|Directed by||Tony Richardson|
|Screenplay by||John Osborne|
|Based on|| The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling |
by Henry Fielding
|Produced by||Tony Richardson|
|Narrated by||Micheál Mac Liammóir|
|Edited by||Antony Gibbs|
|Music by||John Addison|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Budget||£467,000 or £480,000|
|Box office||$17.07 million (U.S. and Canada rentals)|
Tom Jones is a 1963 British comedy film, an adaptation of Henry Fielding's classic 1749 novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling , starring Albert Finney as the title hero. It was one of the most critically acclaimed and popular comedies of its time,and won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film was produced and directed by Tony Richardson and the screenplay was adapted by playwright John Osborne.
A period piece set in 18th-century Somerset, Gloucestershire and London, Tom Jones was a success both critically and at the box office. At the 36th Academy Awards, it was nominated for ten Oscars, winning four: Best Picture, Best Director for Richardson, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score. It also won two Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and three BAFTA Awards, including Best Film and Best British Film.
In 1999, the British Film Institute ranked it as the 51st greatest British film of the 20th century.
Squire Allworthy returns to his estate and discovers a baby in his bed. Thinking that one of his maids, Jenny Jones, and his barber, Mr. Partridge, conceived the illegitimate baby out of lust, the squire banishes them. He names the infant Tom Jones and chooses to raise him as his own son; Tom grows up loving him like a father.
Tom becomes a lively young man whose good looks and kind heart make him popular with women. He truly loves only Sophie, daughter of a neighbour, who returns his love. Sophie, too, must hide her feelings while her aunt and father, Squire Western, try to coerce her to marry someone they think more suitable, Mr. Blifil, the son of Squire Allworthy's sister, Bridget.
When Bridget dies unexpectedly, Blifil intercepts a letter that his mother intended for his uncle's eyes only. But after his mother's funeral, Blifil and his two tutors, Mr. Thwackum and Mr. Square (who had also tutored Tom), join forces to convince the squire that Tom is a villain. Allworthy gives Tom a substantial cash legacy and sends him out into the world to seek his fortune.
Tom is robbed of his fortune, but soon meets his supposed father, Mr. Partridge, who becomes his man servant. Tom rescues a Mrs. Waters/Fitzpatrick from a British soldier, but ends up in a duel and is later jailed and about to be hanged for murder before it is discovered that the letter that Bridget had written to Squire Allworthy confessed that she is Tom's mother. It is discovered also that Tom had not murdered Mr. Fitzpatrick in the duel.
They are able to reach the jail in time to save Tom from hanging. Tom and Sophie are able to marry with everyone's blessing.
While the British production company Bryanston Films was hesitating over whether to make the film in colour, it went bankrupt. United Artists stepped in to finance the film and make it a colour production.
Overall the production faced challenges of disasters, near-disasters and squabbles caused by films being shot on location in the spotty English weather. The film has an unusual comic style: The opening sequence has subtitles and brisk action in the manner of a silent film. Later in the film, characters sometimes break the fourth wall, often by looking directly into the camera and addressing the audience. In one scene the character of Tom Jones suddenly appears to notice the camera and covers the lens with his hat. Another unusual feature is an unseen narrator, voiced by Micheál Mac Liammóir. His mock-serious commentaries between certain scenes deplore the action of several characters as well as the weaknesses in human character, and he provides a poetic denouement for the film.
Despite its success, director Tony Richardson said that he was dissatisfied with the final product. In his autobiography, Richardson wrote that he "felt the movie to be incomplete and botched in much of its execution. I am not knocking that kind of success – everyone should have it – but whenever someone gushes to me about Tom Jones, I always cringe a little inside."
John Osborne, in adapting the screenplay from Henry Fielding's novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749), truncated and removed notable episodes and characters from the book. He ends the film with the narrator's quoting from a portion of John Dryden's poetic translation of Horace's Ode: To Maecenas:
"Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today."
Castle Street in Bridgwater, Somerset was used as a location in several scenes. Cinematographer Walter Lassally has said that he thought the location unit got on very well together under the circumstances and that the experience was satisfying. He thought Richardson rather lost his way in post-production, endlessly fixing what was not really broken.
The film was reissued in 1989 by The Samuel Goldwyn Company. For this release, Richardson trimmed the film by seven minutes.It is available through the Criterion Collection, paired with the original version.
Time magazine's review stated "The film is a way-out, walleyed, wonderful exercise in cinema. It is also a social satire written in blood with a broadaxe. It is bawdy as the British were bawdy when a wench had to wear five petticoats to barricade her virtue".
