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Drama/Musical/Crime/Family, UK, 1968, 153 min.

Tagline More of a Masterpiece Than a Musical! [re-release]

Synopsis During mealtime at a 19th-century English orphanage, 9-year-old Oliver Twist loses at a draw of straws and asks for a second helping of gruel. Shocked by the child's audacity, the workhouse proprietor, Mr. Bumble, sells him as an apprentice to Sowerberry, a miserly undertaker. Derisive remarks about his mother are made by Sowerberry's assistant, Noah Claypole, and Oliver runs away to London to make his fortune. There he meets the Artful Dodger, a slightly older boy who offers him friendship and lodging. Arriving at a dilapidated, abandoned building, Oliver is introduced to Fagin, a crafty old thief who trains homeless boys to be pickpockets. After demonstrating his many techniques, Fagin sends Oliver, accompanied by the Artful Dodger, out on the streets to test his newly-learned skills. Oliver is caught and arrested when the Dodger and another boy attempt to filch the wallet of wealthy and wellborn Mr. Brownlow, and the real culprits escape. At Oliver's trial, however, Mr. Brownlow is so touched by the boy's pleas of innocence that he brings him home to live at his house in Bloomsbury. Certain that Oliver will give information to the police, Bill Sikes, a villainous associate of Fagin's, orders his common-law wife, Nancy, to lure Oliver into a trap. Once the boy is retaken, however, and Nancy realizes that Sikes means to kill him, she contacts Mr. Brownlow and arranges to bring Oliver to London Bridge at midnight. But Sikes follows, seizes Oliver, and clubs Nancy to death. As Sikes desperately drags Oliver across the rooftops, his old dog leads the police and a rapidly gathering mob to Fagin's hideout. Forced to relinquish his hold on Oliver, Sikes tries to leap to safety on a rope but is shot dead. With Oliver safe and sound, Mr. Brownlow--who has since learned that the little foundling is the long-lost son of his dead niece--joyously brings him back home to Bloomsbury. And Fagin, who dropped his life savings in a muddy stream while evading the police, joins with the Artful Dodger in setting off on their never-ending search for new and unpicked pockets.

Directed by Carol Reed  

Starring Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed, Harry Secombe, Mark Lester, more...

Movie awards
1968, Oscar, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, John Green
1968, Oscar, Best Achievement in Directing, Carol Reed
1968, Oscar, Best picture

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