Henry Hobson (Charles Laughton) is a successful bootmaker, a widower and a tyrannical father of three daughters. The girls each want to leave their father by getting married, but Henry refuses because marriage traditions require him to pay out settlements.
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1880s Salford, England. Widowed Henry Hobson, owner and operator of Hobson's Boots, lives with his three adult daughters, Maggie, Alice, and Vicky, in a flat attached to the shop. Henry is miserly, dipsomaniacal, and tyrannical, not allowing his daughters to date since their sole purpose in life is in service to him and the shop (receiving no wages for their services). He changes his mind about Alice and Vicky, for whom he will choose husbands, despite these romantic ones already having chosen the men they would marry if given the opportunity. Henry will, however, not provide them with a dowry, which may prove to be a challenge in finding them men he would consider suitable husbands. Concerning Maggie, he believes her far too useful to him as the overly efficient and organized one to let go, and too old at age thirty for any man to want anyway. Incensed by her father's attitude, Maggie decides she must show him how wrong he is about her being an unmarryingable spinster. As such, she ...Written by
When the opening scene goes inside the store, it pauses to show the front door, complete with the blind rolled down. A little later Hobson lets himself in but the blind on the door is now up. See more »
Made by one of the greatest practitioners of film making ever, this is a superb story with excellent characters. I defy anyone not to enjoy Charles Laughton's towering performance. There is so much in this film to revel in. I love the way the men constantly think they are running the show when in fact the women are. Laughton clings on to the last vestiges of male power but is no match for his intelligent daughter played by Brenda de Banzie. The opening shot alone is superb with the wooden boot creaking in the wind. Although this is a slightly ominous first shot, the film soon becomes peppered with touches of comedy throughout. The scene when Hobson walks back from the Moonrakers pub is wonderful and sublime. Purely magical cinema as he looks at the moon reflected in the puddles and tries to catch it. Lean lets us take in the scene instead of rushing it. This film is often overlooked when people talk about Lean's oeuvre. I have no idea why.
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