53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ..Never Bettered
Ranks highly on my list of best film ever made as well as being the greatest ever musical - truly, truly memorable songs - once heard as a child never forgotten...a splendidly grimey recreation of dickensian london (you can almost taste the bad sausages)...Oliver Reeds greatest ever performance......the kindest hearted prostitute ever seen in a film......Jack Wild, Mark...
Published on 8 Sep 2004 by Boo Kirby
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars its ok. it does put you in the good mood factor has its always played near crimbo. which i like. 1948 version was on
this time. and thats the much better one. original. oliver twist. this is still well worth buying. happy new year. 2013
Published 11 months ago by tango
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ..Never Bettered,
This review is from: Oliver! [DVD]  (DVD)Ranks highly on my list of best film ever made as well as being the greatest ever musical - truly, truly memorable songs - once heard as a child never forgotten...a splendidly grimey recreation of dickensian london (you can almost taste the bad sausages)...Oliver Reeds greatest ever performance......the kindest hearted prostitute ever seen in a film......Jack Wild, Mark Lester, Bullseye the bull terrier, Ron Moody's Fagin which even out does Alec Guinness's 1948 version - staggeringly good mass dance sequences....and if the whole of the 'Who will buy this wonderful morning' section doesnt make ya feel glad to be alive...give up!
..all in all the most re-visited film in my collection...an uplifting..moving..thoroughly entertaining British classic..an unequivocal 10/10
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oliver! with Sing and Dance Along,
This review is from: Oliver! [Special Edition] [DVD] (DVD)Just bought this for my daugter and its a superb buy. its easy to forget how good these classic musicals are. this perticular edition is great becasue it includes the Dance and singalong versions of the song. you are shown through all the moves for perticular songs and then can dance to them like a pro well maybe not. Only negative and its a really small point as this is fantastic value is there are only 3 dance along songs would have been great with more. still 5* though!
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true pleasure!,
This review is from: Oliver! [DVD]  (DVD)I loved this movie! It is easily one of the best musicals ever made. First of all, the songs are absolutely marvelous, and I mean it. "Boy for sale" is sombre though very good; but all the other songs are glorious, and will put a smile on your face: "Consider yourself"; "You've got to pick a pocket or two"; "It's a fine life," "Come back soon," I'd do anything," "Who Will Buy," "Reviewing the Situation;" "Oom-pah-pah" are just some of the examples that have stayed in my memory after just one viewing. To say that they are wonderful is an understatement. They are also beautifully sung. One reviewer notes that Oliver's singing voice (dubbed by a girl) irritates him. Don't worry about that. I agree that perhaps it could have been better, and yet I think the singing voice matches Oliver's speaking voice very well, as well as his presentation as a timid little boy. After all, they couldn't have cast Julie Andrews in all of the roles, in all of the musicals ever made. The singing of Nancy, played beautifully and convincingly by Shani Wallis, is very good, as is the singing of the Artful Dodger.
All of the actors shine in their roles: Oliver is portrayed as a timid and naive little boy. The kind hearted and devoted Nancy, who sacrifices herself for the sake of others,won my sympathy right away. Fagin is one of the best comical characters I have ever seen on screen, and you simply get attached to him. There were in fact moments when I was deeply touched by this man so entrapped in a life of crime, that he cannot escape it. The boy playing the Artful Dodger, one of the most talented thieves of Fagin's gang, is amazing - look out for the expressions on his face throughout the film, very artful indeed, and very touching at the same time; I could not avoid loving him. Bill Sykes emerges as a perfect villain, with only a touch of repentance at the end. All of the characters are supremely convincing. Pay attention to the accents, set to match the social status of each character.
Besides, the settings are lavish, and the colours superb, especially the market and Bloomsbury Square, and the food shown in the movie made me hungry (I actually ran to the kitchen at one point). Food, of course, is one of the major themes of the movie, from its opening, where the little boys starving at the workhouse and singing "Food, Glorious Food" send Oliver to ask for more (he is refused, almost needless to say); to the gang of thieves who must "pick a pocket or two" to eat; to the gentlemen and gentlewomen in the market who have money to buy their food.
