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Oliver!

530 customer reviews

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Product Description

Experience the high-spirited adventures of Oliver Twist in this Oscar(r)-winning musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic tale! Young Oliver (Mark Lester) is an orphan who escapes the cheerless life of the workhouse and takes to the streets of 19th-Century London. He's immediately taken in by a band of street urchins, headed by the lovable villain, Fagin (Ron Moody), his fiendish henchman, Bill Sikes (Oliver Reed), and his loyal apprentice, The Artful Dodger (Jack Wild). Through his education in the fine points of pick-pocketing, Oliver makes away with an unexpected treasure... a home and a family of his own. Set to a heartfelt score that includes such favorites as "Consider Yourself," "Where Is Love?" and "As Long As He Needs Me," Oliver! leads us on a journey in search of love, belonging, and honor among thieves. Winner of six Academy Awards(r) (1968), including Best Picture and Best Score, Oliver! will steal your heart!

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Film buffs and critics can argue until their faces turn blue about whether this lavish Dickensian musical deserved the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1968, but the movie speaks for itself on grandly entertaining terms. Adapted from Dickens's classic novel, it's one of the most dramatically involving and artistically impressive musicals of the 1960s, directed by Carol Reed with a delightful enthusiasm that would surely have impressed Dickens himself. Mark Lester plays the waifish orphan Oliver Twist, who is befriended by the pickpocketing Artful Dodger (Jack Wild) and recruited into the gang of boy thieves led by Fagin (played to perfection by Ron Moody). The villainous Bill Sikes (Oliver Reed) casts his long shadow over Oliver and his friends, but the young orphan is still able to find loving care in the most desperate of circumstances. Full of memorable melodies and splendid lyrics, Oliver! is a timeless film, prompting even hard-to-please critic Pauline Kael to call it "a superb demonstration of intelligent craftsmanship," and to further observe that "it's as if the movie set out to be a tribute to Dickens and his melodramatic art as well as to tell the story of Oliver Twist." --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Photo gallery
  • Featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed, Harry Secombe
  • Directors: Carol Reed, Ronald Saland
  • Writers: Charles Dickens, Jay Anson, Lionel Bart, Vernon Harris
  • Producers: John Woolf
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 11, 1998
  • Run Time: 153 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (530 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 076781326X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,800 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Oliver!" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Hazen B Markoe on April 20, 2004
Format: DVD
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.
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By S. K Roach on February 6, 2000
Format: DVD
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.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By chad edwards on October 19, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
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!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nix Pix on June 9, 2004
Format: DVD
Carol Reed's "Oliver!" is the musical version of Dicken's Oliver Twist. It stars Mark Lester as the irrepressible street urchin, suckered into the lair of a vagabond by The Artful Dodger (Jack Wild) and forced into a life of crime by Fagin (Ron Moody). But when Oliver is salvaged from the slums by a benevolent philanthropist, Bill Sikes (Oliver Reed) decides to make a quick buck off of the trade. Shani Willis costars as Sikes' girlfriend, Nancy, who thwarts the kidnapping plot and pays for her betrayal with her life. This is a very stoic, stagy and rather dry musical that may capture the essence of Dickens in its settings characters and plot but seems totally out of touch with the effervescence of the traditional Hollywood musical. Even with such main staple songs as "Consider Yourself", "Boy For Sale" and "Food, Glorious Food", truly, the spoon full of sugar remains a bitter pill to swallow on this occasion.
Columbia Tri-Star has made "Oliver" available in a startlingly good looking transfer. Colors are solid, rich, vibrant and bold. Contrast levels are exactly where they should be. Blacks are incredibly deep. Fine detail is fully realized. Only occasionally do age related artifacts betray the vintage of the film. The audio is 5.1 and wonderfully spread across all five channels of the sound field. There are no extras. This film is spread across two sides of a single disc. The break comes at the point of intermission.
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Oliver - Does anyone know if this version is on one side of the disk.
I discovered it was 2 sided after I watched side A first. Haven't not seen Oliver in years, it seemed that when Side A was done, it certainly didn't show the whole show. I turned it over and there was the beginning of the show. So, As it turned out, Side B was the first side, and side A was... Read More
Apr 23, 2011 by Lotte |  See all 3 posts
Jack Wild
It is available on Amazon's Japan website.
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