Tom Jones

A legend even in his own time
A legend even in his own time


D: Tony Richardson

United Artists/Woodfall (Tony Richardson)

UK 1963

129 mins


W: John Osborne [based on the novel 'The History Of Tom Jones, A Foundling' by Henry Fielding]

DP: Walter Lassally

Ed: Antony Gibbs

Mus: John Addison

PD: Ralph Brinton

Albert Finney (Tom Jones), Susannah York (Sophie Western), Hugh Griffith(Squire Western), Edith Evans (Miss Western), Joan Greenwood (Lady Bellaston), Diane Cilento (Molly Seagrim), Joyce Redman (Mrs. Waters / Jenny Jones)

Mixing the attitudes of the swinging sixties with the prose of Henry Fielding's 1749 novel, Tom Jones is a far cry from the angry young man / kitchen sink dramas which director Tony Richardson was synonymous with at the turn of the 1960's.

Set in 18th century England, the story concerns the title character, an aristocratic philanderer, and his romancing of Sophie Western, but when Sophie's father, a stuffy lord discovers Tom Jones illegitimacy of noble birth, the young rake travels to find his biological parents and had many bawdy adventures on his odyssey.

It's fair to say that the film was definitely released at the right time, but it really hasn't dated badly, mostly due to the excellent performance of Albert Finney and some very strong supporting performances.

It's worth watching for the banquet seduction scene alone, proof that you don't need nudity for an iconic sex scene.

The film was nominated for 10 Oscars, winning 4, including Best Picture, and a (terrible) sequel was released in the 1970's. 


Albert Finney in Tom Jones
Albert Finney in Tom Jones