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Still shot from the movie: Oliver!.


Putting Dickens' classic to music, this lavish 1968 production not only won an Academy Award for Best Picture, it also presented the master storyteller's tale of a young orphan championing over neglect, poverty, and crime, in a way most parents could share with their children. Get the movie review and more. »


Overall: A-
Violence: B-
Sexual Content: B-
Language: B+
Drugs/Alcohol: C+
Theater Release: 05 Oct 1968
Video Release: 11 Aug 1998
MPAA Rating: G
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Why Is Oliver! Rated G?

Covering some complex issues, such as poverty, neglect, abusive relationships, and the ethics of breaking the law in order to survive, Dickens’ story may seem an unlikely candidate for family entertainment. Yet the use of song and dance in this adaptation helps to soften some of the violent incidents, deepen the emotion of the desperate characters, and even lighten the mood with its infusions of humor.

Between the musical diversions and the decision to allude to (rather than portray) objectionable content, Oliver! presents a version of this classic literary work that most parents should feel comfortable sharing with their kids. (Very young viewers will still be frightened by moments of peril, some beatings dished out by a bully, and the depiction of a man being shot and hanged.) Reviewing the situation, the great novelist offers valuable insights into the powerful human need to love and be loved, as well as a providing a better understanding and sympathy for those who live a less-than fine life.

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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