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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly The Best Version Ive Seen!
I understand this is going to sound a bit odd, 'a TV version better than a major film', but in my humble opinion this Mini TV series is far far better than any other version of Dicken's best loved work. I liked Roman Polanski's film, especially the performances of
Ben Kingsley as Fagin and Harry Eden as the Artful Dodger but I didn't like Barney Clark who played...
Published 8 months ago by Mr. R. Fozard

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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Open to debate
I'm a bit late with these comments because I've only just seen this version of "Oliver Twist" on TV. I will not be buying the DVD even though Amazon have already reduced the price by 75%, which seems to reflect a need to clear the stock.

I found the changes from the original story to be somewhat problematic.

Fagin and the boys keep calling Oliver...
Published on 20 Dec. 2009 by Brian Barratt


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Open to debate, 20 Dec. 2009
By 
Brian Barratt (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Oliver Twist (BBC) [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
I'm a bit late with these comments because I've only just seen this version of "Oliver Twist" on TV. I will not be buying the DVD even though Amazon have already reduced the price by 75%, which seems to reflect a need to clear the stock.

I found the changes from the original story to be somewhat problematic.

Fagin and the boys keep calling Oliver "Nolly". This is grating. Dickens used that nickname only three or four times in the novel.

Rose sings "Abide with me". The novel was finally published in 1839. The music for the poem, making it a hymn, wasn't published until 1861.

The dialogue is an uncomfortable mix of mid-19th century street talk and early 21st century slang.

Nancy is described by Dickens as "stout and hearty", not as of mixed race and skinny.

Timothy Spall, as others have commented, turns Fagin into a less-than-believable caricature but he does use the right accent and turns of phrase to suit his character. His costume is extraordinary, but perhaps it would be deemed anti-Semitic to portray him in the same way as he is drawn by Cruikshank in the original novel.

Edward Fox was, for me, the greatest disappointment in a rather two-dimensional portrayal of Mr Brownlow.

William Miller, a photogenic boy with a face to tug the heart-strings, had been coached to play a more resilient Oliver but he seemed to finish up without much feeling at all.

The background music is jarring and distracting.

Some of the sets seem to have been borrowed from an earlier film version of the story.

On the other hand, I have no disrespect for people who enjoyed it. The photography and lighting are very good. The essence of the story is still there. It's good entertainment. So I'm not arguing -- just pointing out that it's less than perfect.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable enough, but it's far from Dickens, 20 Aug. 2008
By 
K. Edwards "katie_hobbit_9" (Isle of Wight) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oliver Twist (BBC) [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
It always makes my heart sink when I watch the "behind the scenes" documentaries of TV adaptations of books, and the focus is on how they've changed things, tried to make it "relevant to the modern age" and, by implication, improved upon the original. This is an enjoyable story, but it isn't "Oliver Twist." Now, I'm not a purist. I've just finished acting in a local version of the musical, Oliver! which also strays far from Dickens' original. But this one just isn't quite right. The characters keep the same names, but are not the same people. My particular gripe is with the way the Artful Dodger is portrayed. Dodger is a boy who thinks he's a man, cynical, arrogant and a joy to read about or watch. Yet here, he is yet another sulky, stroppy teenager. Oliver, on the other hand, the writers have decided to make less wimpy than he usually comes across. No harm in that - yet is there no other way than to have him answering back the whole time? The story itself is fine, for there at least the writers have kept close to the original. But at times the characters are barely recognisable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly The Best Version Ive Seen!, 11 Oct. 2014
By 
Mr. R. Fozard "Sirius345" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oliver Twist (BBC) [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
I understand this is going to sound a bit odd, 'a TV version better than a major film', but in my humble opinion this Mini TV series is far far better than any other version of Dicken's best loved work. I liked Roman Polanski's film, especially the performances of
Ben Kingsley as Fagin and Harry Eden as the Artful Dodger but I didn't like Barney Clark who played Oliver or Jamie Forman's Bill Sykes in the film. This version has a great great cast. Tim Spall makes a very good Fagin, Tom Hardy is as usual; outstanding! (can this guy do anything wrong?) as Bill Sykes and the lad who played Oliver, William Miller, was simply brilliant. He had some style and charisma and made the character of Oliver, far more endearing to watch than some weedy and whiny kid as those before him.
Add, the excellent Sarah Lancashire, Edward Fox and Gregor Fisher to the mix and you have a fantastic adaptation.

This may not be the most faithful adaptation of the book, it takes liberties with the plot but it has far more going on than the previous adaptation i mentioned and has a interesting twist to the Twist.

My only gripe with this adaptation was the boy who played the Artful Dodger; Adam Arnold was not a patch on the excellent
Harry Eden.
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3.0 out of 5 stars OUT OF TIME, 26 May 2015
This review is from: Oliver Twist (DVD)
The BBC has done Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens, et al to death and are thus struggling here to relate the same old plot in a new way. Few writers today are as good as those three, so British tv is stuck with endless, and increasingly-desperate, retreads of overly-familiar material.

The worst aspect of this adaptation is exactly what scuppered so many in the past, there is no real story because there are no real themes - just visual verisimilitude.

The White belief in self-fulfilling concepts like Social Darwinism, White supremacism, social snobbery, etc are never explored in favor of acontextual potting; along with characters to whom things are done, without rhyme or reason, but who never really act as agents in their own lives. People here are never masters of their own destiny, such that Oliver Twist simply moves across the barren landscape of a culture lacking in empathy.

