Reece A. from MENTONE, IN Reviewed on 12/2/2011...
A very good musical that stays fairly true to the book. My favorite would probably be "Who Will Buy".
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Mike M. from WINDSOR, PA Reviewed on 7/25/2010...
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Moody's Fagin steals classic OLIVER!
Hazen B Markoe | St. Paul, MN United States | 04/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Until CHICAGO reenergized the movie musical genre, this musical version of Charles Dickens' immortal "Oliver Twist" was widely regarded as one of the last of the great movie musicals. Indeed, with its high-energy performances, infectious music, steady direction by Sir Carol Reed and glorious sets, this movie won the 1968 Best Picture Oscar over such formidable competition as THE LION IN WINTER, CHARLEY, and FUNNY GIRL. Of course, most people are familiar with the classic story of young Oliver Twist, whose mother dies giving him birth and is forced to be raised under the cruel supervision of the English workhouse officials. When he dares beg for more than his meager ration of gruel, the youngster is apprenticed to an undertaker and his extremely nasty family. After escaping this hostile environment, he finds himself taken in by the roguish Fagin, the Artful Dodger(Fagin's best pupil), and the rest of his band of young pickpockets. In time, however, Oliver will find his home, but not before dealing with the likes of the brutal Bill Sikes with the help of Sike's sympathetic lover, Nancy, and the kindly Mr. Brownlow. As musical films go, it is hard to fault the wonderful casting in this film. Mark Lester makes a perfectly, if maybe overly, innocent Oliver, while Jack Wild is a delight as the rascally Artful Dodger. Shanie Wallis is heart-rending as the tragic Nancy. Oliver Reed (Sir Carol's nephew) is truly scary as the menacing Bill Sikes. Harry Secombe displays a glorious tenor in the comic role of Mr. Bumble, the beadle of the workhouse. However, it is Ron Moody's fantastic performance of the rascally Fagin that steals this movie. It is not surprising, when you consider that he created the role when the musical was first produced in London. Of course, the character itself has gone quite a change from Dickens' original, going from the debatably nasty anti-Semitic portrait of the novel to that of a lovable, if sneaky, eccentric. Indeed, Moody's excellent portrayal would set the tone for almost all future performances of the role to date, including those of such actors as George C. Scott and Richard Dreyfus, among others. Some Dickens fans may quibble about the liberties taken with the book, from the softening of Fagin to the elimination of Oliver's evil step-brother Monks from the storyline. And it isn't a perfect film by any means. (The child singer who dubbed Mark Lester's songs sounds like she's in an echo chamber of some sort, which makes Oliver's singing a jarring contrast to the rest of the cast.) But, as a musical film, it is a wonderful entertainment and superb introduction to the classic story. As a result, this is one musical that I would DEFINITELY recommend."
Consider it a wonderful experience
S. K Roach | Georgia | 02/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The movie musical was on its way out by the time 'Oliver!' hit theaters in 1968. Happily, this marvelously fun and entertaining film swept the Oscars and earns my vote for the best musical of the 60s (although 'The Music Man' ranks a close second). Mark Lester is adorable in the title role and Jack Wild is a kick as the mischievious Artful Dodger. Then there's Ron Moody recreating his stage role as the villainous (but still likable) Fagin. He's not exactly the same character created by Charles Dickens but he's memorable just the same. And Shani Wallis' Nancy along with Oliver Reed's Bill Sikes give the film some real dramatic punch. The production design strikingly recreates the feel and flavor of mid-19th century London. And the songs which include 'Consider Yourself' and 'Oom Pah Pah' are the icing on the cake. Do your family a great favor and add this timeless treat to your DVD collection."
Great Movie, but..........
Robert J. Krakehl | Orlando, Florida United States | 02/23/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Don't get me wrong, Oliver is a fabulous musical. A great adaptation of Charles Dickens classic. My 3 stars for this is because the DVD could have been so much better. First of all this is advertised as the 30th Anniversary edition. Well where are the extras? An Oliver reunion, or making of commentary with the stars would have been such a great addition. My understanding is all of the leads are still alive and breathing. Why didn't you get them for this? Also....BIG complaint.....If Titanic, which is over 3 hours long, can be put on one side of a DVD then WHY did this movie have to be put on two sides? When watching a movie I do not want to have to get up, eject the DVD, turn it over and start part two. That should have gone out with Laserdiscs. VERY BIG DISAPPOINTMENT! Alll in all , a great movie. Hopefully for the 40th Anniversary the studio will re-release this THE RIGHT WAY!"
Flawless fun. Truly a classic!
chad edwards | cincinnati, ohio USA | 10/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must say, I've never really been a big fan of musicals perse, but four years ago, I caught this delightful rendition of the Charles Dickens classic on the ENCORE movie network and I instantly changed my tune. I love movies, and I have always loved movies, but I never got so much enjoyment out of watching a film in my life until I saw OLIVER!. It's "freely" adapted from the Dickens novel, and there's the inclusion of song and dance, but the film still manages to stay fairly close to its source, and the entire production is successful at capturing the mood of 19th-century England, and the spirit of Dickens' original novel is alive throughout. Those not familiar with the story, OLIVER is the tale of a little orphan boy whose life has been nothing but workhouse servitude. When he finally escapes from his turbulent and unhappy life, he falls in with a band of young thieves led by the incorrigible Fagin(Ron Moody, Oscar-nominated). British child actor Mark Lester is appealing and absolutely adorable in the title role. Jack Wild(Oscar-nominated) is equally winning as his slick sidekick, The Artful Dodger. In fact, Lester and Wild worked so well together in the film that they went on to appear together in the popular 1971 release MELODY. Oliver Reed is appropriately menacing as the brutish Bill Sykes. The film was directed by Reed's uncle, Carol Reed. Some might say this film compares in comparison to David Lean's straight-faced 1948 filmization of the Dickens classic. That version of the story is also a confirmed classic, but it's not nearly as much fun as this one. If you're a parent and want to introduce your children to the classics, this film is the way to do it!"
Good and Bad
C. Wright | 08/10/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The musical is exactly what I wanted. I was disappointed that the DVD itself was completely plain (no label). I didn't think the second act was on it! So I returned it and was sent another exactly like it. Only then did I realize that in the tiniest print around the hole in the middle it said Side 1 on one side and side 2 on the other side. A word of explanation with the packaging would have been helpful."