1963 • Tom Jones

Tom Jones, 1963 Best Picture winnerTuesday night, Lauren and I set aside a couple hours to watch the next movie in our Best Picture project, 1983’s Terms of Endearment, but I was alarmed to find the Netflix disc was literally broken down the middle.  I thought perhaps it was also available on our PS3 Netflix instant queue, but it wasn’t.  Instead, we learned that one of the four movies we’ve missed so far, 1963’s Tom Jones, had become available on our instant queue and we watched that instead!

Tom Jones stars a young Albert Finney in the title role.  I know Finney best for his more recent roles in Big Fish and Erin Brockovich, but the younger Finney proved to be just as talented.  In the movie, Tom is born a bastard child to one of Squire Allworthy’s servants in 1749 England.  Allworthy decides to raise the child as his own, and years later Tom is a charming, good-looking fellow with ladies fawning over him.

This romantic comedy follows Tom as he falls for the high-class beauty Sophie Western, but cannot marry her due to her high standing and him being a bastard child.  Tom is eventually cast out of his luxurious family estate after some deception by his pseudo-brother, who hopes to inherit the bulk of his father’s vast fortunes when he dies.  We follow Tom on some strange journeys as he walks to London to start a new life.  But can he ever reunite with Sophie Western?

Surprisingly, I found Tom Jones light-hearted and easy to follow.  It is also one of the few true comedies on the list so far, and though I don’t recall laughing out loud, I did find it amusing and whimsical.  The tone of the movie was set by the cheerful music and the characters frequently breaking the “fourth wall” by looking and speaking directly into the camera.

For a British movie from the early 1960s based in the mid-1700s, I was surprisingly a fan of Tom Jones.  Why it took so long to come out on DVD, I’m not sure.  I am happy to say we can cross this one off the list as we wait for our new Terms of Endearment disc to be delivered.

1 Comment

  1. I’ve never heard of this movie…I thought it was going to be about Tom Jones, the singer. YUCK!

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