Sunday, January 11, 2015

The 'Artful Dodger' from 'Oliver!'


I was a bit under the gun to get the 'Victorian' entry done for this week's theme challenge but I knew I had failsafe with one particular figure in my inventory. 

Probably my first exposure to the Victorian period was as a child seeing the movie 'Oliver!' 


As many will agree it's often seen as a magical film for children, yet it has undeniably dark and troubling undertones. 

Victorian England's use of child labour, the extreme urban poverty (with its attendant crime) and the huge gap between the classes were core thematic elements in both Dickens' book and Carol Reed's film. Nonetheless, in amongst these grim surroundings are a set of characters which bring a spark of humanity and optimism to their place in life. We have the well-meaning crime boss Fagin, the irrepressible barmaid Nancy and the kind patrician Mr. Brownlow who all give Oliver hope and a sense that the world may not be all that bleak. 



Another character in this vein, and one of my favourites in the film, is the 'Artful' Dodger played brilliantly by the late Jack Wild. 



I remember as a kid thinking that the 'Dodger' was the absolute cat's pyjamas - craftily resourceful, embarrassingly brash and unfailingly optimistic. So, with this in mind I present to you my vision of the quintessential Victorian rogue : 'The Artful Dodger'




To conclude I leave you with the scene from 'Oliver!' where the Artful Dodger first introduces himself to Oliver.  Many will know it, some will not, but I'm sure for all it will bring a smile. 




17 comments:

  1. You've really managed to capture the likeness of the character with this one. Excellent work Curt!

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    1. Cheers Samuli. The coat colour was a bit of a bugger to blend but it seemed to come off alright. I had to stay off the cappuccino for an afternoon so I wouldn't shake when doing the pinstripes. :)

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  2. Excellent work Curt. I must admit that the Dodger has always been my favourite Dickens character :)

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  3. Really my favourite movie version of this book. You did a great job on the figure.

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    1. Thanks John, I knew you'd like it as you're a huge fan of Dickens

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  4. You've done the little rapscallion proud there Curt. Absolutely tremendous work.

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    1. Thanks Michael, very kind of you to say.

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  5. Great piece mate! Really nails it to the character!

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  6. Great stuff indeed, I specially like the richness of the colours you used. If you like Dodger that much you should really read Terry Pratchett's "Dodger" and "Dodger's guide to London" both hilarious and full of quotes from Dickens' own published inquiries after London's underbelly. A great source for scenario's if ever I saw one.

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    1. Thanks Sander! I've been a bit wary of Pratchett's work as he often seems too clever by half but I'll have to check these titles out based on your recommendation.

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    2. I have almost all of his works in my bookcases and actually his earlier work better than these two which are fairly recent. These are less complicated and read away like a regular novel.

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  7. Awesome, Love the Dodger fig, would fit right in with my 1830's armies.

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    1. I'm delighted you like him Cincinnatus.

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