Oliver Twist

545. OLIVER TWIST (1933-USA). With DICKIE MOORE, IRVING PICHEL. The first Sound version of CHARLES DICKENS’ masterpiece, featuring lovable Dickie Moore in the title role. Like any adaptation of Dickens, the film abridges the novel, but all the highlights are brought vividly to life. Oliver’s mother dies in a workhouse, leaving her poor orphan son to be raised by harsh taskmasters. When he asks for a second helping of none-too-appetizing dinner (“Please sir, I want some more”), Oliver is punished. He escapes and travels to London, where he ends up with something even worse: Fagin and his gang of thieves and murderers. Rescued and befriended by kindly Brownlow. Oliver unfortunately falls back into Fagin’s clutches. Through the intervention and sacrifice of gang member Nancy Sikes, Oliver is finally brought to his rightful station in life. Although filmed on a relatively low budget L. Monogram Pictures (which, let’s face it, was no MGM), this version captures the flavor of Victorian London, and has an excellent performance by Irving Pichel (who makes Fagin the most sympathetic character in the movie). And eight-year-old Dickie Moore-who had been acting since he was less than a year old! -is so appealing, you will understand why he was one of the most popular child stars of the thirties. 74 minutes. Drama