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Oliver Twist
updated 1.12.2005

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I loved Oliver Twist! I am especially interested in the exploration of Oliver's background. I think it accurately portrays the Dickens novel and is not overly violent (as another viewer states). This is the reality of the times, and it's about time someone showed history as it was and not as some sugarcoated fairy tale.

Heather You
Belmont, CA

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I loved Alan Bleasdale's dramatization of Oliver Twist! I bought a collection of Dickens' books years ago when I was in high school, and recently dragged them out for a re-read. I enjoyed Oliver Twist ever so much more now than I did then. I started surfing the net for information on Dickens and his craft (something I certainly couldn't do in 1975!) and found this Web site about Alan Bleasdale's adaptation of the novel. I ordered the tapes and have watched it a couple of times in the past week. I really enjoyed the expanded treatment of Oliver's progenitors' past. The only thing that somewhat disappointed me was the exchanging of Mrs. Bedwin for Mrs. Maylie, and the replacement of Harry Maylie with a much younger and more desirable Dr. Losberne, who was romantically involved with Rose. I can understand why they did it; it does move the story along, as is necessary in television, and really loses nothing of the drama. The actors are all wonderful, especially Michael Kitchen as Mr. Brownlow. I thought he strikes just the right balance between a man torn between his loyalties to old departed friends, and his fear of being taken advantage of once again by the disenfranchised of London's Victorian society. I was hoping, though, to hear Mr. Grimwig utter, just once, that he would "eat his head!"

Barbara Becker
Columbia Station, OH

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Thank you ever so much for the magnificent work you did on Dickens's Oliver Twist! Those who are complaining about it do not seem to understand life in early Victorian England. Would they have you politically correct history for the sake of being non-offensive, rather than show what life was really like for so many? Now, where can I purchase the DVD (not the VHS tape) of this wonderful and accurate version? Thank you.

Ken Giorlando
Eastpointe, MI

To our knowledge, Alan Bleasdale's Oliver Twist is not currently available on DVD.

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I really enjoyed Oliver Twist. Marc Warren (Monks) is such a great actor I'm looking forward to seeing him in up and coming projects.

Benita Watson
Houston, TX

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I turned on my TV last night while Oliver Twist was airing. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. This movie displayed a total lack of respect for human life. Rocky Mountain PBS claims to be family friendly. Are we teaching our families that brutally beating your wife is considered a masterpiece? I had to verify the channel on my TV. I thought it would be bad enough to have such violence glorified on commercial television, but on PBS, I couldn't even comprehend it. You have to have a sick mind to find this entertaining. We wonder why there is so much evil in our world. It's movies like this that give sickos ideas.
Thoroughly disappointed,

Bob Smith
Monument, CO

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I truly enjoyed your presentation of Oliver Twist! As far as the liberties that were taken about Oliver's parents' backgrounds, all I need say to those who object is that it certainly was eminently superior to the background that was created for Hester Prynne in the Demi Moore version of The Scarlet Letter! Your film closely followed the original story, which is an unexpected and rarely found pleasure in films of any era. Keep up the good work.

Lois Schrott
Cincinnati, OH

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Oh, my! Had I ever thought there was late-night TV I could watch and not be disgusted? Although I'm visually handicapped I try to read as much as I can and I had never read Oliver Twist. So I was up late one night and there it was; I fell in love with this movie and also with the little boy in the movie. I will begin to look for other movies on your channel on Monday nights. I look forward to adding this great movie to my collection. And when I feel better I will read the novel. Thank you for keeping me interested in books.

Cynthia Roland
Virginia Beach, VA

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
What did you think of the scene where Bill beats Nancy to death? A little too intense for my tastes. Seems uncharacteristic for most movies shown on Masterpiece Theatre. But I liked how they handled the scene with Monks and how everything is revealed suddenly.

Annie Platz

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I thoroughly enjoyed the first installment of Oliver Twist, although I must confess that because the (book) ending actually came first in the film, it took me a while to realize what I was watching! Still, I watched anyway and finally caught on! I think it's very nicely done. Thank you for once again bringing us quality programming.

Jeriann Ottaviano
Scotia, NY

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
The Oliver Twist production was a total disappointment. Nothing left of Dickens's spirit. For some reason Alan Bleasdale decided that the plot was not spicy and thrilling enough for the modern, bored public and added all sorts of gross "embellishments" (a vile woman ordering her degenerate son to murder his father, etc.). I think this kind of production should be left to Hollywood and Masterpiece Theatre should spare us such samples of bad taste.

Olga Bagtourova
College Station, TX

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
It is unfortunate that Masterpiece Theatre has taken a detour with this Dickens novel. Why do you need to distort the work of this great author? The acting is fantastic, set designs outstanding, direction great. Why then, with such a great film, do this 'twist' to Oliver Twist?

William Moore
Saco, ME

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