Ahrya Fine Arts theater will be presenting a 50th anniversary
screening of Carol Reed’s Academy Award-winning 1968 film Oliver!The 153-minute film,
which stars Ron Moody, the late-great Oliver Reed, a very young Mark Lester,
and Shani Wallis, will be screened on Sunday, July 15, 2018 at 3:00 pm.
NOTE: At press time, actress Shani Wallis is scheduled to appear in person for
a discussion about the film prior to the screening.
She will be on hand at 2:30
pm in the lobby selling posters for $50.00 and photos for $20.00, and will also
autograph them. All proceeds will go to charity.
the press release:
Part of our Anniversary Classics series. For details, visit: laemmle.com/ac.
50th Anniversary Screening
Sunday, July 15, at 3 PM
Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre
Q&A with Actress Shani Wallis
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present a 50th anniversary
screening of the Oscar-winning Best Picture of 1968, Oliver!, the much-loved film version
of Lionel Bart’s hit stage musical. The movie was nominated for 11 Academy
Awards and won six, also including Best Director Carol Reed and a special award
for choreographer Onna White. Reed, the acclaimed British director of such
classic films as The Third
Man and The Fallen
Idol, had been working since the 1930s and finally received the
Academy’s top honor for this late work.
Charles Dickens’ iconic 19th century novel, Oliver Twist, the heart-rending tale of an orphan who falls in
with a band of thieves in London, has been filmed many times over the years;
the first version was done in the silent era, and David Lean directed a
brilliant rendition in 1948, with Alec Guinness as Fagin. In 1960 Lionel Bart
wrote the book, music, and lyrics for a musical theater version of the novel
which scored an enormous success in London and later in New York. Ron Moody,
who had played the part of Fagin in London, reprised his role for the film
version, and the cast also included Shani Wallis as Nancy, Jack Wild as the
Artful Dodger, Oliver Reed (the director’s nephew) as the villainous Bill
Sikes, Oscar-winner Hugh Griffith as the Magistrate, and charming newcomer Mark
Lester as Oliver.
The 1960s was a great decade for movie musicals, with three earlier films—West Side Story, My Fair Lady, and The Sound of Music—scoring Best
Picture wins. Oliver!,
however, turned out to be the last musical film to win the Academy’s top award
until Chicago took
the prize 34 years later. Reed’s film earned outstanding reviews from most
critics. Roger Ebert declared, “Sir Carol Reed’s Oliver! is a treasure of a movie.” Pauline Kael also
admired Reed’s achievement: “Oliver! has
been made by people who know how; it’s a civilized motion picture, not only
emotionally satisfying but so satisfyingly crafted that we can sit back and
enjoy what is going on…there’s something restorative about a movie that is made
for a mass audience and that respects that audience.”
Kael also had high praise for the
performers. “As Nancy,” Kael wrote, “Shani Wallis is an unexpected
pleasure—hearty (as Dickens described her), with a tough vitality that brings
poignancy to the role.” Wallis got to perform some of Bart’s best songs,
including the rousing “It’s A Fine Life” and the romantic ballad, “As Long As
He Needs Me.” Wallis has had an extensive career performing in musical theater
and in nightclubs, and she also has many credits in British and American
The Ahyra Fine
Arts is located at 8556 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211. The phone number is (310) 478-3836.