|Directed by||David Lean|
|Written by|| Harold Brighouse (play)|
|Produced by||David Lean|
|Starring|| Charles Laughton |
Brenda de Banzie
|Edited by||Peter Taylor|
|Music by||Malcolm Arnold|
|Distributed by|| British Lion Films |
Hobson's Choice is a 1954 British romantic comedy film directed by David Lean.It is based on the 1916 play of the same name by Harold Brighouse. It stars Charles Laughton in the role of Victorian bootmaker Henry Hobson, Brenda de Banzie as his eldest daughter and John Mills as a timid employee. The film also features Prunella Scales in one of her first cinema roles.
Hobson's Choice won the British Academy Film Award for Best British Film 1954.
Henry Horatio Hobson is the autocratic proprietor of a moderately upmarket boot shop (boots, shoes and clogs) in 1880 Salford. A widower, Hobson is a notorious miser with three grown daughters: Maggie and her younger and less-dedicated sisters, Alice and Vicky. All three have kept house and worked in their father's shop for years without wages, and Alice and Vicky are eager to marry, and their intentions infect Maggie. Alice has been seeing Albert Prosser, a young up-and-coming solicitor, while Vicky prefers Freddy Beenstock, the son of a corn merchant. Hobson has no objection to losing Alice and Vicky, but Maggie is another matter. He tells her she is too old for such things, "...thirty and shelved." While mocking her to his drinking cronies at The Moonrakers pub, he freely admits that she is too useful to lose.
Insulted, Maggie decides to marry Willie Mossop, the shop's gifted but under-appreciated bootmaker, despite the timid man having no such aspirations. When Willie informs her he has already been bullied into an engagement to his landlady's daughter, Maggie promptly puts an end to that – to his great relief. Maggie tells her father of her intentions and delivers her terms. Hobson attempts to intimidate Willie instead, by threatening to "beat the love out" of him with his belt. Willie declares he has no love for Maggie, but if Hobson strikes him, he will stick to her like glue. Hobson strikes him twice, and the couple walk out.
Maggie seeks a loan of £100 from Mrs. Hepworth, a very satisfied customer. When Mrs. Hepworth asks about security, Maggie says that Willie is the security: he is the finest bootmaker in Lancashire. With cash in hand, Maggie finds a basement that will serve as both shop and living quarters, furnishes it, has Willy buy tools and supplies, and arranges for the banns to be read.
Hobson feels Maggie's absence. Alice and Vicky are unwilling or unable to pick up the slack, in the house or the shop. The night before the wedding, Hobson storms off to The Moonrakers and gets drunk. Stumbling home, he falls through a trapdoor into the basement of Beenstock & Co., where he is found next day sleeping it off. Freddy Beenstock rushes to tell Maggie ... who gets an idea. When he awakes, Hobson is served with a notice that he is being sued for trespass and damage.
Maggie's sisters reluctantly attend Willie and Maggie's wedding at the insistence of their fiancés. The wedding dinner is held in the basement shop/home. Hobson arrives after dark to seek Maggie's advice regarding his legal woes. She manoeuvres him into negotiating with Albert Prosser, representing Freddy Beenstock. Hobson reluctantly agrees to pay £500 to settle the matter out of court. Only then does he realise he has been "diddled": the money will replace the marriage settlements Hobson refused to provide for Alice and Vicky.
Willie dreads his wedding night, but all turns out well, and he emerges a new man. The next morning, they make their first sale: a pair of bootlaces for one penny. Between Maggie's business sense and Willie's shoemaking genius, their business thrives. Within a year, they have not only paid off Mrs. Hepworth's loan and 20% interest, they have also wooed away nearly all of Hobson's upscale clientele. Under Maggie's tutelage, the meek and illiterate Willie is transforming into a confident man of business.
On New Year's Day, Hobson suffers hallucinations. Dr. MacFarlane diagnoses "chronic alcoholism." Maggie summons Willie, Vicky and Alice to decide who will return home to look after their father. Both Vicky and Alice adamantly refuse to do so. With no alternative, Hobson tries to get Maggie and Willie back on the old terms, but Willie will not settle for anything less than a 50-50 partnership, his name first on the sign, and Hobson relegated to silent partner. Hobson grudgingly accepts.
Willie wants to change Maggie's brass wedding ring for a gold one, but she insists on keeping it – to remind them of their humble beginnings.
Robert Donat was originally cast in the role of Will Mossop but had to pull out due to his asthma.The outdoor location scenes were filmed around the Salford area, with Peel Park serving as the courting place for Maggie Hobson and William Mossop. Interiors were shot at Shepperton Studios near London with sets designed by the art director Wilfred Shingleton.
Malcolm Arnold took the comical main theme for the film from his opera The Dancing Master. Throughout the film, it is linked to Hobson so often that he even whistles it at one point. Arnold wrote the score for a small pit orchestra of 22 players, and he enlisted the help of a Belgian cafe owner to play the musical saw for one pivotal scene. After a night of drinking at The Moonraker, Hobson is seeing double, and he fixates on the reflection of the moon in the puddles outside the pub. Arnold deploys the musical saw to represent the willowy allure of the moon, as the clumsy Hobson stamps from puddle to puddle, chasing its reflection.
The film was one of the most popular at the British box office in 1954.
