Charles Dickens' classical story about the young orphan boy in 1837 England is again re-filmed in grand fashion. Richard Dreyfuss portrays Fagin, the unscrupulous leader of the young pick-pockets Oliver (Alex Trench) initially falls in with after escaping from a sweat shop and going to London to find his relatives.Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Consider Yourself . . . lucky if you missed this one.
The reference to the song from the musical version of Charles Dickens' classic is not gratuitous, because this Disney version owes as much to the film version of OLIVER! as it does to the novel. Maybe more, because very little of the novel's depiction of crippling poverty and horrific child abuse remains. Too much sugar coats these reprehensible characters and situations. Fagin is softened to some sort of gruff but lovable foster father, and Nancy is enobled as a hooker-with-a-heart of gold, not a pathetic, physically and mentally battered wretch. One would expect such a treatment from Disney, but the trivialization of poverty, child abuse, and crime does not do the story Dickens intended justice.
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