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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Monday, September 1, 2014 - Edition No 912 
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OLIVER!

SYNOPSIS:
Oliver (Mark Lester) is an orphan who escapes the cheerless life of the workhouse and takes to the streets of 19th century London to seek his fortune. Taken in by a band of street urchins, Oliver’s new friends include the lovable villain Fagan (Ron Moody), his fiendish henchman Bill Sikes (Oliver Reed), his lady love Nancy (Shani Wallis) and the loyal apprentice The Artful Dodger (Jack Wild), who all teach him survival skills.

"This remastered, 30th anniversary re-issue of Oliver takes us into the heyday of the film musical, with Lionel Bart’s wonderful music, and memorable performances from the extraordinary Ron Moody, Harry Secombe, Oliver Reed at his most handsome, Shani Wallis and angelic looking Mark Lester in the title role. The whole mood of this adaptation of Dickens’ classic tale draws and engages the viewer into the questionable world of lovable villain Fagan, the cheerless environment of Mr Bumble’s workhouse and into an atmosphere where there is an energetic lust for living and where the Artful Dodger picks a pocket or two. It is great to be reminded of the many haunting songs – Food Glorious Food, Where is Love, As Long As He Needs Me, Consider Yourself, I’d do Anything, Who will Buy and Oompapa to name a few. It may be stylised and in some ways out of date, but the charm of Oliver will delight you over and over again, as you relive the story of the little boy with the tussled hair who dares to ask for ‘more’."
Louise Keller

"More in the tradition of music hall much of the time, this Oliver shows its age – not that this should be taken as criticism, since many people will cherish it for that reason alone. It’s a bit of boo the villain, cheer the hero, dramatically speaking, while the music is endlessly engaging. It is a triumph of the musical when so many of the songs have stood the test of time, giving us songs that now stand alone, interpreted on their own lyrical and musical merits without the context of the original story that gave birth to them – see Louise’s list above. One of the most striking aspects of this remastered version is the saturated colours and quality stereo, both adding immeasurably to the video experience. This is not a video you would want to see in poor condition, so buy it and enjoy it – many times. And you should not be ashamed to sing slong with the artists during the screening – we did."
Andrew L. Urban



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AUSTRALIAN VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: COLUMBIA TRISTAR
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 28, 1998
SPECIAL 30TH ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE EDITION
RRP: $24.95

BUY IT HERE

OLIVER! (G)
(UK)

CAST: Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed, Harry Secombe, Mark Lester, Jack Wild

DIRECTOR: Carol Reed

PRODUCER: Donald Albery, John Woolf

SCRIPT: Vernon Harris (from Charles Dickens’ novel)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Oswald Morris

EDITOR: Ralph Kemplen

MUSIC: Lionel Bart, Johnny Green

PRODUCTION DESIGN: John Box

RUNNING TIME: 145 minutes

AWARDS: Six Academy Awards, including Best Picture (1968)

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

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