Oliver Twist (1933 film)

Oliver Twist (1933) was the first sound film adaptation of Charles Dickens's popular novel.

Production History

Released by Monogram Pictures, the film was made on an extremely low budget and makes no real attempt at any period flavor, though the story takes place, as the novel does, in 19th-century London. It stars Irving Pichel as Fagin, Dickie Moore as Oliver, Doris Lloyd as Nancy, and William "Stage" Boyd as Bill Sikes. Pichel played Fagin without resorting to any mannerisms which could be construed as offensive. Of the four leads, only Doris Lloyd was English-born. The film was directed by William J. Cowen.

Comparison With Other Dickens Films of the Time

Ultimately, the film, which never really achieved great success, was eclipsed not only by David Lean's 1948 version of the novel, but by other Dickens films released in the 1930's, such as MGM's elaborate and star-studded David Copperfield and A Tale of Two Cities (both 1935), and their 1938 A Christmas Carol. Even the rarely seen 1934 Great Expectations , with Phillips Holmes and Jane Wyatt, and the 1935 The Mystery of Edwin Drood with Claude Rains, both from Universal Pictures, were given higher budgets than the 1933 Oliver Twist.

The film was out of circulation for many years, but resurfaced on television in the 1980's.



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