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
Albert Finney felt the lead role wasn't serious enough, and agreed to star only if he got a producing credit; he later traded the credit for profit participation. See more »
After Lady Bellaston reads Tom's letter proposing marriage, she wads it into a small ball, clearly wrinkling it. In the next scene, Lady Bellaston shows the letter to Sophie's aunt, but now it is smooth and uncrumpled. 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.
When the film was first submitted to the BBFC, director John Trevelyan suggested to Tony Richardson that the film would pass as an 'A' (under 16's accompanied) if he removed a shot of Mrs Waters cradling an oyster on her tongue before swallowing it during the famous eating sequence. Richardson refused and the film was passed as an 'X' (no over-16's allowed). All UK releases since then have been cut by 12 secs to remove shots from a cockfight scene, which is regarded as cruel animal activity by the BBFC. See more »
Thirty Seven years later.......it remains a splendid piece of art
Just two hundred years after Henry Fielding's novel appeared, the theatre-actor-turned-cinema-director Sir Tony Richardson rounded up a few Shakespearean-trained prodigees, got John Addison to compose hectic clavichord accompaniment a little in the style of Handel operas and set all this against lush photography to produce one of the most hilarious films of the last five hundred years. Fielding's novel ? which is a most definite recommendation ? rather cynically but good-humouredly exposed mid-eighteenth century British hypocrisy at its best and the landed gentry's obsession for fox-hunting at its worst. Richardson directed all this a bit like an elderly Sir Thomas Beecham ('the important thing is we all start and stop together; nobody notices what happens in between') raising his baton in front of the London Symphony Orchestra: the result in both cases is astounding. Richardson conducts his piece at a tremendous pace, Addison's clavichord tripping along gaily so as to keep up the illusion, and visual sequences such as a young trouserless Albert Finney escaping out of a window, shinning down a tree and running off into the nocturnal depths of a beech forest, all combine to keep you breathlessly awaiting the next scene. Susannah York is just delicious, with that innocent facial beauty that raises heartbeats, especially in the latter parts; and Angela Baddely as Mrs. Wilkins and Diane Cilento as Molly play some great scenes. And some of the great scenes are worth telling...... Tom and Mrs. Wilkins enjoy a good roast with fruit, eating lusciously and lascivously, eating each other up with their sparkling eyes: this scene is hugely delightful. The other great scene is the fox-hunt: this alone puts the whole film into a special category: brilliant film-making, almost comparable to the famous chariot race in Ben Hur........ I loved this film 37 years ago, and recently had the luck to see it again: having doubled my years, I was just as enthralled and enraptured as the first time. A splendid piece of art.
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