In his New York Times review, Bosley Crowther called Hobson's Choice "a delightful and rewarding British film", and praised the performances of the three leads and its producer/director.TV Guide gave the film four stars, characterising it as "a fully developed comedy of human foibles and follies with Laughton rendering a masterful, sly performance, beautifully supported by de Banzie and Mills." In the opinion of Daniel Etherington of Channel 4, the "character interactions between the couple and the old bugger of a dad are fascinating, funny and moving." His verdict is, "Displays the Lean mark of quality and sterling work from its leads. A gem."
The film won the Golden Bear at the 4th Berlin International Film Festival in 1954and British Film Academy Award Best British Film 1954.
Hobson's Choice is available on VHS (Warner Home Video in the UK), DVD (as part of The Criterion Collection), Blu-ray, and LaserDisc.
Hobson's Choice is a play by Harold Brighouse, the title taken from the popular expression, Hobson's choice—meaning no choice at all.
Walking Happy is a musical with music by Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Sammy Cahn and book by Roger O. Hirson and Ketti Frings. The story is based on the 1916 play Hobson's Choice by Harold Brighouse. The musical was nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Walter Greenwood was an English novelist, best known for the socially influential novel Love on the Dole (1933).
Brenda Doreen Mignon de Banzie was a British actress of stage and screen.
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare is a 1991 American slasher film and the sixth film in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. It is a sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child and was originally intended to be the final installment of the series; Wes Craven's New Nightmare was released three years later but takes place outside the series canon. A canonical crossover/sequel, Freddy vs. Jason, was released in 2003. This was New Line Cinema's first 3D film release.
Pygmalion is a 1938 British film based on the 1913 George Bernard Shaw play of the same name, and adapted by him for the screen. It stars Leslie Howard as Professor Henry Higgins and Wendy Hiller as Eliza Doolittle.
Daphne Anderson was an English stage, film, and television actress, as well as a dancer and singer. She made her London theatre debut in 1938 at the Windmill Theatre. Anderson appeared in such films as The Beggar's Opera, Hobson's Choice and The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Dorothy Alison was an Australian stage, film and television actress
The 8th British Academy Film Awards, given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 1955, honored the best films of 1954.
Thomas Bentley was a British film director. He directed 68 films between 1912 and 1941. He directed three films in the early DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film process, The Man in the Street (1926), The Antidote (1927), and Acci-Dental Treatment (1928).
The Crowded Day is a 1954 British comedy drama film directed by John Guillermin and starring John Gregson, Joan Rice, Cyril Raymond and Josephine Griffin. The film follows a group of shopgirls working in Bunting and Hobbs, a London department store, during the Christmas shopping season. It was an attempt by Adelphi Films to move into bigger budgeted films. It was the last movie Guillermin directed for the company. It was released in the United States under the title Shop Spoiled.
Peel Park is a public urban park in Salford, Greater Manchester, England, located on the flood plain of the River Irwell below Salford Crescent and adjacent to the University of Salford. It was the first of three public parks to be opened on 22 August 1846, for the people of Manchester and Salford, paid for by public subscription. The park was the main public venue for the 1851 royal visit of Queen Victoria to Manchester and Salford and has been the subject of a number of paintings by the Salford artist, L.S. Lowry.
Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors is a six-issue limited series comic book written by Jeff Katz and James Kuhoric, with drawings by Jason Craig. The series was published by Dynamite Entertainment and DC Comics, with imprint by Wildstorm, beginning in August 2009 and concluding in December 2009. The Nightmare Warriors is a sequel to Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, which was published in 2007 and was itself a sequel to the 2003 film Freddy vs. Jason. The series is a crossover between the Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Evil Dead horror film franchises.
Hobson's Choice is a 1931 British comedy drama film directed by Thomas Bentley and starring James Harcourt, Viola Lyel, Frank Pettingell and Herbert Lomas. Based on the 1916 play Hobson's Choice by Harold Brighouse, it follows the tale of a coarse bootshop owner who becomes outraged when his eldest daughter decides to marry a meek cobbler. It was produced by the leading British company of the time, British International Pictures, at their studios in Elstree.
Hobson's Choice is a 1920 British comedy drama film directed by Percy Nash and starring Joe Nightingale, Joan Ritz and Arthur Pitt. A Salford bootmaker is irritated to learn his daughter is to marry one of his cobblers, and his outrage grows when they set up a successful shop which challenges his own for business. It is the first film based on the 1916 play Hobson's Choice by Harold Brighouse.
Amy Veness was an English film actress. She played the role of Grandma Huggett in The Huggetts Trilogy and was sometimes credited as Amy Van Ness.
Mr. Perfect is a 2011 Indian Telugu-language romantic comedy film directed by Dasaradh, and produced by Dil Raju. The film stars Prabhas, Kajal Agarwal and Taapsee Pannu while Murali Mohan, Prakash Raj, Sayaji Shinde, Nassar, and K. Vishwanath play supporting roles. The film released on 22 April 2011 to positive reviews. The film won the newly incorporated Nagi Reddy Memorial Award for "Best Telugu Family" entertainer for the year 2011. The film's title is based on a song from Arya 2.
Hepworth Picture Plays was a British film production company active during the silent era. Founded in 1897 by the cinema pioneer Cecil Hepworth, it was based at Walton Studios west of London.
This is a summary of 1954 in music of all genres in the United Kingdom.