As other reviewers have mentioned, the street dances are beautifully choreographed. I was impressed by the coordination of movement between the masses of dancers performing all at the same time. Also, look out for the amazingly coordinated scene of the workhouse boys' dinner at the beginning of the movie, one of the most impressive symbolic scenes ever seen on screen. This is soon followed by the unforgettable scene where Oliver asks for more, and which also features in the movie trailer.
One reviewer writes that this movie can get boring if watched repeatedly. I strongly disagree with that statement. The contrary is true: this is one of those movies that one never tires of, because it has some of the elements that make a classic: believable and likeable characters, memorable lines, and unforgettable, truly unforgettable, songs.
I also do not think it is a particularly dark version of Dickens' novel. Only the beginning is really dark, and the killing of Nancy, which is somehow redeemed by the knowlege that her sacrifice will benefit Oliver, as well as put a stop to Bill Sykes' life of crime. The rest is truly life affirming, with Fagin and the Artful Dodger providing comic relief most of the time, despite their wily ways and persistance in crime.
One word of warning: you may find the beginning of the movie somewhat slow, as I did at first, especially because of the long and in my opinion far from impressive overture, and the overlong film credits; the first couple of scenes or so can be a bit slow too, but expect to be absolutely blown away soon afterwards.
In sum, this is definitely a movie to see, to own, to rewatch, a true classic of the kind they really don't make anymore, and wholeheartedly recommended. I give it more than five stars, I give it ten out of ten.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic film on Blu Ray at last - needs 'some more',
This review is from: Oliver! [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)This is the second time I have purchased this title on Blu Ray having first purchased the german release earlier this year. I had hoped that for the UK release the studio would go back and give this some more attention but, sadly, this has not happened. What we have here is exactly the same with just the artwork showing any signs of change. When I put the Blu Ray in my player it actually came up with a 'Do you want to resume where you left off' message! So this offers nothing new (apart from an English language back cover).
The Blu Ray transfer is acceptable. It is the best we have right now in the absence of a decent restoration but please be prepared for some grain - quite a lot of grain actually! There is decent amount of sharpness but I just hope for more for an Oscar winning film such as this. Sound is generally OK with a lossless 5.1 mix. Totally inexcusable though is the poor attention given to the menus and chapters. The menu is very, very basic and, while there are chapters, none of the standout moments can be found via the pop-up menu. For instance if you want one of the classic musical numbers you have to guess your way through using the chapter skip button. How much work would it have taken to put some chapters in with a basic pop-up menu option? More effort from the studio needed here but at least they seem to have priced it accordingly.
Tip - look out for the USA only release from Twilight Time which uses the same transfer but have re-authored the disc so you have decent chapters with scene menus etc., More extras too.
Overall this is a 5 star film for me but a 3 star Blu Ray release so let's call it 4 stars.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks great on DVD,
This review is from: Oliver! [DVD]  (DVD)Carefully restored and presented as it was meant to be seen in 1:2.35 widescreen, Oliver! looks and sounds great on DVD. Big numbers like Consider Yourself and Who Will Buy demand to be seen in their full splendour, so if like me you remember Oliver! from a pan-and-scanned TV broadcast, watching this is a revelation.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poverty and squalor as you've never seen them before,
This review is from: Oliver! [DVD]  (DVD)The young hero, Oliver, starts life in the Workhouse, where the children dream of food and the luxury of experiencing indigestion. The over-nourished adults who run the place feed the poor little mites on short rations of some grey bilge they call gruel. After committing the unforgivable sin of requesting some more of this revolting slop, the old devil in charge tries to sell Oliver. A funeral director takes the boy on as a mourner for children's funerals because of his solemn expression. Oliver escapes from the undertaker's establishment after a disagreement over the virtue of his mother and makes his way to London, where he falls in with young Jack Dawkins (the artful dodger) who introduces him to a den of thieves run by an old villain called Fagin. Here he meets the lovely Nancy, who tries to help him and the sinister Bill Sikes who tries to ruin him. Charles Dickens' wonderfully clever, intricate and grim novel is a real tear-jerker but the musical version is more likely to make you sing than cry. The sets are amazing - from the disgusting pest-hole of Fagin's den to the beautiful terrace where Oliver's great uncle lives. The songs and dances are brilliant. The acting is masterly, especially the menacing Bill Sikes (Oliver Reed), the corrupt but kindly Fagin (Ron Moody), the terrible Mr Bumble (Harry Secombe), the drunken undertaker, Mr Sowerberry (Leonard Rossiter) and, of course, Oliver (Mark Lester) and the artful dodger (Jack Wild). I did notice that however filthy and raggedy the kids looked, their hair was always clean and tidy. Ah well, I guess even the youngest actors can only tolerate so much muck and perhaps filthy hair is just taking authenticity a little too far.
