Studio: Romulus Films
(distributed by Columbia Pictures)
Screenplay: Vernon Harris
(based on the book of the play by Lionel Bart)
Director: Carol Reed
Choreographer: Onna White
"Oliver" is a musical version of the Charles Dickens' classic, "Oliver Twist." Oliver is an orphan who gets embroiled in the dangerous world of thieves in London in the 1800s. The film follows Oliver from his removal from an orphanage to his sale to a ruthless shop owner and his escape and "rescue" by a band of thieves. Oliver is finally saved by his great uncle, who discovers Oliver's existence by accident. The film is filled with vibrant dances and songs, some of which are lively, some humorous and some poignant.
Oliver (Mark Lester) is in an orphanage in 19th century England, but after Oliver asks for more food, at the prodding of the other boys, he is removed from the orphanage and sold to a merchant. Oliver then runs away to London where he meets The Artful Dodger (Jack Wild), a youth who belongs to a gang of thieves.
The Artful Dodger takes Oliver to meet Fagin (Ron Moody), a thief who trains young boys to steal for him. Oliver joins Fagin's gang and goes out to steal with the boys but he gets arrested when one of the other boys steals a man's wallet.
Bill Sikes (Oliver Reed) is a dangerous master thief who works with Fagin. When Sikes hears about Oliver's arrest, he sends his girlfriend, Nancy (Shani Wallis), to bring Oliver back before he can reveal Fagin's hideout to the police.
Oliver is saved at the courthouse by Mr. Brownlow, a wealthy Englishman, who takes Oliver home with him. It turns out that Oliver's mother was Mr. Brownlow's niece and he now wants to raise Oliver. Unfortunately, Sikes has other plans for Oliver.
Nancy, unwillingly, helps return Oliver to Fagin but, when she realizes that Sikes plans to use Oliver as an accomplice in dangerous jobs, she tries to help Oliver escape. Sikes finds out and kills Nancy and then tries to kill Oliver. In the end, Sikes is killed by the police and Oliver is saved and he returns to his great uncle's home.