×
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

  • Atlantics

    Netflix Snags Worldwide Rights to Cannes Winners 'Atlantics,' 'I Lost My Body'

    Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by Netflix following wins at Cannes Film Festival. “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week. The deals are for worldwide rights [...]

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • Moby attends the LA premiere of

    Moby Apologizes to Natalie Portman Over Book Controversy

    Moby has issued an apology of sorts after writing in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he dated Natalie Portman when she was 20 — a claim the actress refuted. “As some time has passed I’ve realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho reacts after winning the

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    CANNES — The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival wrapped with jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu announcing the group’s unanimous decision to award the Palme d’Or to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho for his sly, politically charged “Parasite.” Following last year’s win for humanistic Japanese drama “Shoplifters,” the well-reviewed Asian thriller represents the yin [...]

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão'

    A “tropical melodrama” is how the marketing materials bill “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão.” If that sounds about the most high-camp subgenre ever devised, Karim Aïnouz’s ravishing period saga lives up to the description — high emotion articulated with utmost sincerity and heady stylistic excess, all in the perspiring environs of midcentury Rio de [...]

  • Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The 10 Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The Cannes Film Festival is too rich an event to truly have an “off” year, but by the end of the 72nd edition, it was more or less universally acknowledged that the festival had regained a full-on, holy-moutaintop-of-art luster that was a bit lacking the year before. It helps, of course, to have headline-making movies [...]

  • Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Soaring to $100 Million-Plus Memorial Day Weekend Debut

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” remake is on its way to a commendable Memorial Day weekend debut with an estimated $109 million over the four-day period. The musical fantasy starring Will Smith and Mena Massoud should uncover about $87 million in its first three days from 4,476 North American theaters after taking in $31 million on Friday. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content