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Oliver [1968] - 4.97

Film buffs and critics can argue until their faces turn blue about whether this lavish Dickensian musical deserved the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1968, but the movie speaks for itself on grandly entertaining terms. Adapted from Dickens's classic novel, it's one of the most dramatically involving and artistically impressive musicals of the 1960s, directed by Carol Reed with a delightful enthusiasm that would surely have impressed Dickens himself. Mark Lester plays the waifish orphan Oliver Twist, who is befriended by the pick-pocketing Artful Dodger (Jack Wild) and recruited into the gang of boy thieves led by Fagin (played to perfection by Ron Moody). The villainous Bill Sikes (Oliver Reed) casts his long shadow over Oliver and his friends, but the young orphan is still able to find loving care in the most desperate of circumstances. Full of memorable melodies and splendid lyrics, Oliver! is a timeless film, prompting even hard-to-please critic Pauline Kael to call it "a superb demonstration of intelligent craftsmanship," and to further observe that "it's as if the movie set out to be a tribute to Dickens and his melodramatic art as well as to tell the story of Oliver Twist". --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):

Rating: 5:
A CLASSIC AMONG CLASSICS : This is without doubt one of the all time greats. A world class cast with an adaptation of Dickens` story that hasn`t had a total Hollywood rewrite and everybody knows the story so no need to repeat it here. Fabulous sets and backdrops make you feel that you are in Victorian London and as usual the music from Lionel Bart will leave you singing (or humming) the tunes for days after. It is a Sunday afternoon movie tucked up on the couch with the kids (if you havn`t got, borrow some)and a box of chocolates.

Rating: 5:
OUTSTANDING : Must have been the greatest musical every made. The score and sets are outstanding and there is an all star cast. Ron Moody shines as Fagin, and Jack Wilde as Dodger. Oliver Reed is at his youthful and sensuous best as the brooding Bill Sykes.
This is truly a must-see.

Rating: 5:
Music=5 fun=5 Overall=5 : It is a great film about an orphan named Oliver (Mark Lester) who asks for more disgusting gruel after picking the long straw.He is then sold to the funeral directors but is thrown down the celler after attacking someone who calls him mum names.He ACCIDENTALLY finds a way out and travels for 7 days until reaching London.There he meets Dodger and he gets introduced to Fagin who welcomes Oliver in.Fagins den are a bunch of pick-pockets and Oliver gets accused of doing this when he didn't really do it,but he gets out.
A man called Bill Sikes uses Oliver to help him steal things because he is thin and small.Oliver gets new owners soon but Bill and his wife Nancy get him back.
Nancy dosen't really want to do this and one day secretly helps Oliver go back to the other guardians,Bill realises and chases them although they don't know he is.
Oliver hugs Nancy goodbye but Bill grabs Nancy and eventually kills her.He grabs Oliver and takes him high onto a platform because a mob of angry people are chasing him.Bill gets Oliver to tie a rope round the end of the platform and Bill tries to get to the other building but the people in the mob shoot him and he dies.
Oliver goes back to the newer guardians!

It's a great movie,why don't you see it?

Rating: 5:
Great British Musical Movie-Making At Its Best! :
Spectacular and tremendously entertaining Musical from the 1960s on a massive scale! Probably one of the last greatest Musicals ever to be made in Britain. Lavish, rich and expensive - nothing was spared here!

A galaxy of Stars make up the cast, including some of the biggest names in British television at the time. Oliver Reed is fabulous as the harsh Bill Sikes, whilst Ron Moody's 'Fagan' drifts off into movie-making history...

Who was it that said that only Hollywood could make big budget Musicals!? Eat your words!

Fantastic!!


Rating: 5:
A magical movie that Dickens would have been proud of. : [....]

The most memorable scene for me in the entire film is where Fagin (played by Moody)looses all his ill gotten goods in the merky waters of the Thames right at the end of the film and we see Jack Wild accompany him into the back streets of a damp laden London.

When you have seen the film on more than one occassion you soon realise why it won six Accademy Awards way back in 1968.The acting especially from Moody and Oliver Reed are worthy of Oscar material.We eventually have sympathy for the rascal Fagin but none for Reed who plays a particularly nasty Bill Sykes.

The coreography,singing and acting make this film one that you will always remember.
Songs such as "Consider Yourself" and "You Got A Pick a Pocket or Two" are true classics.The late Jack Wild is a very convincing young orphaned pickpocket taken under Fagins care and Mark Lester plays a memorable Oliver.The characters of Nancy played by Shani Wallis and Harry Secombe who plays an excellent and convincing Beagle bring drama to a gripping plot.

Nancys murder by Sykes is especially memorable and vicious,so vicious that even Sykes loyal dog Bullseye disown him and like all villans he must meet his untimely end in a grizzly fashion.

When Oliver is eventually reunited with his original family after all he has endured there cannot be many who donot shed a tear.

To describe the excitement and feelgood factor after watching this film to me catches the true meaning of musical blockbusters.

Six Oscars including the coveted Best Picture and Best Score in 1968 make Oliver a film that improves with age even though many of its principal actors are now nolonger with us.

As musicals go it can stand alongside My Fair Lady and even The Sound Of Music as a timeless classic that next year will be celebrating its fourtieth birthday and still looking the timeless classic it is.

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