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25th September

Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist

1968 The Musical film Oliver! Was released

1968 The Musical film Oliver! Was released

 

Screenplay was by Vernon Harris, Directed by Carol reed, Produced by John Woolf. The story is based on Oliver! By Lionel Bart and Oliver Twist the classic by Charles Dickens. Music was by Lionel Bart & Johnny Green. Hits included “Consider yourself”, “Food Glorious Food” “As Long as He Needs Me”,  “Where Is Love”, “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two”. Cinematography by Oswald Morris. Distributed by Columbia Pictures.

 

It won 6 awards and even in 2017 was still nominated one of the Best British Film Musicals ever. It has been portrayed many times in theatre and the songs are still enjoyed by many young and old. It was filmed at Shepperton Studios in England.Bloomsbury Square London was recreated at Shepperton.

A Host of stars, Oliver Reed, Ron Moody, Harry Secombe, Mark Lester, Jack Wild, Shani Wallis, Hugh Griffith,

 

In 2005 it was released on DVD  with the soundtrack. In 2013 it became a Blue Ray item too.

The character Nancy was played by Shani Wallis, she was born in London’s Tottenham. She attended drama school Rada . She appeared at 18 at the Coliseum in London in a musical “Call Me Madam”. In the early 1950s she performed at the Ciro’s nightclub all girls show in London and took over a slot from Audrey Hepburn. Charlie Chaplin, another British born performer, cast her in a film as a cabaret singer in “A King In New York”. She married an American Agent Bernie Rich and moved to the USA. A lot of other leading ladies were considered for the role of Nancy in Oliver!, Shirley Bassey was one contender, but it’s been debated that the studio was not keen on the reception that would stir if a Black Nancy was to appear in a white cast. Moreover, the anticipation that audiences would not receive the that Nancy would have to fall in love with a white man who eventually would kill her and the interracial aspect. Elizabeth Taylor was also considered for the role as well as Julie Andrews.

 

She is writing her Autobiography called “It’s a Fine Life” which was another hit song from the hit film Oliver!

 

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