Along with MGM's David Copperfield, this 1922 silent version of Oliver Twist survived as perhaps Hollywood's most faithful adaptation of Charles Dickens. Not that Jackie Coogan is the very picture of the delicate little waif that the novelist originally described -- although the weight of the world is clearly visible in the child's expressive eyes -- and Lon Chaney's Fagin may come a bit too close to caricature at times. But the rest of the sprawling tale's baroque gallery is simply marvelous, including James Marcus' pompous Mr. Bumble, Edouard Trebaol's Artful Dodger, Carl Stockdale's Edward Leeford (aka Monks), George Fawcett's Bill Sikes, and especially Gladys Brockwell's star-crossed Nancy, perhaps this sadly neglected actress' finest accomplishment. First National's depiction of back-alley London is top-notch, as well, and Frank Lloyd's direction, if not exactly revolutionary, is at least serviceable.
by Hans J. Wollstein review