A thoroughly enjoyable film and highly recommended.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Do you loves me Bill,
This review is from: Oliver! [DVD]  (DVD)'Loves you, I lives with you don't I!'. I will never see another version of Oliver Twist and not think of Oliver Reed. He made the role of the Bill Sykes his own.
Other fantastic performances and almost flawless direction and production make this a must own, timeless classic that all the family will enjoy.
The grit, the grim, the tears and the laughter, sing along to murder, muggings and child slavery with a happy heart. Dickens would have been...astonished.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Oliver! [VHS] (VHS Tape)I usually like to watch musical on stage only, but I saw Oliver when it was on Tele and loved it - no matter how many times it was on cables etc. I sat and watched it - Mark Lester presented a great Oliver - exactly that meek mild and helpless boy that Dickens had created - the boy everyone would melt just from seeing him and which everyone would like to be the someone who he can something to, Ron moody and Shany Wallis creat a lovely Fagin and Nancy - a monstrous though love seeking fagin, and girl who needs to be loved and gives love as Nancy. No matter how old you can be no matter who you are - Oliver will always find the way into your heart.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Considerably better than its modern reputation,
This review is from: Oliver! [DVD]  (DVD)Carol Reed's screen version of Lionel Bart's musical version of Oliver Twist seems to fall into the love it or hate it category. Many find stodgy and drawn-out and even its admirers have to admit it is not without its faults. Some of the frenetic moments are not best timed and at times the performances are pitched more for the theatre than for the screen. Nonetheless, it is one of the very few successful British musicals and as such has much to recommend it.
Among a colourful cast, Harry Secombe's Mr Bumble is right out of Dickens' pages while Ron Moody's Fagin and Jack Wild's Artful Dodger are an engaging pair. As Bill Sykes, Oliver Reed makes a (by his standards) restrained and effective villain - his first appearance is a marvellously handled moment. If his uncle's direction is sometimes uncertain, the production values are sumptuous, with John Box's intricately haphazard sets and Phyllis Dalton's intelligently designed costumes coming over particularly well.
Bart's score is unusually strong and Onna White's choreography, while not without its tired and contrived moments, is considerably more energetic and enjoyable than is the norm for these shores. Indeed, Consider Yourself, which seems to call upon the entire city of London, is an outstandingly staged number by any standards. With the exception of some ill-advised string work on As Long As He Needs Me that sounds more South Seas than South London, Johnny Green's orchestrations are for the most part fine.
With Reed and cinematographer Oswald Morris both show a good eye for the Scope frame, although the colour somewhat muted - it's a feature of Morris' work that the original colours were deliberately graded to reflect colour prints from the Victorian era.
The original DVD release included the original trailer and a vintage maing of featurette, both of which were dropped from the 'special edition' release in favour of singalongs and interactive games, although that does include two new interviews with Ron Moody (who cites Tommy Cooper as an influence on his Fagin) and Mark Lester.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars oliver - the film,
This review is from: Oliver! [Special Edition] [DVD] (DVD)This is a really good film - I just wanted it at home when I need some real entertainment. Why can't the British do anything like this anymore?
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Oliver! [DVD]  by Carol Reed (DVD - 2000)