Rich Gold of Variety wrote "Though Tom Jones is a period piece and very different it has the same lustiness and boisterous content with which to project the star. It should breeze its way cheerfully through the box office figures. It has sex, Eastmancolor, some prime performers and plenty of action. Tony Richardson has directed John Osborne's screenplay with verve, though, occasionally, he falls back on camera tricks and editing which are disconcerting".
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 81% based on retrospective reviews from 42 critics, with an average rating of 7.5/10. The site's consensus states: "A frantic, irreverent adaptation of the novel, bolstered by Albert Finney's courageous performance and arresting visuals."On Metacritic, it has a score of 77 out of 100, based on reviews from 15 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews.".
The film was financially successful on its initial release in 1963. It came third for the year in British box-office receipts,and was the fourth most popular in the United States. Produced on a budget of $1 million, it earned over $17 million in theater rentals from the United States and Canada, and another $4 million in markets other than the UK and U.S. Finney received 10% of the film's earnings.
|Academy Awards||Best Picture||Tony Richardson||Won|
|Best Actor||Albert Finney||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Hugh Griffith||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Diane Cilento||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay – Based on Material from Another Medium||John Osborne||Won|
|Best Art Direction – Color||Ralph W. Brinton, Ted Marshall, Jocelyn Herbert and Josie MacAvin||Nominated|
|Best Music Score – Substantially Original||John Addison||Won|
|American Cinema Editors Awards||Best Edited Feature Film||Antony Gibbs||Nominated|
|British Academy Film Awards||Best Film from any Source||Won|
|Best British Film||Won|
|Best British Actor||Albert Finney||Nominated|
|Best British Actress||Edith Evans||Nominated|
|Best British Screenplay||John Osborne||Won|
|Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures||Tony Richardson||Won|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||Won|
|Best Foreign Film – English-Language||Nominated|
|Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||Albert Finney||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture||Hugh Griffith||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture||Joan Greenwood||Nominated|
|Best Director – Motion Picture||Tony Richardson||Nominated|
|Most Promising Newcomer – Male||Albert Finney||Won|
|Grammy Awards||Best Original Score from a Motion Picture or Television Show||John Addison||Won|
|Laurel Awards||Top Comedy||Won|
|Top Male Comedy Performance||Albert Finney||Nominated|
|Top Male Supporting Performance||Hugh Griffith||Nominated|
|Top Female Supporting Performance||Diane Cilento||Nominated|
|National Board of Review Awards||Best Film||Won|
|Top Ten Films||Won|
|Best Director||Tony Richardson||Won|
|New York Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Film||Won|
|Best Director||Tony Richardson||Won|
|Best Actor||Albert Finney||Won|
|Venice International Film Festival||Golden Lion||Tony Richardson||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Albert Finney||Won|
|Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards||Best British Comedy Screenplay||John Osborne||Won|
Ilya Lopert accepted the Academy Award for Best Picture on behalf of the producers. After his death, the Oscar was given by his estate to Albert Finney.
Tom Jones is the only film in the history of the Academy Awards in which three actresses were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Margaret Rutherford won the category for her role in The V.I.P.s .
The film's five acting nominations and no wins matched the record set for nominations by Peyton Place in 1957. It was the last film to match this record.
Cecil Antonio Richardson was an English theatre and film director and producer whose career spanned five decades. In 1964, he won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film Tom Jones.
Albert Finney was an English actor. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and worked in the theatre before attaining prominence on screen in the early 1960s, debuting with The Entertainer (1960), directed by Tony Richardson, who had previously directed him in the theatre. He maintained a successful career in theatre, film and television.
Sir Thomas Daniel Courtenay is an English actor. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he achieved prominence in the 1960s as part of actors of the British New Wave. Courtenay received numerous accolades including three BAFTA Awards, a Golden Globe Award, the Silver Bear, and the Volpi Cup for Best Actor as well as nominations for two Academy Awards, two Tony Awards, and a Emmy Award. He was knighted for his services to cinema and theatre in the 2001 New Year Honours.
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, often known simply as Tom Jones, is a comic novel by English playwright and novelist Henry Fielding. It is a Bildungsroman and a picaresque novel. It was first published on 28 February 1749 in London and is among the earliest English works to be classified as a novel. It is the earliest novel mentioned by W. Somerset Maugham in his 1948 book Great Novelists and Their Novels among the ten best novels of the world.
