This romping bawdy adaptation of Henry Fielding’s picaresque novel of the 18th Century was an enormous hit and won a number of Oscars in 1963 including Best Picture and Best Director.
Albert Finney stars in the title role as the young man who travels to London to seek his fortune.
Finney’s brilliant co-stars include Hugh Griffith as the roistering Squire Western, Susannah York as his daughter – and Tom’s true love – Sophie, and Edith Evans as Sophie’s prudish aunt, who rebukes an importunate highwayman with the words, “Stand and deliver? I am no travelling midwife!”
The sluttish Molly Seagrim (Diane Cilento), “that troll Mrs Waters” (Joyce Redman) and “the notorious Lady Bellaston” (Joan Greenwood) are just three of the women Tom becomes involved with.
The plot is rudimentary, but it doesn’t matter because there’s so much fun to be had from the film’s mechanics.
John Osborne’s witty script is brilliantly aided by the score by John Addison and Richardson’s direction which makes ample use of several venerable film techniques – a split second freeze, a wipe across the screen, and even actors addressing the audience directly.
‘Mrs Waters’/Jenny Jones
Susan at Upton Inn
George A. Cooper