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Oliver Twist (The Criterion Collection)
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As for the Criterion DVD, it's a very good transfer from what was probably the best print available -- a pretty good print considering its age. Regarding brightness and contrast, all the beauty of the black & white photography seems to have been preserved, and the sound, although only as good as 1948 standards, is not distorted and does not unduly draw attention to itself.
If you like movies, this DVD should be in your collection if only for its fascinating contrast with some of the modern color epics you undoubtedly own. If you have never seen it before, be forewarned that there are scenes in this masterwork that will permanently brand themselves into your brain, to be recalled later by association many times in your life when similar images are seen, and when similar music is heard.
This is not just a great movie -- it's an essential and unforgettable experience.
Lean captures the atmosphere of the tale perfectly with stark black and images that will haunt your mind's eye, while Bernard Herrmann presents a wonderfully classic score. One musical highlight is when Fagin teaches Oliver the finer points of pickpocketing with a wonderfully amusing demonstration. Lean's direction also keeps the moving as a good clip, while not sacrificing the finer points of his narrative.
As for the casting, they do a wonderful job to the point of seeming to come bounding out of the page itself. Francis Sullivan is perfect as the blustery beadle of the workhouse, Mr. Bumble. Robert Newton (years before he would ham it up as Long John Silver for Disney's TREASURE ISLAND) turns in a dark and violent turn as the thuggish Bill Sikes. Kay Walsh is equal parts steel and heartache as the ill-fated Nancy. John Howard Davies (who would eventually become a famed British television producer) is touching as the title character, without becoming too saccharine.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Don't buy this disc if you expect to watch it in English without
French subtitles - can't. I buy many European dvds and Blu-Rays,
and almost all of them allow a "no... Read more
I'm giving this 3 stars - not because the film itself is anything less than 5 stars as eloquently described by most reviews here - but because Criterion, known for terrific... Read morePublished 6 months ago by John Allnutt
This David Lean 1948 movie is excellent! Much of the same cast was re-assembled from Lean's team in the very successful 1946 version of "Great Expectations. Read morePublished 7 months ago by MG
This is another marvelous screen treatment of a Charles Dicken's Classic. You will also be treated to terrific early performances by Robert Newton and Alec Guinness, as Fagin,... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Honest Abe
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