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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 November 2016
The movie opens in the Workhouse. Young boys trudge for their meagre grub. Above them is the sign: God is Love clear and centre stage. You see this after you have uncurled yourself from that gorgeous orchestral version of ‘As Long as he Needs me’ for the Overture getting the audience to settle down in the Stalls in 1968.

Oliver’s first instinct when he escapes from being an Undertaker’s boy is to sing ‘Where is Love?’ Initially premiered on Stage in 1960 it ushered-in the decade that made love socially acceptable. Previous decades had seen so much death by disease and guns that long life was never expected. Love could not be afforded. Not explicit, gregarious, demonstrative love. Along with The Sound of Music (1959) and The Beatles, love could be sung in the streets and danced all around.

The end of food rationing in 1954 and conscription in 1960 along with the free health care for the past fifteen years all provided the springboard for the kind of freedom unheard of for all classes in the UK. So Oliver! starts with ‘Food Glorious Food!’ and underlines the difference between those who have rich colourful food and those who get ‘gruel.’ The hardest of victories had been won yet the bad times entertainingly remembered to an extreme.

Making your way to London was another popular theme in the 60s. Oliver arrives in the most colourful greens of a basket of cabbages! The blu ray (big improvement on DVD) really shining here with his young boy face amongst the leaves. He is looking ‘For that Sweet Hello that was Meant for Me,’ aren’t we all? His fortune indeed. The working classes happily working ‘Consider yourself one of the Family’ when all you had was each other.

From the smoke like Harry Lime from the shadows in the best film ever made The Third Man (same director) appears the cunning Master rogue Fagin. Stripped of all Jewish prejudice (in the novel), I’m glad to say, a man who knows men ‘you will be the greatest man of all time’ building the young Oliver up.

The laws within us contrast with the law of the land. The drunken Judge but one example of the ridiculousness of the Law. Scoundrels at all levels.

Of course the core of the story sets nature against nurture in the form of the always poor Oliver but his instinctive good manners. Does environment make you or parental dna? Everyone is unique is my answer.

The 1960s saw the end of the kind of deference such as tipping your hat to those of a higher station and submissiveness in general. Knowing your station was a cruel view of living. Whilst the language of ‘opportunity’ often rings-out from politicians, with this current Conservative Party government they are/have turning it around grinding us down at every turn. Saying something else. Fascism is back in this country. Dictating what is done. Avoiding Parliament. Ignoring the will of the electorate. Saying something else. Manipulation without remorse. Did you see Hammond talking money on Sunday? without the least regard for the affects on those on the lowest incomes. Pitiless politics. Workhouse mentalities.
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on 28 April 2017
Interesting how watch a much loved childhood film now as an adult it can appear to be quite a dark film. Couldn't get pass the darkness after that and ending up binning it. Strange perhaps but true.
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on 18 April 2017
Excellent quick delivery. My son was putting an Oliver production on at school, so I got him this to watch at home....he loved it as did I. Took me back to my childhood. A film that never dates.
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on 25 June 2017
We were celebrating Victorian week at school, the children were exhausted and this was a good finale to our celebrations. The children thoroughly enjoyed this classic film.
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on 12 July 2017
Far better copy on blu-ray than my previous dvd, but the original master not up to some of the restored ones available for some of the other classic musicals
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on 20 May 2017
A film I saw when I was 12 I think so we downloaded it on Amazon for the grand-children who also stat down a watched it from start to finish.
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on 7 May 2017
Classic film for all the family to sit down and enjoy on a very wet Sunday afternoon. 5 star rating
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on 17 May 2017
Very good. Lovely singalong tunes. My daughter loved it (5 years old), although I think a PG rating would be more suitable, as it did bring up some questions about pick poketing and there are some scenes early on in a Funeral Parlour, also Bill Sykes can bit a bit manacing.
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on 8 April 2017
Bought two of this item - one was a gift. A high quality product.
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on 18 July 2017
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