Both Jeannette and Christina have reviewed versions of Oliver Twist. I decided to do what all the cool kids are doing and check out my own movie version of the classic. I went old-school with David Lean’s 1948 version of Oliver Twist. The back of the DVD says:
Expressionistic noir photography suffuses David Lean’s Oliver Twist with a nightmarish quality, fitting its bleak, industrial setting. In Dickens’ classic tale, an orphan wends his way from cruel apprenticeship to den of thieves in search of a true home.
My take? I liked the black and white version. Oliver is pitiful. The workhouse seems horrific. The Sowerberrys are there as are Noah and Charlotte. Mr. Bumble marries Mrs. Corney. Fagin’s gang is just as scruffy as it should be, and Fagin is truly wretched. Fagin’s makeup and false nose keep the viewer from recognizing actor Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi). Nancy takes the initiative to write to Brownlow about Oliver. There is only a brief mention of house-breaking. Sikes kills Nancy the way Dickens would have wanted. I was impressed with Bulls-eye’s trembling and cowering. Mr. Brownlow is a doting Grandfather. Yes, you read that correctly. Agnes was Brownlow’s daughter, making Oliver his grandson. This eliminates the need for the Maylies. Monks is in Lean’s adaptation. He’s out to get Oliver, but it’s a little unclear as to what his relationship to the orphan is. The story ends with Sikes being shot then hung as he falls from the rooftop where he has Oliver. The credits roll as Brownlow and Oliver walk hand-in-hand home.
I missed all the connections between characters. For that matter, I missed characters. Verdict? Entertaining, but like other movie versions of Oliver Twist, it was unfaithful to the novel.