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
Although the first reviews in London were far from favourable, audiences discovered the film on their own and turned it into a huge hit before it opened in the U.S. See more »
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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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)
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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