Carol Reed, Oliver!, 1968 (still); image: courtesy AF archive/Alamy Stock Photo

Film

Oliver!

Part of Modern Cinema: Sparks on Celluloid

Selected by Christine Vachon

This Oscar-winning musical version of the stage play is based on Charles Dickens’ classic tale about a lonely workhouse orphan who ends up on the cold streets of London, where he falls under the wing of petty crook Fagin and his gang of young backstreet thieves. Ron Moody brings a wealth of wit and wisdom to the role of Fagin, while Oliver Reed brings a dark brooding menace to the part of Bill Sikes. The film collected six Oscars, including best picture and best director. The film features many iconic songs, including “Food, Glorious Food,” “Consider Yourself,” “As Long as He Needs Me,” and “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two.”

“Sir Carol Reed’s Oliver! is a treasure of a movie. It is very nearly universal entertainment, one of those rare films like The Wizard of Oz that appeals in many ways to all sorts of people. It [is] immediately exciting to the children, I think, because of the story and the unforgettable Dickens characters. Adults like it for the sweep and zest of its production. And as a work of popular art, it will stand the test of time. It is as well-made as a film can be.”
— Roger Ebert



Film Details

Country: UK
Language: English
Year: 1968
Running time: 153 min
Format: DCP
Director: Carol Reed
Screenwriter: Vernon Harris
Producer: John Woolf
Cinematographer: Oswald Morris
Editor: Ralph Kemplen
Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment


Films and schedules may be subject to change.

Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Support is provided by Nion T. McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund. This season of Modern Cinema is generously supported by James C. Hormel and Michael P. Nguyen.