Oliver Twist

Synopsis: In the Nineteenth Century, orphan Oliver Twist is sent from the orphanage to a workhouse, where the children are mistreated and barely fed. He moves to the house of an undertaker, but after an unfair severe spank, he starts a seven day runaway to London. He arrives exhausted and starving, and is soon welcomed in a gang of pickpockets lead by the old crook Fagin. When he is mistakenly taken as a thief, the wealthy victim Mr. Brownlow brings Oliver to his home and shelters him. But Fagin and the dangerous Bill Sykes decide to kidnap Oliver to burglarize Mr. Brownlow's fancy house.
Genre: Crime, Drama
Director(s): Roman Polanski
  2 wins & 4 nominations.
130 min

Bow to the board.

This is the boy.

Born here in the workhouse.

Moved to the parish farm.

Nine years old today.

Time to be moved back here.

What's your name, boy?

-Oliver Twist.


-That boy's a fool.

-Boy. Listen to me.

You know you are an orphan,

I suppose.

-What's that?

-The boy is a fool. I thought he was.

You know you've got

no father or mother...

...and that you were brought up

by the parish, don't you?

-Yes, sir.

-What are you crying for?

I hope you say your prayers

every night.

Pray for those that feed you

and take care of you...

...Iike a Christian.

-Yes, sir.


...you have come here

to be educated...

...and to be taught a useful trade.

Here, where do you want these?

Learn from the boy next to you.

-What am I to learn, sir?

-Learn to pick out the oakum.

What's oakum, sir?

Stop asking so many questions.

Oakum's the fibers you unpick

from the old rope.

Then it's used again

for the ships of Her Majesty's navy.

You're serving your country.

Now, get on with it.

Tom, give it a rest, will you?

We're trying to sleep.

-Can't sleep, too hungry.

-We're all hungry.

Yes, but I'm frightened.

Frightened? Why?

Why? Why?

I'm so hungry, I'm frightened I might

eat the lad that sleeps next to me.

O Lord God...

...for the blessing of this generous

and bountiful meal...

...that thou hast placed before us...

...we give thanks. Amen.


Please, sir. I want some more.


Please, sir, I want some more.

Fetch the beadle!

Mr. Limbkins.

I beg your pardon, sir.

Oliver Twist has asked for more.

For more?!

Compose yourself, Mr. Bumble,

and answer me distinctly.

Do I understand that he asked for

more after he had eaten his supper?

He did, sir.

That boy will be hanged.

"Five pounds and a b--"

When I says "whoa,"

I means "whoa"!

"Health-- Healthy...

...appren-- apprentice.

Five pounds."

Chimney sweeping is a nasty trade.

Young boys have been smothered

in chimneys before now.

That's because they damp the straw

afore they light it in the chimney...

...to make them come out again.

Damp straw makes smoke.

Smoke sends a boy to sleep,

and that's what he wants.

Boys is very lazy, gentlemen.

But there's nothing like a good hot

blaze to make them come out in a run.

It's humane too. Yes.

Because even if they've

stuck in the chimney...

...roasting their feet makes them

struggle to extricate theirselves.


I suppose he's fond of

chimney sweeping?

He dotes on it, Your Worship.

Very well. I will sign the indentures...

...to make him Mr....

Mr. Gamfield's apprentice.

My boy.

My boy, you look pale and alarmed.

What's the matter?

Please, sir. Please, sir.

What is it, my boy?


-Now then.

Don't.... Don't....

Go on, my boy. Don't what?

Please don't send me away

with this dreadful man, sir.

Of all the designing orphans

that I've ever seen....

-Hold your tongue, beadle.

-Did Your Worship speak to me?

Yes, hold your tongue.

No. No, out of the question.

We refuse to sanction

these indentures.

Take the boy away.

And treat him kindly.

He seems to want it.

I've just taken the measure of

the two women that died last night.

You'll make your fortune,

Mr. Sowerberry.

Think so?

The prices allowed by the board

are very small.

So are the coffins.

By the by, you don't know anybody

who wants a boy, do you?

Liberal terms, Mr. Sowerberry.

Liberal terms.

Now, as you are to meet

your new master...

...pull that cap off your eyes.

Hold your head up, sir.

Dry your eyes, sir.

-ls that you, Bumble?

-No one else, Mr. Sowerberry.

I've brought the orphan,

Oliver Twist.

So this is the orphan, is it?

Mrs. Sowerberry...

...will you have the goodness

to come here a moment, my dear?

Oliver Twist.

How comes an orphan

to have any name at all?

-I invented it.

-You, Mr. Bumble?

I, Mr. Sowerberry.

I name all our foundlings

in alphabetical order.

The last was S.

Swubble, I named him.

This was a T. Twist,

I named him.

Next one as comes

will be Unwin...

...and the next, Vilkins.

I've got names ready

all through the alphabet, right up to Z.

Why, you're quite

a literary character, sir.

Well, well...

-...perhaps I may be.

-Mrs. Sowerberry...

...this is the orphan

from the workhouse.

Dear me, he's very small.

But he'll grow, Mrs. Sowerberry.

He'll grow.

Yes, I daresay he will.

On our food and drink.

Workhouse boys always cost more

to keep than they're worth.

Get downstairs, you bag of bones.

Here, Charlotte...

...give this boy some of the cold bits

that were put by for the dog.

You don't mind sleeping

among the coffins, I suppose.

Well, it doesn't much matter

whether you do or don't...

...for you can't sleep anywhere else.

Open the door, will you?

-You the new boy?

-Yes, sir.

-How old are you?

-Ten, sir.

Then I'll whop you one when I get in,

you workhouse brat.

I beg your pardon, sir.

Did you knock?

I kicked.

Did you want a coffin, sir?

-You don't know who I am, I suppose.

-No, sir.

Well, I'm Mr. Noah Claypole.

And you're under me.

Now, take down the shutters.

Saved a nice little bit of bacon for you

from the master's breakfast.

In the corner with you.

And be quick about it.

They'll want you to mind the shop.

Do you hear?

Do you hear, Workhouse?

In the corner.

Oh, Lord, Noah, let the boy alone.

Let him alone?

Why, everybody's let him alone.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Ronald Harwood

Sir Ronald Harwood, CBE, FRSL (born Ronald Horwitz; 9 November 1934) is an author, playwright and screenwriter. He is most noted for his plays for the British stage as well as the screenplays for The Dresser (for which he was nominated for an Oscar) and The Pianist, for which he won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He was nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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