1948 *** 116 mins.
The film opens with a harrowing scene following a young, pregnant woman caught in a storm. The opening images are terrifying and unforgettable. The story continues with the young woman dying, holding her son. "No wedding ring, I see," a man says. Fade to black. After those first few minutes, the film then downgrades to become just another typical black-and-white flick from the late '40s. The actor playing Oliver is irritating and the story is just so-so (I guess I'm not a Charles Dickens fan, since I dislike A Christmas Carol also). Alec Guinness's performance is memorable, but it feels too outlandish in an otherwise pretty normal film. The film is well directed, though, at the skilled hand of the legendary David Lean.
Original theatrical aspect ratio: 1.37:1
David Lean and Stanley Haynes
Based on the Novel by