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Please Can I Have Some More?
Member Name: daseaford
Date: 11/01/02, updated on 11/01/02 (673 review reads)
Advantages: Great Acting., Well known songs.
Disadvantages: None (if you don't mind musicals)
This is the film of the great Charles Dickens novel – Oliver Twist. This film has become a real classic and is nearly always shown on television every Christmas. This is the type of film that a family of many generations sits down to watch after a large meal, and together enjoy the songs and story that have enthralled families for years.
At this point most of the teenagers disappear and just leave the young and the old members of any family to follow the Dickens plot. The story starts in a Victorian Workhouse where the young Oliver Twist is chosen to ask to approach the fearsome Mr Bumble (played by Harry Secombe) and to ask for some more food. From this point onwards the life of Oliver Twist is never the same again.
The film does not have any special effects, stunts, gimmicks, animations or computer generated effects. There is just a film full of very familiar songs that have become associated every year with Christmas and a story with a happy ending.
The actors in this film are excellent. Mark Lester plays the nine year old orphan, Oliver Twist. His angelic looks make him perfect for this part and also he has quite a decent singing voice. Ron Moody is the old and haggard Fagin. As the father figure of a group of young misfits he has a mix of greed and selfishness that is tinged with a heart of kindness. Oliver Reid plays the vicious thief, Bill Sykes. This is an evil character that Reid plays superbly. Shani Wallis plays Nancy, the downtrodden girl friend of Bill Sykes.
The story follows the events as Oliver Twist runs away to London to make his fortune and is taken in by a group of mischievous children who make a living by picking the pockets of rich London gentlemen. Oliver is different from the other children and finds a special place in the hearts and minds of the adults. Fagin leads the group of urchins and is soon putting Oliver to work on the streets of London.
The film is a collection of song and dance rou
tines that connect together the different elements of the story. I am not sure if I know the correct names of each song, but a few of the lines that stick in my mind are:
“Consider yourself at home.”
“Who will buy this beautiful morning.”
“I’m reviewing the situation.”
“Pick a pocket or two.”
The light heartiness of the songs contrasts with the dirt and depravation that surround the children and the miserable lives they lead and the lack of prospects they have for their adult lives.
It is this combination of hardship and joy that makes this such a classic film. There must have been hundreds of film extras for the making of this film and the costume department must have been working overtime to provide the enormous number of period outfits required for some of the big song sequences.
It is difficult to imagine many people who have not seen this film, or who have not heard the music from the film. I suppose it will continue to be shown every year for people to enjoy and for Dad’s to keep singing the songs and embarrassing the family.
A real classic film, that is timeless. I would certainly recommend this for any family get together at Christmas, or any other time of the year.