The Oliver! Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Terr_Mys, Aug 20, 2002.

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  1. Terr_Mys Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    Oliver! is perhaps one of my all-time favorite musicals. The film version, released in 1968, won 5 academy awards, including best picture. The film includes 13 of the original 16 songs from the British stage version, and every one is a delight to my ears.

    I'm not sure as to how many people have seen Oliver!, but I feel it is quite worthy of discussion. Although the theatrical versions tend to stay truer to Lionel Bart's original creation, I have viewed the movie countless times, and so any other version just seems strange to me.

    I am fond of every song, but I would say that my favorite would be "It's a Fine Life", sung by Shani Wallis (Nancy) or "Who Will Buy?" sung by Mark Lester (Oliver). But I mean, it's very difficult to choose a favorite. "Food, Glorious Food", "Oliver!", "Boy for Sale", "Where is Love?", "Consider Yourself", "You've Got to Pick a Pocket", "Oom-pah-pah"...the list goes on.

    So, do you prefer the film version or the theatrical version? Do you think that film distorted Lionel Bart's vision? Or did it present a well-done viewing experience, quite worthy of its Oscars? Am I the only one who thinks that Mark Lester was dubbed by a high-pitched British woman? :p

    Please, share your thoughts.
  2. Iwishiwasajedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2002
    star 4
    I just saw it the other night. Loved it.

    I really like that song that dodger and all the townsfolk did. Now I can't remember its name! :p


    It was especially good to see for me since I'm in La Bohème this fall, and Oliver! is the same time.

    And if you haven't seen it, run to Blockbuster. ;)
  3. Terr_Mys Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    That song is "Consider Yourself". ;)

    When I first purchased the video, I was surprised to discover that it was made in 1968, since the sound quality seems excellent for that time. Although...it did win the academy award for 'Best Sound' :D
  4. whossockami Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2002
    I played Nancy in the stage production. I loved it, a great and unusual part in a musical. Usualy musicals are so..well.....foofy. 2 demensional characters that show any emotional deat. But the role of Nancy is a tragic one......not a glamorous one. I loved it.
  5. Terr_Mys Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    I agree. Nancy's character is much different from your typical Broadway leading lady. In fact, all of the characters are! There's very little glamour...it's in many ways a tragedy. Of course, Oliver does eventually find love, first with Fagin, the boys, and Nancy, and then with his uncle. Still, it's quite a sad story.

    And I almost forgot about "He Needs Me", another great song sung by Nancy. :)
  6. Gandalf the Grey Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2000
    star 6
    Interesting. I once played Bill Sykes in the stage musical version of Oliver. I have good memories of that play.
  7. Master-Jedi-Smith Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2002
    star 4
    It is one of my favorite shows. Not the favorite, but one of them! ;)

    I love all the songs, and everytime it's on I watch it, even though I have it on VHS, which I sometimes watch. Someday I'll get the DVD, along with the Music Man. :)

    Great to see fellow Oliver! fans! :)

    Latre and Cheerio! :D
  8. Terr_Mys Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    It's on DVD? :eek: I'll have to pick it up sooner or later. :D

    But anyways, does anyone have an idea as to why "That's Your Funeral", "My Name", and "I Shall Scream" were left out of the film version? Personally, I don't really like these songs as much as the others, but still...I wonder. Maybe they left out "My Name" because they were afraid what Oliver Reed (Bill Sykes) would sound like singing! :p
  9. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    "I shall Scream" was cut out due to the film having very little focus on the relationship between Mr and Mrs Bumble, which is a shame because Peggy Mount and Harry Secombe could have performed it brilliantly. They also wanted to focus on the darker aspects of Oliver's time in the untertakers, hence the cutting of "That's your Funeral" - Another pity, because Leonard Rossiter could have given it a lot of justice. The same is with Bill Sykes' song. He would lose a lot of his mystery if he sang - although you CAN hear snippets of the song in both the Overture and during the film (noticably Bill's entrance, and when he gives Fagin the jewels he stole)

    That said, I think the film is better. Mark Lester's singing voice was actually that of the Director's daughter (The director is Carol Reed - who is a man!)

    But obviously Ron Moody stole the show. Pick a Pocket, I'll do Anything, and Be Back Soon show what a fine performer he really is!
  10. Terr_Mys Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    :eek:

    Wow, halibut, thanks for all the info! I'm quite enlightened now. :D

    And I agree, Ron Moody did steal the show.
  11. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    The DVD also has an extended overture before the opening credits, as well as an "Entracte" to the 2nd act - as it was in the original cinema release. There's also a great little Behind the Scenes featurette. A must-have!
  12. Terr_Mys Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    As if the overture wasn't long enough! :p
  13. Mcily_Nochi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2001
    star 4
    I've never seen the movie, my my school put it on my sophomore year, and I was in the chorus. I love "Who Will Buy?", though I've always resented not getting one of the solos, since the milkmaid never came to rehearsal and I always sang and danced her part for her. ;)

    I think it's a fascinating musical. The music is so incredibly varied. You go from fun, chorus-type music with the orphans/pickpockets, to dark, depressing music with Nancy and the townsfolk . . . It's amazing how many different moods can fit into a single musical.
  14. ObI-WaN-JeDi-GuRl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2002
    star 4
    Ah,

    Since I like worn out my VHS I do need it on DVD, but I have no money.

    A Behind the Scenes?? WOW I NEED THIS..

    I do have a small question,are any of the Oliver cast still alive>>
  15. Terr_Mys Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    Well, believe it or not, Ron Moody (Fagin) is still alive and acting. Shani Wallis (Nancy) is still alive to the best of my knowledge. Oliver Reed (Bill Sykes) died of a heart attack in 1999. Mark Lester (Oliver) and Jack Wild (Dodger) are both well alive as well. Many of the older cast members have passed away in recent years.
  16. ObI-WaN-JeDi-GuRl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2002
    star 4
    Does anybody have pictures??
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