Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist

DVD - 1998
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Publisher: Chicago : Home Vision ; Irvington, NY : Criterion Collection, c1998
Branch Call Number: DVD MOVIE OLIV
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (116 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in

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m
MontMoroc
Aug 02, 2018

Here, we have the incredible - an adaptation of Dickens that is true to the original, with no attempts to minimise the sordid elements for the sake of entertainment value. Yet the cinematographers art is what is most brilliantly expressed. The opening sequences, though devoid of dialogue, totally capture the viewer, making the tragic situation of poverty vivid. To cite just one further example, when the line is spoken about the workhouse as a "place of entertainment" for those of that class, and the camera focusses on workhouse inmates avidly trying to complete gruelling work, the single shot speaks a volume.
The adaptation is tasteful and elegant, and the film may be viewed by those of any age - though new viewers should be cautioned that this is no light-hearted romp (...unlike a few other versions I could mention) but pure Dickens. For literary and artistic merit, few films could match the brilliance of this one.

m
Maoisdead
Oct 07, 2017

It's hard to know where to start in explaining what makes David Lean's "Oliver Twist" one of the most nearly perfect films ever made. It is a work of art and inspires awe in its every aspect. The black and white photography is brilliant, and the story is told as much visually as in dialog. The music is lively and triumphant one minute, eerie and chilling the next, perfectly augmenting the visual mood. The acting is superb, the characterizations unforgettable. Alec Guinness IS Fagin, Robert Newton IS Bill Sykes, the incredible Francis L. Sullivan IS Mr. Bumble. No other actors have ever come close to delineating those characters as well, nor could they after these hallmark performances. This movie is seeping with art, yet the art is non-intrusive. Rather, the film is an awe-inspiring delight from beginning to end.

g
garycornell
Aug 28, 2014

There are many movies of the book Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Director David Lean should be credited with the finest production of the work though. One of the special features of the David Lean "Oliver Twist" is his use of cinematographer Guy Green. This is the same man who would help film "Great Expectations" and make it into a masterpiece. He was one of the founding members of the British Society of Cinematographers. The cast of Robert Newton and Alec Guinness are perfect. Even better is the boy who plays Oliver Twist , John Howard Davies. As with many child stars, we will never hear about him again, but he left a wonderful performance. Truly to see Director David Lean's film version of "Oliver Twist" is to capture the Dickens story as closely as possible. It is a great family movie and has been out for over 65 years now. The original is still the best!
P.S. The film is a KCLS Buried Dickens Film Classic as the system has only two copies and only one of the copies is checked out. The last patron comment of Five Stars was from 2012. Films this old stay in print only due to the publics interest. Believe me, this movie will be worthy of your time!

j
jonnybroom
Nov 25, 2013

The greatest. Wondrous to look at, and thrilling into the bargain.

m
Monolith
Nov 30, 2012

Exquisite production from David Lean. From the ragged, grimy flats, to the crooked cobblestoned streets full of top-hatted blokes, his vision and imagery of Dickens' classic stands alone. The cast is terrific, although the authentic Cockney accents are thick, and can seem a bit indecipherable at times. Alec Guinness is virtually unrecognizable (with that foot-long nose) as the filthy and foul Fagin. Francis L. Sullivan as the portly Mr. Bumble; Robert Newton is nastiness defined as Bill Sykes -- even his dog, trembling and petrified of him, gave a helluva performance. (lol) Really great. FIVE STARS.

c
cyan
Jan 18, 2010

I prefer the most recent one directed by Roman Polanski but this is definitely a classic and worth seeing, if you're an Oliver Twist fan.

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m
Monolith
Nov 30, 2012

Oliver Twist: "Please Sir... I want some more."

m
Monolith
Nov 30, 2012

Mrs. Bumble: "Are you gonna sit there snoring all day?!?" Mr. Bumble: "I shall sit here as long as I think proper, ma'am. And though I was not snoring, I SHALL snore, gape, sneeze, laugh or cry, as the humor strikes me. Such being my pre-rogative." Mrs. Bumble: "Your 'pre-rogative'." Mr. Bumble: "I said the word, ma'am. The prerogative of a man is to command." Mrs. Bumble: "And what's the prerogative of a woman, in the name of goodness?" Mr. Bumble: "To obey, ma'am. As your late unfortunate husband should have taught you. And then perhaps he might have been alive now. I wish he were, poor man." Mrs. Bumble: "YOU BRUTE!" (weeps) Mr. Bumble: "Cry your hardest, ma'am. It opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes and softens down the temper. So cry away."

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