England, about 1830
Shortly after Oliver´s mother gives birth to Oliver she dies. Oliver is now raised up in a workhouse under the strict rules of Mr. Bumble. Because of asking for some more gruel, Oliver is apprenticed to the undertaker Mr. Sowerberry. After a short time, Noah Claypole, another apprentice of the Sowerberry´s, bosses Oliver around and insults Oliver´s dead mother. Finally, Oliver makes his way to London where he meets Jack Dawkins who invites him to join his gang. Oliver accepts and there he meets the Artful Dodger, who trains children pickpocketing.
First, Oliver thinks it’s a game, but after he sees how Jack Dawkins robs an old man he recognizes that it’s not. Although he didn’t rob the man, he gets accused until the bookshop owner tells the judge that two other boys were the real robbers.
Now Oliver lives in a better home and is looked after by Mr. Brownlow. Mr. Brownlow soon trusts Oliver and sends him to a friend who he owed some money to. On his way he gets caught by Bill Sikes and Nancy, two other members of the gang. Oliver is forced to break into the house of Mr. Brownlow, but fails in his attempt.
Nancy, who knows Mr. Brownlow, secretly meets him at night under a bridge to talk about Oliver’s situation. What she doesn’t know is that Bill Sikes, her husband, knows about this meeting. Finally, Sikes brutally murders Nancy. Within no time, all of London knows about the murder. Bill Sikes escapes and while escaping he recognizes that his dog is a silent witness to the murder. The dog runs away to the police and leads them to the secret hiding place of Bill Sikes. After a few minutes all of London is near his hiding place.
Bill Sikes tries to flee, but accidentally hangs himself on the way. Artful Dodger and the rest of the gang are caught. Artful Dodger is hung by the police. Oliver is now content and feels loved for the first time in his life in the house of Mr. Brownlow.
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