In the Nineteenth Century, orphan Oliver Twist is sent from the orphanage to a workhouse, where the children are mistreated and barely fed. He moves to the house of an undertaker, but after an unfair severe spank, he starts a seven day runaway to London. He arrives exhausted and starving, and is soon welcomed in a gang of pickpockets lead by the old crook Fagin. When he is mistakenly taken as a thief, the wealthy victim Mr. Brownlow brings Oliver to his home and shelters him. But Fagin and the dangerous Bill Sykes decide to kidnap Oliver to burglarize Mr. Brownlow's fancy house. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist has many more characters and subplots than can be fit into a just-over-2-hours film. This version narrows down and streamlines the story to focus on Oliver Twist, Mr. Brownlow, Fagin, Bill Sikes, Nancy, and the Artful Dodger. The novel's other characters Mr. Bumble, Mrs. Mann, Mrs. Corney, Noah Claypole, Charlotte, Mr. Monks, the Maylie family, the Fleming family, and the Leeford family, are all either relegated to brief cameo roles or omitted entirely from the story. See more »
The shop "John Lobb - Bootmaker" is visible in the background in London. The story takes place in the late 1830s, but the well- known London boot maker John Lobb wasn't founded until 1866. See more »
[gazing upon Oliver as he sleeps]
Look at him. What a shame it is. With his face he could pick old ladies' pockets in church. His face could be a fortune to us.
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Polanski is the kid of guy who likes to dance on the edge. A mixture of clown, genius and artist who has suffered personal tragedy and humiliation but one who keeps cranking amazing films. This Oliver Twist is no exception. Polanski has reworked the story and taken out the 19th century coincidences, e.g., the highly improbable fact that Oliver is Brownlow's grandson and the business with the portrait of Oliver's mother, given the old tale a fresh coat of paint with new amazing character actors such as Leanne Rowe, a young and thoroughly charming Nancy, Henry Eden, a scamp of a Dodger, Jamie Forman, a repulsive Bill Sykes with no redeeming features whatsoever and the veteran Edward Hardwicke as Brownlow. But, it's young Barney Clark who steals the show. In past versions, Oliver is merely a device upon which the other array of characters are hung. We'll all remember Sir Alec Guinness, Richard Dreyfus and Ron Moody's Fagin, Oliver Reed and Robert Newton's Bill Syke, Elijah Wood, Anthony Newley and Jack Wild's Dodger but who were the Olivers? We will remember young Master Barney Clark in this marvelous, intriguing and eye-pleasing Oliver.
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