Ned Kelly is a 1970 British-Australian biographical bushranger film. It was the seventh Australian feature film version of the story of 19th-century Australian bushranger Ned Kelly, and is notable for being the first Kelly film to be shot in colour.
Bridget Jones's Diary is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Sharon Maguire and written by Richard Curtis, Andrew Davies, and Helen Fielding. A co-production of the United Kingdom, United States and France, it is based on Fielding's 1996 novel of the same name, which is a reinterpretation of Jane Austen's 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice. The adaptation stars Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones, a 32-year-old British single woman, who writes a diary which focuses on the things she wishes to happen in her life. However, her life changes when two men vie for her affection, portrayed by Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Jim Broadbent and Gemma Jones appear in supporting roles. Production began in August 2000 and ended in November 2000, and took place largely on location in London and the home counties.
The Evening Standard British Film Awards were established in 1973 by London's Evening Standard newspaper. The Standard Awards is the only ceremony "dedicated to British and Irish talent," judged by a panel of "top UK critics." Each ceremony honours films from the previous year.
The Entertainer is a 1960 British kitchen sink drama film directed by Tony Richardson, produced by Harry Saltzman and adapted by John Osborne and Nigel Kneale from Osborne’s stage play of the same name. The film stars Laurence Olivier as Archie Rice, a failing third-rate music-hall stage performer who tries to keep his career going even as the music-hall tradition fades into history and his personal life falls apart. Olivier was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Date Movie is a 2006 American romantic comedy parody film written by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, directed by Seltzer, and produced by Paul Schiff and Friedberg. It was released on February 17, 2006 by 20th Century Fox and stars Alyson Hannigan, Adam Campbell, Sophie Monk, Tony Cox, Jennifer Coolidge, Eddie Griffin, and Fred Willard. It is a parody of the romantic comedy film genre, and mostly references My Big Fat Greek Wedding,Meet the Fockers, Hitch, Legally Blonde, and Bridget Jones's Diary. Date Movie was panned by critics and has a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but was a box office success, grossing almost $85 million on a $20 million budget.
The Charge of the Light Brigade is a 1968 British DeLuxe Color satirical war film made by Woodfall Film Productions and distributed by United Artists, depicting parts of the Crimean War and the eponymous charge. It was directed by Tony Richardson and produced by Neil Hartley. Its animated credits and linking passages were created by Richard Williams, drawing on the satirical use of Victorian-era jingoistic images. This film features Richardson's daughters Natasha and Joely in their debuts.
Peter Cecil Bull, was a British actor who appeared in supporting roles in such films as The African Queen, Tom Jones, and Dr. Strangelove.
Tom Jones is a comic opera in three acts by Edward German founded upon Henry Fielding's 1749 novel, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, with a libretto by Robert Courtneidge and Alexander M. Thompson and lyrics by Charles H. Taylor.
A Taste of Honey is a 1961 British film adaptation of the 1958 play of the same name by Shelagh Delaney. Delaney wrote the screenplay with director Tony Richardson, who had directed the play on the stage. It is an exemplar of a gritty genre of British film that has come to be called kitchen sink realism.
The 29th New York Film Critics Circle Awards, honored the best filmmaking of 1963.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a 1962 British coming-of-age film. The screenplay was written by Alan Sillitoe from his 1959 short story of the same title. The film was directed by Tony Richardson, one of the new young directors emerging from the English Stage Company at the Royal Court.
Joseph Andrews is a 1977 British period comedy film directed by Tony Richardson. It is based on the 1742 novel Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding.
The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones is a 1976 British comedy film directed by Cliff Owen and starring Nicky Henson, Trevor Howard and Terry-Thomas. It is an adaptation of the 1749 novel Tom Jones by Henry Fielding, which follows the main character in a new series of misadventures.
Tom Jones is 1917 British comedy film directed by Edwin J. Collins and starring Langhorn Burton, Sybil Arundale and Will Corrie. It is an adaptation of the 1749 novel Tom Jones by Henry Fielding.
The History of Tom Jones – A Foundling is a five-part TV series produced by the BBC in 1997. It features Max Beesley in the title role, alongside Brian Blessed and Samantha Morton.
Tom Jones is a four-part television miniseries reimagining Henry Fielding's 1749 novel The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling. It is directed by Georgia Parris and adapted by Gwyneth Hughes, with Solly McLeod playing the eponymous hero Tom Jones. The show premiered on PBS in the United States from 30 April 2023.