AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Oliver Twist
Director: James Young (Dir)
Release Date:   10 Dec 1916
Duration (in reels):   5
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Cast:   Marie Doro (Oliver Twist)  
    Hobart Bosworth (Bill Sikes)  
    Tully Marshall (Fagin)  
    Raymond Hatton (The Artful Dodger)  
    James Neill (George Brownlow)  
    Elsie Jane Wilson (Nancy Sikes)  
    Harry Rattenbury (Mr. Bumble)  
    Carl Stockdale (Monks)  
    W. S. Van Dyke (Charles Dickens)  

Summary: Condemned to the workhouse cellar after asking for a second helping of porridge, Oliver Twist, who never knew his parents, manages to escape and joins Fagin's band of criminals. Then, the brutal Bill Sikes forces him to take part in a burglary, during which Oliver is shot. Despite his part in the robbery, Oliver is taken in by the burglary victims, who nurse him back to health until Bill finds him, and prepares to kill him for ruining his burglary. Bill's wife Nancy alerts the police, though, and they rescue Oliver. Just before he runs away from the authorities, however, Bill, outraged at Nancy, murders her. Then, Bill dies during his escape, after which Mr. Brownlow, a friend of the boy's late father, finds Oliver after years of searching, and restores to him all of his father's property. 

Production Company: Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Co.  
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.  
Director: James Young (Dir)
  W. S. Van Dyke (Asst dir)
  Dudley Blanchard (Asst dir)
Writer: James Young (Adpt)
  Winthrop Ames (Adpt)
Photography: Harold Rosson (Cam)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens in Bentley's Miscellany (London, Feb 1837--Apr 1839).
Authors: Charles Dickens

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Co. 6/12/1916 dd/mm/yyyy LP9669

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Si:

 
Genre: Drama
 
Subjects (Major): Burglars
  Gangs
  Orphans
  Parentage
  Thieves
 
Subjects (Minor): Burglars
  Gunshot wounds
  Inheritance
  Murder
  Nursing back to health
  Police
  Workhouses

Note: Although the character of Nancy is not married to Bill Sikes in the Dickens novel and other adaptations on the screen, Paramount production records refer to her as Nancy Sikes. In 1912 Marie Doro appeared in a New York stage adaptation of Oliver Twist . In addition to the 1912 General Film production (see above), there have been many versions of Oliver Twist on film. Among them are a Vitagraph short in 1909, a British version in 1922, a Monogram version in 1933, the 1948 British version directed by David Lean, and a 1968 British musical production, Oliver! , directed by Carol Reed (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; F6.3593) which won an Academy Award as the best production of the year. Roman Polanski directed another adaptation of the novel in 2005, starring Ben Kinsgley as "Fagan" and Barney Clark as "Oliver Twist." 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
ETR   9 Dec 16   p. 36.
ETR   23 Dec 16   p. 206.
Motog   23 Dec 16   p. 1396.
MPN   26 Aug 16   p. 1445.
MPW   23 Dec 16   p. 1817.
MPW   30 Dec 16   p. 2015.
NYDM   16 Dec 16   p. 28.
New York Times   11 Dec 16   p. 7.
Variety   15 Dec 16   p. 37.
Wid's   21 Dec 16   p. 1191.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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