Tom Jones

Tom Jones

Director: Tony Richardson Cast: Albert Finney, Susannah York, Hugh Griffith
3.0 2

DVD (Dolby 5.1 / Stereo / Mono)

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Tom Jones 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Albert Finney is the scandalous 'Tom Jones', a squire of young ladies with nothing on their mind but sex. This is the bawdy, gaudy tale of Tom's romantic prowess and how he became the chambermaid's delight. It's told in a rather tongue-in-cheek fashion and celebrated with a lustfully playful score and winning cameo performances throughout. Susannah York crops up as the playful Sophie Western, one of Tom¿s many conquests, much to the chagrin of her stoic and stalwart father (Hugh Griffith). MGM's DVD is one of the worst looking efforts of digital mastering on the market. Where to begin? Colors are muted, dated, unbalanced and bleed throughout. Contrast levels are so low that night scenes look as though they were shot using only the light coming off of a flashlight with dying batteries. Flesh tones are way too orange. Fidelity in general is a mess. Edge enhancement, pixelization, aliasing and shimmering of fine details are excessive and present throughout the film. Digital and film grain are excessively high. There's really no instance where one can simply sit back and enjoy the film. The audio is a disappointing mono. Considering that the previously issued DVD (exhibiting the same disappointing picture quality) was remastered in 'surround sound' the lack of surround on this disc seems odd. There are no extras.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"The whole world loves Tom Jones!" proclaimed the posters hopefully, showing the title character with arms joyfully outstretched as several scantily clad ladies worship at his feet. The slogan proved prophetic. Although it failed originally to obtain a circuit booking, "Tom Jones" broke box-office records when it opened at the London Pavilion--a success repeated when it was finally distributed across Britain and internationally. The film ultimately picked up four Oscars including Best Picture and Director (Tony Richardson) as well as a host of festival and British Academy Awards, and was universally received as one of the undisputed film delights of 1963. The film's success can be attributed to a combination of acting prowess, technical felicity and fortuitous timing. Certainly the film was fortunate in its cast (Albert Finney, Susannah York, Hugh Griffith, Edith Evans, Joan Greenwood, Diane Cilento), who all threw themselves into the period with energy and style. Also, if the distributors were dubious about the commercial potential of a period romp in a film era more noted for social realism, in retrospect it seems that it was precisely this novelty that attracted world audiences. "Tom Jones" brought colorful extravagance back into the British cinema with its vigorous feeling for landscape and costume, while pointing out (in the celebrated stag-hunting scene) some of the century's lingering bestiality and barbarism. There are great sequences in "Tom Jones", but the dining sequence between Tom and Mrs. Waters (delightfully played by an Oscar-nominated Joyce Redman) is the high point of the film and must be counted among the all-time great comic scenes in movie history. Their devouring of food is so erotic that the scene outclasses, on a purely sexual level, any of the frank, nude lovemaking scenes which began to appear on the screen in the 1970s. Lobsters, chickens, oysters, and fruits are sucked, gobbled, licked, and bitten with riotous obscenity. Still unsatisfied, they race from dinner table to bedroom. How they manage to couple with such bloated bellies is a question the film successfully eludes. The film was applauded for bringing a modern style--slapstick comedy, captions, narration, asides to the camera, speeded-up action--to a period classic: creating comedy out of the incongruity. Once its contemporary modishness had worn off, however, it became more common to claim that this style had little thematic justification. Also, as director Richardson's reputation subsequently declined, retrospective doubts were inevitably cast over his earlier achievements. But if the whole world no longer loves "Tom Jones", its impact at the time was enormous. It also blazed a trail of frankness and good cheer into the international market, epitomizing for many the sparkle and exuberance of swinging Britain in the Sixties. Its confidence and élan would be hard to reproduce today, and there is a whole world of difference between the jolly tread of Tony Richardson's "Tom Jones" and the poisonous progress, a decade later, of Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" (1975), also a dazzling re-creation of the eighteenth century, but which narrates the downfall of eponymous social upstart with suave relish. [filmfactsman]