oliver twist

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
Not Rated.

Robert Newton + Alec Guinness + Kay Walsh + Francis L. Sullivan + Henry Stephenson + Mary Clare + Anthony Newley + Josephine Stuart + Ralph Truman + Kathleen Harrison + Gibb McLaughlin + John Howard Davies

Screenplay by
David Lean and Stanley Haynes

Based on the Novel by
Charles Dickens

Directed by
David Lean

OLIVER TWIST on The Criterion Collection

Motion Pictures