Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – Tom Jones (1963)

Starring Albert Finney, Susannah York & Hugh Griffith

Rating 5/10

Hear Ye, Hear Ye. This here’s a tale of chuckles and gut grabbing (in a strictly laughing sense, not vomiting). Alas it seems that the Squire Allworthy (George Devine) has brought up a ‘bastard’ child as his own, a child that grows to be our Tom (Finney). Tom Jones, a man stuck in a world of duelling and swooning without a decent letter to his name.

He is a kind hearted gentleman. If only he had legitimate parents, then he could wed his beloved sweetheart, Sophie Western (York). Alack it is not to be, for dear Sophie has been promised to the Squire Allworthy’s dastardly nephew with the equally dastardly name, Blifil (David Warner). Oooo you just want to take him by the ear and kick him out on his ass, you do.

Twist time. Bilfil’s mother, the widow Bridget (Rachel Kempson) suddenly dies after sending an important letter for the Squire to read. Evil Bilfil intercepts this letter with another twist contained and stashes it on his person for the great big reveal at the end! He and some fellas convince the stupid Squire Allworthy that poor Tom is a bad fella and needs a good walloping. With head held low, Allworthy kicks Tom out.

Then Tom sets out on a journey filled with women, swordfights and corrupt officials. Meanwhile his beloved Sophie escapes the clutches of the scheming Bilfil, searching for her equally beloved Tom-daaaarling. They both end up in grand old London, narrowly missing each other, to build the suspense. Tom eventually finds himself being hanged and that, my dear readers is where we’ll leave you. For there are many twists to come.

This was a ground breaking film. It begins as a silent film, who can say ‘BRILLIANT’?  Director Tony Richardson had way too much fun with this film. The daring Tony breaks all the rules of film, often getting rid of that 4th wall. His actors also defy the rules of cinema, acting and everything else with moving pictures and actually look at the camera.  Tom himself actually plays with the camera, hanging his hat on it at one stage. Tisk, tisk. But oh so good.

This is one of the first films to do this. And what a surprise it would have been to the audience. Back in the early 60s no one would have expected such defiant filmmaking. It was the birth of modern comedy so check it and let us know what you think!

Tom Jones Trivia:

  • Budget – Around $1,000,000
  • Hugh Griffith, who played Squire Western, Sophie’s dad, was drunk during most of the filming which actually saved his life when his horse fell on him. Thankfully this was kept in the film so check it out!
  • The director was Rachel Kempson’s son-in-law and was married to Vanessa Redgrave. Yep it pays to know people who know people in Hollywood!
  • The path the horses ride on in the hunt scene clearly shows tyre marks…OOOPS!
From comedy, we scoot back over to the musical cinema. That’s right, are you ready, yep it’s My Fair Lady starring the incredible Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.

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One comment on “Best Picture – Tom Jones (1963)

  1. Pingback: Academy Awards- Best Pictures 1927-2009 | Guide to be a winner

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