defends His Mother's Name [6:26]
10. Lessons In Trade From Fagin And The Artful Dodger [6:44]
11. Oliver's First Shilling [3:17]
12. The Great Chase [3:08]
13. Mr. Sykes And Nancy [3:16]
14. Courtroom Drama [3:23]
15. Olilver Awakens In Heaven [3:46]
16. Mr. And Mrs. Bumble [2:32]
17. A Deal With Monks [1:25]
18. Oliver's Capture [8:04]
19. Nancy Attacks Fagin [6:36]
20. A Spy Among Spies [7:02]
21. Special Work For The Arful Dodger [5:46]
22. A Killing [5:29]
23. Syke's Demons Pay A Visit [3:38]
24. Brownlow Takes Charge [4:46]
25. Dog Chase [2:53]
26. Honor Among Thieves [3:19]
27. Oliver's Safe Return [6:51]
28. End Credits [:54]

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Oliver Twist 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want a great movie from one of the great directors of all time (david lean).a jem of an actor in alec guinness,and one of the best authors ever (charles dickens).this is it.an outstanding movie to share with friends and family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As I said in the title, this is the best ever film-version of a Dickens novel. Oliver Twist expertly tells the story of this enormous novel in less than two hours' screen time. We start with baby Oliver left on the doorstep of an orphanage by his unwed mother. Proving a difficult charge to the wicked orphanage official, Oliver is sold into a job as an undertaker's apprentice. He then runs away and joins a gang of street urchins, led by master pickpocket Fagin . Oliver is rescued from this life; but, with the help of Bill Sikes, Fagin abducts Oliver. Sikes' girl friend Nancy does all she can to restores Oliver to his home. This leads to Oliver going home, but to her death.
Guest More than 1 year ago
when i was a little girl my aunt took me to go see the play olvier twist i was amazed at what a great job the actors did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago