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In eighteenth century England, "first cousins" Tom Jones and Master Blifil grew up together in privilege in the western countryside, but could not be more different in nature. Tom, the bastard son of one of Squire Allworthy's servants Jenny Jones and the local barber Partridge, was raised by virtuous Allworthy as his own after he sent Jenny away. Tom is randy, chasing anything in a skirt, he having a sexual relationship on the sly with Molly Seagrim, the peasant daughter of Allworthy's gamekeeper. Tom is nonetheless kind-hearted and good-natured, he who is willing to defend that and those in which he believes. Blifil, on the other hand, is dour, and although outwardly pious, is cold-hearted and vengeful. Despite his randiness, Tom eventually falls in love with Sophie Western, who has just returned to the area after a few years abroad. Despite Sophie's love for Tom, Squire Western and his spinster sister would rather see Sophie marry Blifil rather than a bastard, who Western ... Written by
Tome Jones came out of the wonderful 60's when all the stuffy conventions of British theater, film and music were turned upside down. I first saw this film while stationed in Wiltshire in the Royal Air Force, and having grown up in the industrial West Riding of Yorkshire, my eyes had only recently been opened to the staggering beauty of the English countryside.
Tom Jones represented that unspoiled English countryside to me. I could smell the hay, the wildflowers and the livestock. Never mind that unless you were rich it was serf labor, I saw England through a wonderful fantasy of a film. The action never stopped. This movie was just hilarious from beginning to end. No glossing over the crude realities of country life - this was a period when the poor folk shared their hovels with the chickens and other small animals, when sex was raw, albeit punished on Sundays, and when the local gentry had their way with the wenches.
Rarely has there been such a belly laugh of a movie. Laugh until the tears roll down your face.
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