×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tom Jones

Though "Tom Jones" is a period piece and very different it has the same lustiness and boisterous content with which to project the star. It should breeze its way cheerfully through the boxoffice figures. It has sex, Eastmancolor, some prime performers and plenty of action. Tony Richardson has directed John Osborne's screenplay with verve, though, occasionally, he falls back on camera tricks and and editing which are disconcerting.

With:
Tom Jones - Albert Finney Sophie Western - Susannah York Squire Western - Hugh Griffith Miss Western - Edith Evans Lady Bellaston - Joan Greenwood Molly Seagrim - Diane Cilento Squire Allworthy - George Devine Lord Fellamar - David Tomlinson Mrs. Miller - Rosa1ind Atkinson Black George - Wilfrid Lawson Mrs. Fitzpatrick - Rosalind Knight Partridge - Jack MacGowran Mrs. Seagrim Freda Jackson Blifil - David Warner Mrs. Waters (Jenny Jones) - Joyce Redman Parson Supple - James. Cairnososs Bridget Allworthy - Rarhael Kempson Thwackum - Peter Bull Mrs. Wilkins - Angela Baddeley Mrs. Fitzpatrick - George A. Cooper

It’s been a long wait for Albert Finney’s film follow-up to “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.” And though “Tom Jones” is a period piece and very different it has the same lustiness and boisterous content with which to project the star. It should breeze its way cheerfully through the boxoffice figures. It has sex, Eastmancolor, some prime performers and plenty of action. Tony Richardson has directed John Osborne’s screenplay with verve, though, occasionally, he falls back on camera tricks and and editing which are disconcerting.

Based on Henry Fielding’s enduring novel, story is set in Somerset, a West Country lush county, and in London during the 18th Century. Hero is Tom Jones (Albert Finney), born in suspicious circumstances, with a maidservant dismissed because she is suspected of being his unwed mother. He is brought up by Squire Aliworthy (George Devine) and leads a rollicking life in which women play a prominent part before he finally escapes the gallows after a frame-up. He finds a presumably happy ending in the arms of a neighboring daughter, Sophie, played in rather over-genteel style by Susannah York.

Ramifications of the plot, which enables Finney to indulge in considerable sexual activity with a variety of delectable dames, are too complicated to need discussion. But the somewhat sprawling, bawdy and vivid screenplay of Osborne’s provides some meaty acting opportunities and the thesps grasp their chances with vigorous zest.

Finney is big league. He slips through his adventures with an ebullient gusto that keeps the over-long film on its toes for most of the time. Hugh Griffith and Edith Evans as Squire Western and his sister ham disarmingly. Miss Evans has some of the choicer cameos in the film. Joan Greenwood, George Devine and Wilfrid Lawson are others who get top credits for their work. Angela Baddeley, Rosalind Knight, Rachel Kampson, Jack MacGowran, Freda Jackson and Joyce Redman are others and rate benevolent nods. David Tomlinson with a brief but effective comedy appearance in a guest role as ani aristocratic heel, and Diana Cilanto have limited roles but nevertheless prove that it makes sense to bring stars with knowhow to do brief jobs.

Eastmancolor captures some good location and period stuff, lensed well by Walter Lassally, particularly in the Newgate Prison sequence as well as a fox hunting episode.

Director Richardson has occasionally pressed his luck with some over-deliberate arty camera bits. The music of John Addison is a trifle obtrusive and lacking in period style. However, “Tom Jones” measures up as a genial energetic comedy, with an added bonus of Michael MacLiammoir putting over occasional narration with his usual smooth wit and perception.

—Rich.

Tom Jones

Production: United Artists release of a (Tony Richardson) Woodfall production. Directed by Tony Richardson. Screenplay, John Osborne, based on Henry Fielding's novel

Crew: Narrator, Michael MacLiammoir; camera, Waiter Lassaily; editor, Antony Gibbs; music, John Addison. At London Pavillon. Running time, 128 MINS.

With: Tom Jones - Albert Finney Sophie Western - Susannah York Squire Western - Hugh Griffith Miss Western - Edith Evans Lady Bellaston - Joan Greenwood Molly Seagrim - Diane Cilento Squire Allworthy - George Devine Lord Fellamar - David Tomlinson Mrs. Miller - Rosa1ind Atkinson Black George - Wilfrid Lawson Mrs. Fitzpatrick - Rosalind Knight Partridge - Jack MacGowran Mrs. Seagrim Freda Jackson Blifil - David Warner Mrs. Waters (Jenny Jones) - Joyce Redman Parson Supple - James. Cairnososs Bridget Allworthy - Rarhael Kempson Thwackum - Peter Bull Mrs. Wilkins - Angela Baddeley Mrs. Fitzpatrick - George A. Cooper

More Film

  • Mid 90s

    Jonah Hill's 'mid90s,' Pauline Kael Documentary to Screen in Berlin's Panorama Section

    Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, “mid90s,” about a 13-year-old skateboarder’s coming of age, and a documentary on influential film critic Pauline Kael are among the works that will screen in the Panorama section of the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. Films starring Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell and titles from countries including Israel, Brazil and Japan were [...]

  • 'Your Name' Director Makoto Shinkai Readies

    ‘Your Name' Director Makoto Shinkai Readies 'Weathering'

    Three years after the animation “Your Name” began its long triumphant reign over the Japanese and international box office, its director Makoto Shinkai has announced his next animated feature. Titled “Weathering With You,” the film will arrive in theaters in Japan on July 19 of next year, with Toho distributing. Set in a world where [...]

  • Berlin: The Match Factory Boards New

    Berlin: The Match Factory Boards Competition Titles From Fatih Akin, Emin Alper (EXCLUSIVE)

    German indie powerhouse The Match Factory will handle world sales on two Berlin Film Festival competition titles: German director Fatih Akin’s serial-killer chiller “The Golden Glove” and Turkish director Emin Alper’s family drama “A Tale of Three Sisters.”  Akin, a Hamburg native whose “Head-On” won the Golden Bear in 2004, is returning to the Berlinale [...]

  • First-Look Image Revealed for ‘Monday,’ Starring

    First-Look Image Revealed for ‘Monday,’ Starring ‘Captain America’s’ Sebastian Stan

    The first-look image from Greek director Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ “Monday,” starring Sebastian Stan – best known for “I, Tonya” and the “Captain America” movies – and “Colette’s” Denise Gough, has been released. Protagonist Pictures will launch international sales on the pic in Berlin. “Monday” follows the story of Mickey (Stan) and Chloe (Gough), two Americans in [...]

  • The Wedding

    Film Review: 'The Wedding'

    Two considerations need to exist side by side when discussing “The Wedding,” the debut feature of Egyptian-American multihyphenate Sam Abbas. One involves the film itself, a dull slice of Lower Manhattan mumblecore about a heterosexual New York couple fitfully planning their wedding until she discovers his gay dalliance. The other, getting the lion’s share of [...]

  • The Best Gifts For Film Buffs

    Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Gifts For Film Buffs

    Whether you know a film buff who needs to upgrade their collection, or you just want to upgrade your movie nights at home, here are eight gifts that will cast your favorite flicks in a whole new light. 1. Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema: The Criterion Collection More Reviews Film Review: 'The Wedding' Film Review: 'Malila: The [...]

  • Ansel Elgort The Great High School

    Film News Roundup: Ansel Elgort to Star in 'The Great High School Imposter'

    In today’s film news roundup, Ansel Elgort is going to high school, “Rockaway” gets a release, and “Suspiria” producer Bradley Fischer is honored. CASTING More Reviews Film Review: 'The Wedding' Film Review: 'Malila: The Farewell Flower' Ansel Elgort has come aboard to star in the drama “The Great High School Imposter” for Participant Media and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content