Evelyn Russell | “Praise for Newton,” Films of the Quarter, Sight & Sound | 1941

Robert Newton Oliver Twist Bill Sikes

Robert Newton (center) as Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist, 1948.

Excerpt from year-in-review style article.

“Praise for Newton”

If, however, any prizes are to be given for fine acting in this country, Robert Newton should receive the highest possible award for his interpretation of the part of the bully, Bill Walker, in Major Barbara, Bernard Shaw’s famous comedy. It is interesting to have yet another of this author’s play so memorably recorded for posterity.

I wonder if American audiences will be as puzzled by Major Barbara as I do not doubt British audiences will be by Tobacco Road. The characters and conditions depicted in the latter do exist, I understand, in America as those depicted in Major Barbara basically do here. Maybe it is a question of direction and production, and Gabriel Pascal has succeeded where John Ford, in spite of a certain distinction, has not.

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