the - Oliver! (1968)

Oliver!  (1968)
Directed by: Carol Reed
Cast: Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Jack Wild, Oliver Reed, Harry Secombe IMDB Database page about Oliver! page about Oliver!

Studio(s): - Shepperton Studios

Shepperton Studios: The entire movie was shot on stages and the backlot at Shepperton starting on June 23,1967 and continuing through the summer.

This classic movie musical was filmed at Shepperton Studios in 1967 and released in 1968.

The production design is an absolute triumph. Every frame of the film was shot at Shepperton Studios during the summer of 1967, under the control of Academy Award-winning production designer John Box (January 27, 1920  - March 7, 2005).

Principal photography began on June 23, 1967. The film was premiered at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square, London, UK on September 26, 1968 in the presence of Her Royal Highness the Princess Margaret.

A total of six soundstages were filled, and the expansive backlot was overflowing with exterior sets for numbers such as 'Consider Yourself' and 'Who Will Buy?'

Despite appearing permanent and solid, the sets were flexible enough to be reconfigured overnight to allow for multiple different setups required for the musical sequences.

The cast had an unusually long rehearsal period prior to the start of photography, of around six months.

The backlot was sold off for housing some years ago.

Here are the main sets featured in the movie:

  • Workhouse
  • Boy For Sale street
    'Boy For Sale' was shot in July despite the required snow setting; exterior shots depended on adequate cloud cover due to the erratic weather in London. The snowballs were made of polystyrene, salt, crazy foam and mashed potatoes. 
  • Sowerberry's Shop
  • Undertaker's Procession past workhouse
  • Prison
  • Road to London
  • London Streets - Consider Yourself
    From DVD Photo Gallery:
    For the construction of the market streets (used in 'Consider Yourself') they consumed 1,000 gallons of paint of various colors, 10 tons of nails and screws, 100 tons of plaster, 110 tons of scaffolding, 350 tons of gravel (for paving roads) and 10,000 cobblestone slabs (for dressing paved roads to look like the 19th century).
    The 350 men who constructed the set came to be known as 'Box's Army' as they carried out the orders of production designer John Box.
  • Bloomsbury - Who Will Buy?
    The massive "Bloomsbury" terrace of houses was constructed especially for the film on the Shepperton backlot, and was NOT, as is frequently said, filmed at the Royal Crescent in Bath, UK.
    The 'Who Will Buy' sequence took six weeks to film.
  • Docks and Streets leading to Fagin's Den
  • 'Oom Pah Pah' pub
  • Fagin's Den


  • Some of the sets remained standing for many years after their construction, and were used in other projects including The Best House in London (1969).
    Some sets were still around during production of Star Wars in 1977. [ref]


Making of Oliver!

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