There is a wealth of charm, humor and fine characterization in David Lean's picture [of Harold Brighouse's play] made under the Korda banner. The period comedy, with a Lancashire setting, is essentially British in its makeup. Charles Laughton returned to his native country to star.

There is a wealth of charm, humor and fine characterization in David Lean’s picture [of Harold Brighouse’s play] made under the Korda banner. The period comedy, with a Lancashire setting, is essentially British in its makeup. Charles Laughton returned to his native country to star.

Laughton plays the widower Hobson, a shoemaker with three unmarried daughters, one of whom is regarded as being permanently on the shelf. After all, as he is always explaining to his cronies in the saloon, she is past it at 30. But the daughter will have none of it; she railroads one of her father’s assistants into marriage.

Although Laughton richly overplays every major scene, his performance remains one of the film’s highlights. Mills also makes a major contribution in his interpretation of the illiterate shoemaker’s assistant who learns to assert himself. Brenda de Banzie captures top femme honors for her playing of the spirited daughter who triumphs over the ridicule of her father and sisters.

Hobson's Choice

UK

Production

British Lion/London. Dir David Lean; Producer David Lean; Screenplay David Lean, Norman Spencer, Wynyard Browne; Camera Jack Hildyard; Editor Peter Taylor; Music Malcolm Arnold Art Dir Wilfrid Shingleton

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1954. Running time: 107 MIN.

With

Charles Laughton John Mills Brenda de Banzie Daphne Anderson Prunella Scales Richard Wattis
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