Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Happy birthday Charles Dickens

The great man was born on 7 February 1812.

This clip is from David Lean's 1948 film of Oliver Twist and the boy himself is played by John Howard Davies, who grew up to produce Monty Python, Fawlty Towers and The Good Life.

I once blogged about a Radio 4 documentary on his experience of making the film:

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.

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