Alec Guinness as the master pickpocket Fagin is the high point of David Lean's 1948 version of the Dickens classic. The film wasn't allowed into the country until 1951 because of its alleged anti-Semitic overtones, but it was given an entry permit after most of Guinness's profile close-ups were scissored. Lean's faithfulness to the grimy details of the novel is still a shock for those brought up on the sugary world of Oliver! With Robert Newton, Kay Walsh, and Anthony Newley as the Artful Dodger.
By Don Druker