Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Ostensibly a vehicle for Jackie Coogan, the 1922 Oliver Twist refuses to realign the Charles Dickens novel to accommodate the personality of its star. This Frank Lloyd-directed silent film is one of the most faithful of all cinematic adaptations of the Dickens work. The orphaned Oliver, labelled a "troublemaker" because he dares to ask for more food, is farmed out to work as an undertaker's assistant. Escaping his cruel master, Oliver falls in with a gang of pickpockets, headed by the colorful Fagin (played by Lon Chaney Sr., who steals a lot more than a few watches and wallets in the course of the picture). Kindly Mr. Brownlow (Lionel Belmore), Oliver's real grandfather, tries to help the lad, but the evil Bill Sikes (George Siegmann) complicates matters. While Jackie Coogan may seem a bit too well-fed and self-sufficient to play Oliver, he was certainly more suited to the role than the star of the 1916 filmization of Oliver Twist--actress Marie Doro! Long believed to be a lost film, Oliver Twist was painstakingly restored in the early 1970s, using bits and pieces from various foreign prints and negatives.
criminal, adoption, inheritance, kidnapping, love, orphan, pickpocket, rescue, robbery, survivor, silence, youth
High Budget, High Production Values