10 – Oliver – The Guardian’s Top Ten Movie Musicals

Movie Musicals are as popular today as they were back in the twenties when sound was first introduced to cinema.
In December 2013 The Guardian Newspaper published their list of the Top Ten Movie Musicals.
Here is what the Guardian’s critics have to say, what we at Actor Hub think of each choice and some of your thoughts (via Amazon’s reviews).
If you agree or disagree please let us know via Twitter @actorhub.
Read the original article on the Guardian’s website.

#10 Oliver – Top Ten Film Musicals

What The Guardian Said:

Historically, the British musical has been intertwined with British music, drawing on music hall in the 1940s and the pop charts in the 50s – low-budget films of provincial interest and nothing to trouble the bosses at MGM. In the late 60s, however, the genre enjoyed a brief, high-profile heyday, and between Tommy Steele in Half a Sixpence (1967) and Richard Attenborough’s star-studded Oh! What A Lovely War (1969) came the biggest of them all: Oliver! (1968), Carol Reed’s adaptation of Lionel Bart’s 1960 stage hit and the recipient of six Academy awards.
It seems strange that Charles Dickens’s dark tale of deprivation – our young hero Oliver Twist (Mark Lester) ends up in a den of thieves, run by the louche Fagin (Ron Moody), after being sold into child labour by the owner of a workhouse – began shooting during the summer of love, but Reed’s lavish, cast-of-thousands approach does reflect something of the people-power concerns of the times, notably the “tribalism” of the Broadway musical Hair. The costume design too has elements of shabby chic; the boys have long, unkempt hair, and unlike David Lean’s austere Oliver Twist of 1948, the snatch-and-grab-it world of Fagin’s lost boys actually seems like fun.
Indeed, Moody has often claimed that his interpretation of Fagin, developed in the original stage version, ran counter to Bart’s intention and went some way to reversing the perceived antisemitism of Dickens’s novel. But for all the exuberance, not to mention those timeless songs – Food, Glorious Food; Consider Yourself and You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two – Oliver! works principally as a love triangle, with the infatuated Twist powerless to save barmaid Nancy (Shani Wallis) from the vicious Bill Sikes (Oliver Reed). It is part of the magic of Reed’s direction that while delivering the modernity and immediacy of Bart’s book, music and lyrics, his film keeps intact the dark, brutal melodrama that kept Dickens’s readers enthralled in the first place. Damon Wise

What We Think:

I do love this movie and am a sucker for the show but I reckon this is one movie musical which could use a remake.
This story is as dark and gritty as Les Miserables and a film similar to the 2013 treatment of Les Miserables could really suit this dark Dickensian classic.
Can you imagine As Long As He Needs Me being delivered with the truth and emotion of Anne Hathaway’s Fantine? It is after all a song being sung by a victim of domestic abuse who is struggling with her feelings of guilt, shame and love.
The movie musical doesn’t include my favourite song That’s Your Funeral and this would be a great addition to a remake. The other song missing is I Shall Scream.
The 1960’s film is beautiful and Who Will Buy’ and [fcst class='fcs_t_i']Consider Yourself stand out as favourites of mine, but I just find it to be so dated and worthy of an update. And don’t get me started on Mark Lester, surely the audience should fall in love with Oliver, but his wet performance with a dubbed over singing voice from a twenty year old woman really does nothing for me. ActorHub
Trivia Fans:
  • Elaine Paige is dancing and singing in the Who Will Buy sequence
  • The entire movie was shot indoors across six sound stages and a huge studio backlot
  • Consider Yourself took three weeks to film,
  • Who Will Buy took six weeks
  • Michael Caine auditioned to play Bill Sykes
  • Ron Moody credits magician Tommy Cooper as his inspiration for his interpretation of Fagin

What You Think:

The Top Ten Movie Musicals