Produced by Jackie Coogan Productions; Released 10/30/22 by Associated First National Pictures; Director: Frank Lloyd; Producer: Sol Lesser; Screenplay: Frank Lloyd and Harry Weil, from the novel by Charles Dickens; Cinematography: Glen MacWilliams and Robert Martin; Titles: Walter Anthony; Lighting Effects: Louis Johnson; Art Direction: Stephen Goosson; Editor: Irene Morra; Costumes: Walter J. Israel; 8 reels (7,761'); Print Source: Library of Congress, Film Preservation Associates
CAST: Jackie Coogan (Oliver Twist), Lon Chaney (Fagin), Gladys Brockwell (Nancy Sikes), George Siegmann (Bill Sikes), Lionel Belmore (Mr. Brownlow), James Marcus (Mr. Bumble), Aggie Herring (The Widow Corney), Edouard Trebaol (The Artful Dodger), Taylor Graves (Charlie Bates), Lewis Sargent (Noah Claypole), Joan Standing (Charlotte), Joseph H. Hazleton (Mr. Grimwig), Nelson McDowell (Mr. Sowerberry), Esther Ralston (Rose Maylie), Florence Hale (Mrs. Bedwin), Carl Stockdale (Monks), Eddie Boland (Toby Crackit), Gertrude Claire (Mrs. Maylie)
SYNOPSIS: A young woman dies, leaving her baby, Oliver, in the care of a notorious workhouse near London. When he asks for an extra serving of food one day he is branded as a troublemaker, and is soon sold to Mr. Sowerberry, an undertaker, where he has a run-in with cruel Noah Claypole. Oliver escapes from Sowerberry, heads for London, and on the road meets The Artful Dodger, a young man who promises him food and lodging when they reach London. Oliver is introduced to Fagin, a hideous looking old man who teaches him the art of picking pockets. Thinking it all a game, Oliver goes along, but when he realizes that he is to actually steal, he escapes to the care of the kindly Mr. Brownlow. Monks is Oliver's half brother, and conspires with Fagin to keep Oliver from inheriting a great fortune so that Monks may claim it. While running an errand for Mr. Brownlow, he is captured and returned to Fagin, where he is forced to perform a burglary for Bill Sikes. Oliver is pushed through a small window and told to let the gang in, but Oliver cries out a warning, and is shot by Sikes. The occupants of the house, Mrs. Maylie and her daughter Rose, nurse Oliver back to health. Nancy Sikes, Bill's wife, warns Mr. Brownlow of a plot to capture Oliver, and for this crime, Bill beats her to death. Pursued by the police, Bill races to the rooftops and, losing his footing, slips off the roof and accidentally hangs himself with a rope he was carrying. Fagin is arrested, Monks confesses his treachery, and Oliver is restored to his position of great wealth.
"Director Lloyd deserves credit for the manner in which he has handled the production, in the sets, the selection of types and the preservation of the atmosphere of this novel...Jackie Coogan is ideal as Oliver Twist, and shows that he is a sterling little actor...Lon Chaney is fine as Fagin, though this role has been somewhat subordinated; his make-up and acting are exceptional." ---Moving Picture World
"Although there are a number of names with picture value in the supporting cast, there is hardly anything in their performance that stands out. They appear to be rather lacking when weighed against some of the stage characterizations that have been presented of the better known roles of the Dickens work. This is particularly true of the interpretation of Fagin presented by Lon Chaney and the Bill Sikes of George Siegmann." ---Variety
NOTES: Long believed to be a lost film, a print of OLIVER TWIST was found in Yugoslavia in the early 1970s, with no intertitles. With assistance from Jackie Coogan and Sol Lesser (over 50 years after the filming!), appropriate intertitles were created by film distributor Blackhawk Films, and the film was released to the home collecting market.
© 1997,2008 Jon C. Mirsalis
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