Hobson's Choice ()

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Henry Hobson 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... See more »

  • Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 4 nominations.
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Cast verified as complete

Henry Hobson
William Mossop
Brenda de Banzie ...
Maggie Hobson
Alice Hobson
Vicky Hobson
Albert Prosser
Freddy Beenstock
Mrs. Hepworth
Joseph Tomelty ...
Jim Heeler
Julien Mitchell ...
Sam Minns
Philip Stainton ...
Ada Figgins
Mrs. Figgins
Dr. McFarlane
Nathaniel Beenstock
Jack Howarth ...
Tubby Wadlow
Herbert C. Walton ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Old Lady Buying Shoelaces (uncredited)
Leonard Sharp ...
Tailor who rents shop to William Mossop (uncredited)
Robert Brooks Turner ...
Beanstock worker who finds Hobson in cellar (uncredited)

Directed by

David Lean

Written by

Harold Brighouse ... (by)
David Lean ... (screenplay) &
Norman Spencer ... (screenplay) and
Wynyard Browne ... (screenplay)
Harold Brighouse ... (play "Hobson's Choice") (uncredited)

Produced by

David Lean ... producer
Norman Spencer ... associate producer

Music by

Malcolm Arnold

Cinematography by

Jack Hildyard ... (photographed by)

Film Editing by

Peter Taylor

Editorial Department

Teddy Darvas ... assembly cutter (uncredited)
Norman Savage ... first assistant editor (uncredited)

Art Direction by

Wilfred Shingleton

Costume Design by

John Armstrong ... (costumes designed by)

Makeup Department

Gladys Atkinson ... hairdresser
George Partleton ... makeup artist
Tony Sforzini ... makeup artist

Production Management

John Palmer ... production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Adrian Pryce-Jones ... assistant director
John George ... third assistant director (uncredited)
Joe Marks ... second assistant director (uncredited)
Bert Pearl ... second assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

William Hutchinson ... assistant art director (as Bill Hutchinson)
James Sawyer ... draughtsman (uncredited)

Sound Department

Buster Ambler ... sound recordist
John Cox ... sound supervisor
Red Law ... sound recordist
Jimmy Dooley ... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Barbara Hopkins ... dubbing crew (uncredited)
Bob Jones ... dubbing crew (uncredited)
Peter Meyers ... assistant boom operator (uncredited)
Ken Ritchie ... boom operator (uncredited)
Ivor Worsley ... dubbing crew (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

Bob Cuff ... matte painter (uncredited)
Wally Veevers ... special processes (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Peter Newbrook ... camera operator
Alan Hall ... clapper loader (uncredited)
Ray Hearne ... still photographer (uncredited)
Dennis C. Lewiston ... clapper loader (uncredited)
Gerry Turpin ... focus puller (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Julia Squire ... costume supervisor

Music Department

Muir Mathieson ... music director

Other crew

Maggie Unsworth ... continuity (as Margaret Shipway)
Margaret Townsend ... production secretary (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

1880s Salford, England. Widowed Henry Hobson, owner/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 in that professional service). 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 unmarriageable spinster. As such, she makes a proposal to timid Willy Mossop, the shop's poor, uneducated and illiterate boot hand (yet best boot maker - apparently better than any boot maker in nearby Manchester), who has known no other professional life than the shop. They enter into a marriage of convenience. Despite the differences in their social classes, Maggie believes she can show her father that she can find a husband while also forcing him to treat Willy better (and by association her) in paying him decent wages, otherwise she will use her wifely influence to convince Willy to take his and her valuable services elsewhere. If their hands are forced, Maggie believes their best weapon is wealthy and particular Mrs. Hepworth, who said she will have no one else but Willy make her boots. Maggie has even taken into consideration what effect her actions will have on her sisters' nuptials, vowing to them that all will be all right in that regard. Although she truly has no idea how her father will react, she also may not have considered Willy, who may already have a life of his own outside the shop. If he does agree, what effect will her plan have on him and his entire being? Written by Huggo/edited by statmanjeff

Plot Keywords
Taglines A Masterpiece of Lusty, Gusty, Rowdy Entertainment See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • David Lean's Production Of Hobson's Choice (United Kingdom)
  • Chaussure à son pied (France)
  • Trois filles à marier (France)
  • El déspota (Spain)
  • La decisió de Hobson (Spain, Catalan title)
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  • 108 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Did You Know?

Trivia Although playing a 30-year-old, Brenda de Banzie was actually 45. See more »
Goofs When Maggie and Will are standing outside the church before their wedding, a cooling tower can be seen to the left of Maggie. It would not have existed in 1800's Salford. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in How About You... (2007). See more »
Quotes Maggie Hobson: I've been watching you for a long time and everything I've seen I've liked. I think you'll do for me.
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