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's 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
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #910. See more »
In the scene where Tom Jones and Sophie Western are riding around on various horses within a barnyard area, one of the barn sheds in the background has an area of its roof repaired with corrugated iron. The story was set in the mid-1700s but corrugated iron wasn't invented until the 1820s. 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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Opening credits: In the west of England there was once a Squire Allworthy. After several months in London he returned home. his sister, Bridget. his servants. after supper. "Mrs. Wilkins!" "aaah!" a baby! abandoned!!! "how did it get here?" "who can the mother be?" "Jenny Jones!" "who is the father Jenny?" "send for Partridge the barber!" Partridge the barber - the father? "I will deal with you later, sir!" "you must be sent away from this shame and degradation." "as for your child . . . . . " "I will bring him up as if he were my own son." "what will you call him brother?" "Tom Jones." of whom the opinion of all was that he was born to be hanged.
For the 1989 reissue/restoration, the director trimmed approx. 7 minutes from the original. The initial home video release in 1981 on the Magnetic Video label contains the full-length original, which includes the following footage/dialogue cut from the reissue:
Tom running from Squire Western; Black George caught for killing sheep; trial
Sophie: "Oh, my little bird."
Molly being called a slut by her family: "You will have a bastard"
Tom/Sophie montage: Tom reading, eating nuts, picking berries, Tom and Sophie singing
Teachers fighting Tom; Tom going around tree; riding teacher
Tom's dream at the Inn
Sophie and Lady Fitzpatrick: Trimmed frames from laughing
Sophie and Lady Fitzpatrick: "What will you do in London?" "I have a friend..."
Sophie and Lady Fitzpatrick: "What about your friend?" "He is away for a few days. When he returns we shall make other arrangements."
Lady Bellaston and Lady Fitzpatrick: "The girl is obviously intoxicated and nothing less than ruin will content her."
Lady Bellaston muttering French phrase at dinner
Lady Bellaston: Dialog after "Are you afraid of the word 'rape'?"
Transition from Bellaston and Fellamore to Tom and Partridge
Transition from Tom and Partridge to "Rape"
Partridge and Tom: "She'll be the one to break it off"; transition to note; dialog: Narrator reads letter, Bellaston remarks to maid not to receive Tom Jones again.
"Scandal are the best sweeteners of tea."; transition
Partridge looking for people to uphold Tom's character (in the original he approaches one man, then two more - scene of him approaching the first man was cut)
No reprise of song for Tom as he's going to be hanged
End titles (re-done for reissue with restoration credits and extended music by 15 seconds, while cutting some of the original company credits)
A fun and fresh screen adaption of British writer Henry Fielding's 18th Century novel of the same name, made at the threshold of the swinging (19)Sixties. Like the original story's French counterpart (Les Liaisons Dangereuses=Dangerous Liaisons), at its heart is a mannered metropolitan love triangle.
But before we arrive in the heart of London the stage is set amidst the lush green English countryside in Summer. Here we first meet the protagonist, Tom Jones, played by Albert Finney in his most youthful bloom, and his extended family representing every facet of post-Glorious Revolution England.
An incorrigible ne'er-do-well, Tom's genuine love for his neighbor Squire Alworthy's daughter Sophie (a very lovely Susannah York), takes him to the heart of fashionable London society in a series of comedic wrong-turns and misunderstandings. Here he becomes embroiled in the games of the jaded aristocrat Lady Bellaston played by Joan Greenwood. Greenwood steals the show as the original Mrs. Robinson and, through her machinations, Tom is led to the gallows. But at the last minute...
Throughout the movie is paced with a modern sense of realism, made effective by hand-held camera sequences and the quick editing of Antony Gibbs. Old-fashioned film techniques are used effectively with eye-to-the-camera realism, and convey an up-to-date feel. There are moments of beauty as well as comedy in this very satisfying entertainment. The cast is stellar with many familiar names--Hugh Griffith, Rachel Kempson, David Warner (in his first movie), the settings realistic, and the the musical score a perfect fit. A great time overall!
An interesting note, supposedly this is the last movie seen by John F. Kennedy (in a White House screening) before he was assassinated.
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