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Film Released: 1968
Genre: Family, Musical, Comedy, Crime, Drama
Directed by: Carol Reed
Based on the books by Charles Dickens and Lionel Bart
Cast/Actors: Ron Moody, Mark Lester, Jack Wild, Oliver
Reed, Shani Wallis, Harry Secombe
Possibly one of the best musicals of all
time, Oliver is based on the book by Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist.
Mainly set in London, the story follows the trials and tribulations of
Oliver Twist, played by mark Lester , an orphan who lives in a
Underfed and constantly hungry, the boys at the workhouse decide to draw
lots to see who will be the one to ask for more food. Oliver gets the
short straw and nervously approaches the beadle played by Harry Secombe
who, together with the governors, decides he must be sold for his
He is eventually sold to an undertaker, but runs away after being mistreated and
finds himself in London where he is promptly befriended by the Artful
Dodger, played by Jack Wild, who is a pick-pocket and a member of a gang
of child thieves under the watchful eye of Fagin who is played by Ron Moody.
Fagin takes him under his wing to “groom” him for life as a thief on the
streets on London.
Oliver is allowed out to work with the rest of the boys, although
being a mild mannered and almost gentile child, he doesn’t realize what
this “work” really involves. On his first day out, he gets mistaken for
one of the other lads who steals a wallet from an old gentleman and is
promptly taken to “the beak” (a magistrate) to have charges brought
against him. Luckily, a witness testifies that it wasn’t Oliver who
stole the wallet and as
reparation, the old gentleman takes him home to look after him.
A twist (pardon the pun) in the story comes when, after some enquiries
into Oliver’s background , the old gentleman finds out that Oliver is,
in fact, the son of his dead niece who ran away from home to have her
baby (conceived out of wedlock). Unfortunately Fagin and Bill Sykes, an
adult villain who uses Fagin to fence his ill gotten gains (played by
Oliver Reed) decide it’s too risky to leave Oliver where he is as he
could “put the finger” on the gang, so they force Bill's girlfriend, Nancy
(played by Shani Wallis) who was Oliver’s special friend, to kidnap him
and bring him back.
All's well that ends well (apart from Bill murdering Nancy when she tries
to return Oliver to the old gentleman then getting shot himself by a
policeman) and Oliver ends up back where he belongs – at his great
The food aspect comes almost at the beginning of the film just before
Oliver asks for more. There as a brilliant musical sequence with the
boys singing “food Glorious Food”. Sing along now......
Food, glorious food!
Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood
Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloys!
What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys
Although many argue that a traditional English trifle doesn’t contain
jelly, below is our version of a trifle which does….in contains both
cold jelly and custard!
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Food in Film Page
CD DP English 20mins plus chilling
Serves 4-6 Cold Fruit
Dessert Puddings England British Europe
1 small Raspberry Swiss Roll
250g/9oz Fresh Raspberries
450ml/15fl.oz Quick Set Raspberry
450ml/15fl.oz. Very Thick Cold Custard
150ml/5fl.oz. Double Cream, whipped
1. Cut the swiss roll into 2.5cm/1-inch slices and arrange in the base
of a 1.5L/2˝ pt serving dish (preferably glass).
2. Make up the jelly as per the instructions on the packet, then
immediately pour the liquid jelly slowly over the cake and quickly
sprinkle most of the fruit into the jelly, reserving a few for
decoration. Refrigerate until set.
3. Once set, top the jelly with the custard. Chill until ready to serve.
4. To serve - decorate the top of the trifle with whipped cream and the