Published April 1, 2023


Film info

  • Title Oliver!
  • Director Carol Reed
  • Year 1968
  • Run time 2hrs 33m
  • Genres Music, Drama, Family
  • Tagline Much much more than a musical!

Young Oliver is an orphan who escapes the cheerless life of the workhouse and takes to the streets of 19th-Century London. He's immediately taken in by a band of street urchins, headed by the lovable villain, Fagin, his fiendish henchman, Bill Sikes, and his loyal apprentice, the Artful Dodger. Through his education in the fine points of pick-pocketing, Oliver makes away with an unexpected treasure... a home and a family of his own.

Live blog

Time Comment
0:40 Generally speaking I do not enjoy overtures, but they do make sense over opening credits, I suppose.
3:27 Love how the illustration turns into moving pictures.
6:42 Not sure I’ve appreciated before just how many children this is to try and get to sing, dance and act together.
15:39 “Cash upon liking.”
26:35 Wasn’t your first glimpse of London through some cabbages?
39:28 Fabulous lines, those. “These sausages are mouldy.” “Shut up and drink your gin.”
51:18 The music makes it a lot worse, obviously, but Bill Sykes is so so so menacing.
55:15 It’s a Fine Life is a great song… except for the bit about black eyes.
1:02:41 What the hell does she even see in him?
1:03:24 These kids are obsessed with sausages.
1:09:15 Never noticed that reference to a hanging before. Oof.
1:17:37 Mr Brownlow is so nice under all the circumstances.
1:21:36 The incompetent and drunk judge speaks volumes about the justice system.
1:23:01 There’s an intermission in this film??
1:26:00 Oh god, a mini overture.
1:26:46 Oh yea, the sweet red roses song is a low point, I think.
1:35:29 Bill says he’s worried that Oliver will snitch but he’s just jealous really.
1:43:43 I wish people would just bring books to my front door.
1:48:03 Totally just googled what avaricious means.
1:50:11 “All this violence, all these scenes, screams, dramas! I’m asking you, is it necessary?” That’s musicals, Fagin.
1:56:29 As problematic as this role is, Ron Moody is legendary.
1:58:55 And this is where it slightly loses me. What the F are the chances that Oliver ended up with the Brownlows like that?
2:02:58 Oh brave Nancy.
2:06:24 The eyes through the letterbox! Bleurgh! This guy!
2:09:46 I never noticed before, but presumably Beth is also in on this which makes me feel a bit emotional.
2:24:44 It just seems like a bit of an anti-climax.


This is a musical I’ve watched so many times before but not for a long while now. I’d forgotten some of the finer details of the movie but the rhythms of it are still so clear to me. I knew as well going into this that I’d spot some things that younger me didn’t realise which is always fun.

The songs are great, stuck in my head now, and it’s a good retelling of the original Charles Dickens tale. The character of Fagin is a bit of an issue, obviously, and I can’t quite get over how evil Bill Sykes is. Also Noah Claypole is more of an asshole than I remember, even though he’s only in it briefly.

Overall, if you can get over the weirdly high pitched dubbing of Oliver’s singing, then you’ll enjoy!

Rating: 4 / 5

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