Friday, February 25, 2011

Tom Jones

Blogger's search function claims I haven't blogged about Tom Jones before. It's coming up late tonight at 12:15 AM ET.

Albert Finney stars as Tom Jones, foundling, who is discovered by the Squire Allworthy (George Devine) and raised at the Allworthy estate. Unfortunately, little Tom is a randy bastard, as he finds he likes all the girls, consequences be damned. He loves Sophie (Susannah York), who is the daughter of another Squire (Hugh Griffith), but doesn't get her since he's sleeping with the other women and gets caught out. Fast forward some time, and Jones makes his way to London, where Sophie is set to be betrothed to the legitimate heir of Squire Allworthy (David Warner). Tom rekindles his relationship with Sophie, but the loss of honor that he causes threatens to have him hanged, with only a seeming deus ex machina able to save him.

There's something about Tom Jones in which the plot isn't particularly special, but the telling of the story is. Finney gives a wonderful performance as the almost-hyper Tom, and everybody around him is either suitably enamored or suitably enraged as the situation warrants. The movie is helped as well by lovely cinematography making a country England of the mid-18th century look beautiful; much more so than the back lots that stood in for 1780s England in The Divine Lady a few days back. And then there's the music. It's original music, but composed to sound like the style that whould have been in vogue around 1750 in the UK, and is just as frenetic as good young Tom himself. Everybody looks as though they're having enormous fun making this movie.

And you'll have just as much fun watching it as they must have had making it.

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