At the Movies

Since I think many of us regard Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial beginning of summer, I wanted to pick a fun movie that put us in the proper mood. This gave me the perfect excuse to choose a film I’ve been waiting to share. A great comedic romp,  Tom Jones is a hilarious bawdy classic that is a wonderful translation of Henry Fielding’s satirical novel.

Tony Richardson’s tour de force is fabulous not just because of the wonderful narrative and acting but also the creative cinematic technique that inspired so many later films. The combination of freeze frames with voice overs, silent movie scenes, printed titles and inspired score all contribute to the success of this artistic d’oeuvre. And it did not go unnoticed in 1963, as the film won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best screenplay, and Music.

Albert Finney is at his most charming (and handsome) in his role as the dashing Tom Jones, an 18th century womanizing young man sleeping his way across the English countryside. His escapades get him into just enough mischief along the way to keep things interesting. And even though this is in essence a period film, the innovative film techniques give it an appropriate 60’s feel – so it’s got vintage appeal across the centuries.

In addition, there is a fantastic supporting cast. In fact 3 of the actresses were nominated for best supporting role Oscars. The late Susannah York is sublime as Jones’ main love interest and one of my favorite character actors, Hugh Griffith, is perfect as Squire Western. Add to the mix the talent of Joan Greenwood, Dame Edith Evans, David Tomlinson and others, as well as exquisite scenery and beautiful costumes, and you have a visual feast!

photo © John Springer Collection/CORBI

Here is a little clip to give you a taste of this wild ride. Hold on to your hat! And happy weekend!!


20 thoughts on “At the Movies

  1. You always come up wtih such goodies that would likely remain well hidden, thanks for well written review. I am going to send this post to my parents who are major movie buffs particuarly of classics of this genre, and who might well know of this but if they dont’ have a feeling they would really enjoy it. Enjoy your holiday weekend…hope its relaxing!

  2. I actually forward these to my dad. He knows just about every motion picture from the days of old. I always like to see if one has slipped by :) This is always such a great feature post, one of a kind! XO, Kelly

  3. I am on my way to the library…perhaps a double bill for the weekend? I will add “Dangerous Liaisons” and perhaps the great Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon”.
    Sweet….thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. I remember living in Boston and CT, this was always the start of summer and wearing white shoes. LOL! Looks like a fun movie and I will add it to my netflix.

  5. I love it when you share fabulous old movies…I am in desperate need of a fabulous make you feel good movie…I dragged my poor husband last night to see Brides Maid in Stamford…I almost ended in divorce court! Embarrassingly idiotic bad movie, will enjoy a netflix movie instead.
    have a great memorial day week end

    • So funny Francine – I just went with husband to see Bridesmaids in Stamford as well (on 2nd son’s recommendation – should have known better). Husband didn’t mind it as much as I did. Only movie of this genre I liked was Wedding Crashers. All others I find totally insipid. Wishing you a lovely weekend as well – where’s the sun?!

  6. I love your movie Fridays…you always introduce me to some treasure or another! This looks like a lot of fun, need to add it to my ever growing que,
    finally got to see The Kings Speech on pay per view last night! Loved it!:)

  7. Love your reminder of this fabulous movie. Adding it to my Netflix list. Love seeing Susannah York in your pictures. What a cast and what a book! Have a great weekend!

  8. looks like a fun movie..will add it to my list of “must see” films…

    …and I, too, have been busy, was hoping no one would notice my absence from the comment section…will get caught up soon…

    can’t wait to see what your new endeavor is….


  9. That Tom Jones is such a rascal! Such a fun movie and I still can’t get over how handsome Albert was. It’s amazing to me that this is the book that Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy connected over….I wonder what she really thought of it!
    Have a lovely weekend…
    xo J~

  10. I have so been meaning to watch this film for some time now — it is on the must-watch list that I have been accumulating. It looks wonderful and I definitely have to bring it to the top of my list :)

    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend,

  11. A perfect pick!!!

    Well, the weather held out…so hope you’re enjoying the weekend as much as we are!

    Off to the Little Flower School today….beach tomorrow.
    xo Elizabeth

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