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 ... See full summary »
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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
One of the dogs on Squire Allworthy's estate is a Golden Retriever. It can be seen trying to follow Tom when he is banished from the estate. The film is set during the time of the Jacobite Rebellion which began in 1745. The Golden Retriever was first bred in Scotland in 1868, more than 100 years after the time when the film was set. See more »
In the west of England there was once a Squire Allworthy. After several months in London he returns home.
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This is an adaptation of a large book, a Henry Fielding novel. In the early 1700's the growing middle class in Europe, especially in the British Empire, became literate. As an entertainment to get through the long hours of new leisure, novels flew from the printing presses. Tom Jones was a hit from the first. It was a bawdy tale with amusing detail. It is lucky that an experienced playwright like John Osborne was assigned the screenplay and double lucky that a fine director, Tony Richardson brought the tale to life.
Indeed, Richardson is a poet with the lush English countryside. Since much of the film depicts Tom Jones' amorous adventures in the grass with Molly Seagram, the peasant wench, on a skiff with the Squire's daughter, Sophie, in the tavern with Mrs.Wilkens, and in the suites of a countess, the bawdy adventures spin by as food shoots from the mouths of lovers. There are also duels, a misunderstanding about the linage of the Jones baby, and an unwanted suitor for the lovely Sophie, Susan York.
I saw this film as a teen in 1963 and it telegraphed a new sense of modernism and sexual freedom without pretense that is ironic since Fielding's story was hundreds of years old on the eve of the Beatles and the swinging London of the 60's.
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