Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Oliver! (1968)

Director: Carol Reed
Starring: Ron Moody, Oliver Reed, Harry Secombe, Shani Wallis, Mark Lester, Jack Wild, Hugh Griffith, Joseph O'Conor, Peggy Mount, Sheila White

Young orphan Oliver (Lester) has no place in the world and runs from his unfortunate life to make a new mark in London. He befriends Dodger (Wild), a young thief under the tutelage of Fagin (Moody), and is taken in by the group. Fagin, however, is battling with his own conscious as he meets the end of his life and the thought that his boys will only have his first protégée, the psychotic Bill Sykes (Reed), to look up to.

Vigorous, epic adaptation of the Lionel Bart musical of the Charles Dickens’ novel – filmed wonderfully by David Lean in 1948 – has everything you could ask for in a musical. An enriched cast of characters, a courageous journey and a plethora of dilemmas for all those involved. Largely filmed in studios, Reed’s perfectionism heralds bringing a great artistic feel of the period.

Moody recreates his stage role magnificently and matched by the performances of Wallis, as Sykes’ girl Nancy, Reed, who is actually Carol Reed’ cousin, and young Wild who received an Oscar nomination. Music supervisor Johnny Green overdubbed Lester’s singing voice with his daughters. Songs include now standards Consider Yourself, As Long as He Needs Me and You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two. A must see for anyone.


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