Once the 60s delivered the megahit musical Oliver!, it became easy to forget that Dickenss legendary novel is not chockablock with toe-tapping ditties, but is rather a dark, violent and action-packed saga. Director David Lean got it right, however, in his 1948 film Oliver Twist, which screens today at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. From its riveting opening, in which Olivers mother fights relentlessly against a storm so she can give birth in shelter before dying, the black-and-white classic is an emotional tour de force with hints of black comedy courtesy of the Artful Dodger and, of course, the notorious Fagin, played by Alec Guinness. At the very least, we can guarantee that Consider Yourself wont be stuck in your head for the following week. The film screens at 5 and 7 p.m. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/films. $6 to $7.
Sun., Jan. 4, 5 & 7 p.m., 2009