25th September 1968 Musical Film Oliver Twist launches

Oliver Twist

1968 The Musical film Oliver Twist Was released. The 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. The 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.

The Success of Oliver Twist 1968 movie

It won 6 awards and even in 2017 was still nominated as one of the Best British Film Musicals ever. It has been portrayed many times in the 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.

1968 Movie Oliver Starring cast

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

Still going strong to this day

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

Leading Lady born in London

The character Nancy was played by Shani Wallis, she was born in London’s Tottenham. Attended drama school Rada, when 18 appeared 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.

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

Competition and complexities of Other Leading Lady choices

A lot of other leading ladies were considered for the role of Nancy in Oliver! Shirley Bassey was one contender.  it’s been debated that the studio was not keen on the reception that would stir if a Black actress played Nancy amongst a totally white cast. Moreover, the anticipation that audiences would not receive that Nancy would have to fall in love with a white man who eventually would kill her. Elizabeth Taylor was also considered for the role as well as Julie Andrews.

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