Oliver! is an acclaimed, Tony Award-winning stage musical adaptation of the great literary master Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist with book, music and lyrics all by the renowned English Composer Lionel Bart. Adapted to the big screen in 1968, Oliver! became a Best Picture Oscar Winner ( which also garnered a Best Director Oscar For Sir Carol Reed ). Acclaimed British stage star Ron Moody ( who originated the role of the lovable villain Fagin on the stage of The West End of London) scored an Academy Award Nomination as Best Actor.
Tropes for the musical "Oliver!" include:
- All Girls Want Bad </span>Insert non-formatted text here<span style="background-color:rgb(242,242,242);">Boys]]: Nancy sings about her love of Bill Sikes, the best thief who's a cold, bullying monster.
- Affably Evil: Fagin, also Dodger.
- Artful Dodger: Well of course. In fact even more so than in the book.
- Broken Bird: Nancy. Her plight is summed up in her song, "As Long as He Needs Me" which explains why she
stays with Sikes despite his domestic abuse.
- Compressed Adaptation: A lot of plot convolutions and their related characters, particularly regarding
Oliver's tangled family history, get left out.
- The Creepy Undertaker: Both the stage and film versions, has a whole family like this. They even get a
song, "That's Your Funeral."
- Demoted to Extra: Charley Bates. His role is greatly reduced from the novel. Likely done to put more
emphasis on the Artful Dodger.
- Domestic Abuser: Bill Sikes to Nancy.
- Excited Show Title: Oliver!
- Even Evil Has Standards: Fagin seems to dislike Bill Sikes's penchant for violence and his treatment of
Nancy. The thieves and pickpockets under his care also react with horror when Sikes beats Nancy in front of them.
- Gender Flip: In some adaptations of the stage musical, the Artful Dodger is played by a girl.
- Heel Face Turn:
- Nancy is forced by Sikes to lead Oliver into a trap so he can be brought back to Fagin. Later she risks her own
life to save Oliver from Sikes.
- Sikes's dog Bullseye
- Large Ham: Fagin
- Lighter and Softer
- Loveable Rogue:
- Fagin, de-emphasizing his Greedy Jew characterization in the original. Particularly notable is Ron Moody's
cheerfully hammy performance in the 1968 film version.
- Jack Dawkins, aka the Artful Dodger, is also a "kinder, gentler" version; he steals to survive but bears no
malice. In fact, the only truly evil gang member is Sykes.
Sykes: What is it?
- Spared by the Adaptation:
- Fagin avoids capture and execution in the end.
- The Artful Dodger avoids arrest and being sent to Australia.
- Some productions leave Nancy's death ambiguous, implying there's a chance she survived. The film
version leaves no doubt that Sikes killed her.
- Villain Song: "Pick a Pocket or Two" for Fagin, "My Name" for Sykes. Other characters who have villainous
traits such as the Bumbles and the Sowerberries have their own in "Oliver" and "That's Your Funeral" respectively.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: The title character.