Writers: Lionel Bart (book), Vernon Harris (screenplay),
Stars: Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed
Musical adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic tale of an orphan who runs away from the orphanage and hooks up with a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor. Written by Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
A high-spirited, lively version of the well-known story, the film manages to fit in songs and dances without subtracting from the deeper issues in Dickens' novel. The times are depicted vividly well, with excellent sets and costumes, and the film works as both surface entertainment for the young generation, and as a drama with deeper ideas behind it for the more adult viewer. As a musical, the story is not as potent as otherwise - if you compare it to David Lean's version for example - but yet the film explains parts of the story better than Lean's version did. It is not a perfect film as such, with some dances routines seeming pointless and a length that does become a tad annoying, but it is such a brilliant realisation of Dickens, and it is so well done, that it is hard not to think highly of the film. Ron Moody especially is very good: perfect as Fagin in an Oscar nominated role.