Great Expectations (1946), which aired last week to honor Sir David Lean's birthday, is airing again today, at 10 a.m. ET, to honor another birthday: Sir Alec Guinness's centennial. (I had hoped for Oliver Twist as well, but no such luck!)
Everyone's talking Oscars tonight, so let's get into the swim! Here, with help from IMDb, is a list of the films based on Dickens's books that have received Academy Awards and nominations over the years:
Scrooged (1988): nominated for Best Makeup.
Little Dorrit (1988): nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Alec Guinness) and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Mickey's Christmas Carol (1984): nominated for Best Short Film, Animated.
Scrooge (1970): nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Song ("Thank You Very Much"), and Best Score.
Oliver! (1968): won Best Picture, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Sound, Best Score for a Musical, and an honorary award for choreography (Onna White). Also nominated for Best Actor (Ron Moody), Best Supporting Actor (Jack Wild), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing.
Great Expectations (1946): won Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and White. Also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (David Lean), and Best Writing, Screenplay.
A Tale of Two Cities (1935): nominated for Best Picture and Best Film Editing.
David Copperfield (1935): nominated for Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Assistant Director. (Imagine nominating the assistant director and not the director! I wonder what that was all about.)
What do you suppose Mr. Dickens would wear on the red carpet? Something very dashing, I would think, considering his love for fancy clothes!
Prison Voices, a blog about literary crime and punishment that was created by students at Liverpool John Moores University, has several posts about Oliver Twist, focusing on subjects like the role and fate of Nancy, Dickens's opinion of public executions, and Dickens's working relationship with illustrator George Cruikshank.
Thanks to msantimacassar on LiveJournal for discovering these beautiful book covers online! We thought at first they were real covers for Penguin Classics editions, until we did a little research. Turns out they were done a couple of years ago by artist Rob Zangrillo in his senior year at Tyler School of Art.
Rob told me in an e-mail, "They're student work and aren't actually going to be published (unless somebody over at Penguin Publishing sees them and likes them)." Here's hoping! I would definitely buy editions with these covers!
Sometime back I posted about Spineless Classics, which offers posters with the text of a novel, including some of Dickens's novels, printed on them. The site Litographs goes them one better -- you can get the text of A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, or Great Expectations on a T-shirt or a tote bag, as well as a poster. Wear a Dickens novel as you run errands, and you'll never be bored again while waiting in line!
Ralph Fiennes has an interview in the New York Times about The Invisible Woman and Great Expectations. (The Times claims that the latter is "opening Friday" -- that would be today, I suppose? First I've heard of it, unless perhaps it's opening in extremely limited release in one or two NYC theaters. If you happen to see it playing somewhere near you, let us know!)
The Ledger Independent has a positive review of Vivi Barnes's forthcoming Young Adult novel Olivia Twisted, which updates Oliver Twist and turns the young thieves into hackers.
A new production of A Christmas Carol, in which just five actors will play all the parts, will open off-Broadway later this month.
A Cambridge, Ohio, group called the Rainy Day Writers has collaborated on a book called A Dickens of a Christmas, which describes "how Cambridge, with support from residents, transforms the downtown area into a Dickens Village during the holiday season."
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Bay Area is getting ready for the annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party. It opens November 23.