As a drama-documentary of the times in which it is set - and its present-day legacy - this dramaturgical lack is fine, but as a solid piece of dramaturgy it is as lacking in feeling as most of its characters.

As Blacks are so often represented in White dramas, the poor are presented as completely unable to better themselves without the intervention of both Pale and Middle-class saviors. Such false genetics used in place of true demographics tells us as much about today’s makers of television as it does about the White culture in which it is set.

One wonders why modern tv is so obsessed with evading any truths about the culture that spawned it. Like the culture itself, the BBC remains hopelessly mired in a past that is always misrepresented. Modernizing the dialog (& the Carry On humor) only make the whole thing seem more anachronistic than ever before: As with genealogy, there really is no future in it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please Sir, I don't want any more, 8 July 2012
By 
James F. Graham "jack4381" (South West UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oliver Twist (BBC) [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
Really terrible. Dickens' plot is altered massively, cutting out swathes of characters and storyline without any particular benefit. Dickens' social panorama is narrowed and the plot ceases to make any sense. Classic moments are missing, irony and pathos are squandered in favour of cheap laughs and the texture of Dickens' language is lost through the rewriting of dialogue. Fagin is altered to the point where he is evidently supposed to be a sympathetic character, a victim of anti-Semitism. It's all very well to downplay the anti-Semitism inherent in Dickens's story... it's another to try to use Dickens' story as a vehicle for a tedious, ham-fisted, crowbarred-in moral about intolerance. The acting ranges from the acceptable to the surprisingly awful, with even Tim Spall and Tom Hardy (both usually excellent) hamming it up to an embarassing extent. Only Sophie Okenedo emerges with laurels. Do yourself a favour, get the old BBC version with Eric Porter instead.
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4.0 out of 5 stars oliver twist, 19 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: Oliver Twist (BBC) [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this despite the fact that some of the reviews i read did not think much of it.

Forget all the other versions you have seen, this is a new version that is very good in parts.

The scenery is superb, taken from the drawings of Gustave Dore.

Timothy Spall makes an unusual Fagin and I am not so sure of Bill Sikes but overall the casting is very good.

If, like me you collect different versions of the story this makes a good addition.

I was surprised that in one week the price had gone up from £2-00 to £2-40, how often do Amazon change prices?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved every minute!, 2 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Oliver Twist (BBC) [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this when it was on BBC a few years back and, to this day still, love every single second of it. I love the adaptions made. Don't get me wrong, Dickens is a LEGEND, but this has revamped it, and given it a new, modern edge, and this review is coming from a 16 year old, so its an adaption that's accessible to all! Whether you like the original or not, give this one a watch, I did, only the other day actually. :)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not an especially clever Twist, 25 Mar. 2011
By 
M. Joyce (Cairo, Egypt) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oliver Twist (BBC) [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
As a piece of entertainment, this is in fact not at all bad; it is pacy, well-filmed and generally well-acted. There is much to enjoy. If, however, you have ever read the book or, indeed, if you have ever seen the David Lean film version, you will come away feeling decidedly short-changed and even a little bit angry, especially after watching the accompanying documentary, in which the adapter and the director seem to suggest that they can improve on Dickens; for Heaven's sake, why does it have to be relevant to today? Surely Dickens's appeal is that it is, well, Dickensian? The liberties taken with the plot are grievous enough (even though the rewriting of the Monks sub-story is effective enough in a soap opera kind of way), but it is the way in which Dickens's wonderful grotesques and eccentrics have been presented which niggles the most; even brilliant character actors like Timothy Spall and Gregor Fisher are prevented from bringing their parts to glorious life by an adapter and director who think that they know better than Dickens and the actors have, of course, their moments, they compare unfavourably to portrayers of the roles in previous versions. Mr Spall is even physically wrong for Fagin (too young, too corpulent); he would have made a fine Beadle; I suspect that the director considered this to be casting "outside of the box", but it does not quite come off. On the plus side, the young actor playing Oliver is for once not the simpering wimp of so many versions and Edward Fox offers a much more multi-layered Mr Brownlow than we have come to expect. The most striking performances, however, come from Tom Hardy as a psychotic Bill Sykes and Sophie Okenedo as a black Nancy; played by younger actors than usual, this really works and one can sense that there is a strange but very real kind of love at the heart of this abusive relationship. Mr Hardy is brilliant throughout; a pity, therefore, that his death scene is so badly botched and unnecessarily rewritten. As I say, this isn't bad, but if you want just one "Oliver Twist" for your collection, then I would go for the David Lean film instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars amazing amazon, 14 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Oliver Twist (BBC) [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
I have seen Oliver Twist the musical on TV and on stage,but I would recommend this to all Tom Hardy fans he was brill as always as were all the other actors the only character that I was not convinced with was Fagan but he was ok.It is well worth the money as well one for the collection,oh and I adored Bullseye
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Would Recommended It To My Friends, 23 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Oliver Twist (BBC) [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
I enjoyed this film a lot. The characters are strong and the actors are well chosen. I especially liked the performance of Timothy Spall who is perfect playing a negative character.

In conclusion: a must see film, I would recommended it to my friends. In fact I did it and they loved the film!
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Oliver Twist (BBC) [2007] [DVD]
Oliver Twist (BBC) [2007] [DVD] by Timothy Spall (DVD - 2008)
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