Oliver Twist

dir. David Lean

Oliver Twist

dir. David Lean

Oliver Twist

dir. David Lean

Oliver Twist

dir. David Lean

Oliver Twist

dir. David Lean

TIFF Cinematheque - Holiday

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Shot through with suspense and black humour, David Lean's second magnificent adaptation of a classic Dickens novel is famed for Alec Guinness' bravura and controversial performance as the devious Fagin.

David Lean's second magnificent adaptation of a classic Dickens novel, made hard on the heels of Great Expectations. Shot through with black humour, sombre in tone, suspenseful and sometimes shocking, Oliver Twist again raised the bar for translating Dickens to the screen, and features a bravura — and controversial — performance by Alec Guinness as Fagin (reluctantly cast by an initially disbelieving Lean), who based his appearance on the original novel's illustrations by George Cruikshank. "Lean elevates melodrama to poetry — and never lets it drop . . . He invests audio-visual details with metaphoric as well as graphic power . . . [he] primes the tear ducts and adrenal glands simultaneously; you feel his characters' poverty and want not just in your hearts, but in your muscles, tendons, and joints" (Michael Sragow).