Monday, September 8, 2008


Dir: Carol Reed, 1967 (8.2*)
Best Picture (AA)

Somehow, making a musical based on Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist seemed like a bad idea to me, but then they pretty much pulled it off. A dark, scruffy drama, with a little music to cheer up the young orphans. If only Mark Lester as Oliver could sing! Not sure how they picked him for the part, certainly not on musical or acting ability. However, fellow pickpocket Jack Wild, the Artful Dodger, actually won an Oscar for Supporting Actor, and later starred in a tv show called "H.R. Puff’n’stuff" – no kidding! Ron Moody got an Oscar nomination as Fagin, leader of the gang of street urchins. Alan Bates was pretty evil as heartless Bill Sykes. The music is just average (lots of scales), but the art direction and direction more than compensate. Six Oscars (one honorary)


Michael O'Farrell,  March 21, 2014 at 9:51 AM  

Jack Wild, wonderful as the Artful Dodger, did not win for Best Supporting Actor. The honor for the year 1968 (when "Oliver!" was released) went to Jack Albertson for "The Subject Was Roses". "Oliver" was an atypical Best Picture Oscar winner in that the big Road Show movie musical was on the way out ("Doctor Dolittle" and "Star", two recent 20th Century Fox extravaganzas bombed both critically and financially in spite of a slew of Oscar nods) but the film was made with such craft that it managed to win the big prize that year.

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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