Joseph Andrews is a tired British period piece about leching and wenching amidst the high- and low-life of Henry Fielding’s England. Tony Richardson’s film is a ludicrous mix of underplayed bawdiness and sporadic vulgarity.
Large cast of otherwise British players is headed by Ann-Margret, sometimes appearing grotesque in her rendition of Lady Booby, the noblewoman-with-a-past with the hots for servant Peter Firth in title role.
Fielding’s story of concealed identities and misplaced birth origins has of course been the inspiration for generations of successively updated farce. Herein, Richardson has attempted to pump up the project via the casting of some famed British thesps – John Gielgud, Peggy Ashcroft, Hugh Griffith among some 14 guest stars in cameos.