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Oliver Twist 

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An orphan named Oliver Twist meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.
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1999  
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Annette Crosbie ...  Mrs Bedwin 4 episodes, 1999
Marc Warren ...  Monks 4 episodes, 1999
Michael Kitchen ...  Mr Brownlow 4 episodes, 1999
Lindsay Duncan ...  Elizabeth Leeford 4 episodes, 1999
Julie Walters ...  Mrs. Mann 4 episodes, 1999
David Ross David Ross ...  Mr Bumble 4 episodes, 1999
Sam Smith Sam Smith ...  Oliver Twist 3 episodes, 1999
John Grillo ...  Mr Grimwig 3 episodes, 1999
Charlotte Le Moignan Charlotte Le Moignan ...  Young Rose Fleming 3 episodes, 1999
Emily Woof ...  Nancy 3 episodes, 1999
Robert Lindsay ...  Fagin 3 episodes, 1999
Andy Serkis ...  Bill Sikes 3 episodes, 1999
Alex Crowley Alex Crowley ...  Artful Dodger 3 episodes, 1999
Keira Knightley ...  Rose Fleming 3 episodes, 1999
Isla Fisher ...  Bet 3 episodes, 1999
Roland Manookian ...  Charley Bates 3 episodes, 1999
Liz Smith ...  Sally 2 episodes, 1999
Sarah Flind ...  Homely Maid 2 episodes, 1999
Alun Armstrong ...  Mr. Fleming 2 episodes, 1999
Sam Kelly ...  Giles 2 episodes, 1999
Morgan Jones ...  Brittles 2 episodes, 1999
Sophia Myles ...  Agnes Fleming 2 episodes, 1999
David Bark-Jones David Bark-Jones ...  Dr. Losberne 2 episodes, 1999
Laura Grace Cockroft Laura Grace Cockroft ...  Chertsey Maid 2 episodes, 1999
Tim Dutton ...  Edwin Leeford 2 episodes, 1999
Rosalind March Rosalind March ...  Mrs. Corney 2 episodes, 1999
Iain Robertson ...  Woodcroft 2 episodes, 1999
Roger Lloyd Pack ...  Mr. Sowerberry 2 episodes, 1999
Calum MacPherson ...  Blacksmith Bignall 2 episodes, 1999
Alan Pentony Alan Pentony ...  Pedlar 2 episodes, 1999
Hilary Sesta Hilary Sesta ...  Martha, Female Pauper 2 episodes, 1999
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Storyline

Based on Charles Dickens' novel, this adaptation traces the childhood of an orphan whose mother dies giving birth to him in an English work-house in the 1820s. Little Oliver Twist, already abused, starved and overworked, is apprenticed to an undertaker and runs away to London after being bullied by an older apprentice. There, he is taken in by Fagin, a fence and thief-trainer, and his gang of pickpockets. He is befriended by Nancy, a good-hearted prostitute, and meets her lover, the brutal housebreaker Bill Sikes. But attempts by the gang to discredit him result in his being taken in by Mr. Brownlow, a wealthy and charitable man, who proves the catalyst for Oliver's discovery of his background and identity. Here Alan Bleasdale's dramatisation differs from Dickens' novel, in that Oliver does not fall into Brownlow's hands by coincidence, and we already know his back story: he's the child of a young woman named Agnes Fleming and her married lover, Edwin Leeford, who dies while on a trip... Written by G.M. Baxter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Оливър Туист See more »

Filming Locations:

Alston, Cumbria, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 parts)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The very flowery wording in the episode titles is based on the language which Charles Dickens used for the chapter titles in his original novel "Oliver Twist". See more »

Quotes

Bumble: It was all Mrs. Bumble's fault! She would do it, she would!
Brownlow: No excuse, man. In fact, you were the more guilty of the two in the eye of the law, for the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction.
Bumble: Well, if the law supposes that, than the law is an ass!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version which ran on ITV in England and CBC in Canada in late 1999 consisted of four two-hour episodes with commercials; the video for sale in the UK runs 386 minutes. When PBS ran the series on Masterpiece Theater in October 2000, it consisted of three two-hour episodes without commercials; the video available in North America runs 360 minutes. See more »

Connections

Version of Oliver Twist (1912) See more »

Soundtracks

Fantasia for Piano 4 Hands in F Minor
Music by Franz Schubert
Played onscreen by Michael Kitchen
See more »

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User Reviews

What were they thinking?
8 April 2002 | by vox-saneSee all my reviews

In some ways, it's good to see some of the subplots that have to be snipped for time in shorter renditions. Unfortunately, what remains is twisted Dickens. Dickens wrote for serial, and sometimes wrote himself into corners. He didn't plan Oliver Twist out from the start, so characters like "Monks" wormed into later installments to help iron out a conclusion. OLIVER TWIST the book is therefore not to be read or judged like a modern novel, but rather a sprawling (though not so sprawling as the nearly contemporary, episodic, and wonderful PICKWICK PAPERS) epic view of Oliver's world, where many extraneous activities take place. Unfortunately, the writers of this "Oliver Twist" have manipulated Dickens to try to tie together all the extraneous material. They've also done unforgivable things to the characters. The way the "Artful Dodger" picked Mr. Brownlow's pockets and the aftermath was shocking. Fagin, a wonderful character in all his many incarnations, has been transformed from a man who teaches boys to pick pockets to a magician of sorts, so he comes off more like a thwarted music hall prestidigitator than a corrupter of morals. And the end of Bill Sykes, as written here, is perverted. Some margin of liberty should be granted movie adaptations. Because of time constraints, and the fact that Dickens' wonderful language cannot be easily transferred to the screen. But this version takes too many liberties and warps too many characters. It's a shame, because it has a nice look to it, and Robert Lindsay, a fine actor, might've been a great Fagin. The worst part of the movie is the backstory. Dickens shoves all of the tale of Oliver's parentage into the final pages of his tale, and much that was inexplicable is there explained. These people have expanded upon that to make a full two-hour stand-alone episode! This not only gives a fraudulent view of how OLIVER TWIST the story is constructed, it undercuts what mystery the book possesses. If you want a solid (if truncated) version of the book, David Lean's 1948 adaptation is still powerful; for an even easier to digest version, the Oscar-winning musical has a true Dickensian look and the characters are all true (Ron Moody, Oliver Reed, and Harry Secombe being standouts) and several tuneful songs. If you want a version where Fagin comes out a figure of persecution, try the one where Fagin is portrayed by George C. Scott. If you're a Dickens purist, give this version a miss; if you never intend to read Dickens, or have tried and don't like Dickens, you might like this version after all.


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