Tom Jones

Tom Jones

NR

1963

128 minutes

Winner of four Oscars— including Best Picture—from ten nominations, Tom Jones changed the face of both "period" cinema and literary adaptations overnight and forever. Adapting Henry Fielding's rambunctious novel about the adventures of a bawdy, boozing, brawling young man in mid-18th century England, Tony Richardson and screenwriter John Osborne deliver a knockabout slice of country life that depicts a bygone era with blazing immediacy. As the eponymous swaggering hero, Albert Finney became an international sensation in a film that propelled him (and us) from kitchen-sink realism into the exhilaration of Britain's Swinging Sixties. His cheeky, irresistible, insatiable Tom is a wonderful creation, whose devil-may-care attitude outrages the pillars of respectable society. That legendary bar-room dining-table scene opposite Joyce Redman (both of them Oscar-nominated) surely remains cinema's most sensually sizzling slice of foreplay ever committed to celluloid. This is a dazzlingly audacious and innovative picture—with inventive cinematography from the great Walter Lassally—studded with memorable set-pieces from start to finish. Time magazine called it "An absolutely magnificent movie... a way-out, walleyed, wonderful exercise in cinema... social satire written in blood with a broadaxe."

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