Oliver Twist (1948) V.S. Oliver Twist By: Charles Dickens
Although the David Lean 1948 version of Oliver Twist is very much similar to the Dickens novel there are some clear differences. One of
the main differences is the opening scene of both the movie and the novel. The movie opening seems to be more scenic and dramatic while the books opening is more rushed and dialogue driven. In this essay there will be a detailed description of both scenes including the opening and the introduction of Oliver and his mother into the storyline. It is amazing to see the distinct cinematic differences versus the literary ones.
As the opening credits roll, the viewer is shown a dark night sky with clouds and a full moon above him. Bare branches are shuttering in the wind and although one can hear the wind there is no music in the background. The viewer sees a close up of a pregnant woman in pain, but with determination in her eyes as she walks towards an old building up a hill to the sound of escalating thunder. She is clearly suffering and using every ounce of her strength to get to safety as it starts pouring rain. Hanging onto a tree trunk to stabilize herself, she takes a deep breath as to relax her body and walks on towards the building. With the last ounce of power she has left, she manages to ring the bell next to the entrance and is immediately escorted inside by a man. One can see the gate light up from the luminance of the lightening reading “Parish Workhouse”. The viewer is immediately directed into a dark room filled with the Sound of a crying baby as the storm fades. One sees the close up of the woman’s face, wet from her own sweat and pale with death. She looks around the room to see her child and grins momentarily before sinking into her pain. Beside her one sees a man and old woman sitting by a burning fireplace as if lost in deep thought. She reaches out to the man by the fireplace and without saying a word he turns around picks up the...
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