Tuesday, December 23, 2008
John Howard Davies and Oliver Twist
This morning BBC Radio 4 broadcast the fourth and final programme in its I Was... series: I Was... David Lean's Boy Star. In it John Howard Davies gave his memories of starring as Oliver Twist in Lean's 1948 film of the novel. You can listen to it on the BBC iPlayer for the next week.
Years before I had a blog I wrote an article on Oliver Twist. In it I said that, while the workhouse boys in Oliver! are obviously stage school brats, those in Lean's film look as though they would eat you given half a chance.
Davies confirmed this was pretty much the case. Describing the scene in which the boys peer through the window at the workhouse board enjoying a banquet, he said that in 1948 none of the child actors had ever seen a meal like that in real life.
John Howard Davies grew up to enjoy a distinguished career as a director of television comedy, including Monty Python, The Good Life and Fawlty Towers.