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  • The History of Tom Jones [VHS]
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The History of Tom Jones [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: John Sessions, Benjamin Whitrow, Sara Kestelman, Tessa Peake-Jones, Ron Cook
  • Directors: Metin Hüseyin
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 6
  • Studio: A & E Home Video / Sunset Home Visual Entertainment (SHE)
  • VHS Release Date: April 21, 1998
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767005880
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #577,259 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

A BBC adaptation of Henry Fielding's masterpiece. A young man of questionable birth is raised as the son of a member of the minor gentry, only to fall prey to the cruelties of his malicious cousin and the wiles of the neighboring heiress.

Customer Reviews

Tom Jones, what a good comedy.
Geraldine Kelly
I saw Tom Jones when it aired on A&E, and loved it so much that I had to read the book.
jjammac@juno.com
As for the acting of the characters, I believe most actors conveyed their characters well.
Andrew Raker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Elisabeth Altieri on June 17, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
"It is a pity he was not immortal, he was so formed for happiness." -- Mary Wortley Montagu on the death of her cousin, Henry Fielding.
This dramatization of this most wonderful book is nearly perfect. I say nearly perfect because that are one or two little problems with the sound (no, Honour doesn't mean she wouldn't say a word if Sophia were to go to bed with Mr. BLIFIL instead of Mr. Jones, nor does Miss Western mean to say, "Brother, if you would only leave your NIECE to my care...") but never mind that. It doesn't matter because the director, Metin Huseyin, has his fingers on the pulse of 18th century England. It's not a "bawdy romp." It was really like this. Straight, nonintoxicated Englishmen hugged and kissed each other in public (a show of feeling was considered a mark of a gentleman). People talked more openly about sex than they did for another 175 years, the fact that women liked it too, and the fact that sex is, every once in a while, a motive for human behaviour. Women talked back and demanded respect. Hypocrisy was everywhere (and just like now, you could sometimes say so). About 140 crimes carried the death sentence. Money and property sometimes mattered more than people. Young people sometimes had to marry the person they were told to marry whether they hated them or not, and being kind, generous and amiable could get you in worse trouble than being greedy, grabby and nasty. Fielding wrote it all down and Huseyin delivers it wonderfully well here.
Tony Richardson's Tom Jones was splendid, to be sure, and is full of brilliant acting, but in many ways it was, to quote a friend of mine, rather like, "Austen Powers does the 18th Century." This is Tom Jones as Fielding conceived him.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By KaylynP@msn.com on March 10, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I tend to hate all movies that have been books and Tom Jones just happened to be a favorite book of mine. Yet, when I saw this version, I loved it completely. The production crew didn't cut down the story to a bitter pulp and they made the story come alive. I'm an actress as well and can tell when an actor is merely doing the minimum. You'll love Henry Fieldings' narative over the story and all the hilarious mishaps that follow. Enjoy!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2004
Format: DVD
Here's a story filled with dastardly plotting and prevarication, true love and tawdry sex, wild drunkenness, chases, disguises, near-misses, and utterly improbable (but hilarious) meetings. Wonderful acting by British stage and film stars--fans of BBC literary adaptations will recognize many favorites--bring this wild, picaresque tale to life with charm and boundless verve. Perhaps best of all is the screenplay, which manages to make sense of everything in Fielding's convoluted tale while also making the most of 18th-century English, when the language was at its graceful, urbane peak.
Just try to watch this one with a straight face!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Busy Bee on February 10, 2009
Format: DVD
First of all - I am surprised to find so many people gave this Tom Jones interpretation 1 star.... but I read those votes are due to 'sexual content' and incorrect rating of "G."
To be blunt: You will see breasts, some buttocks here and there, and at least one 'thrusting' scene, WHICH are ALL no more than a few seconds of film time, scattered throughout. Be assured, skirts cover thighs and "other things"...... so the "smut" vote is interpretation. If you prefer prim and proper A&E/BBC...... be fairly warned.
The nature of the scenes are indicative of how people behaved in those times - from the most dignified yet depraved courtiers to the lowly housemaids... Although A&E is better known for their prudence, I found that acceptance of the scenes in this movie comes in stride with the rawness of the characters and the story, which is about scandals of THAT nature.

That being said, I found the film enjoyably different. The way that the narration is done is very reminiscent of a Monty Python storytelling - where the narrator can be easily affected by the scenery/players, as well as comical interruptions to end or begin a scene. The storyline (History of a foundling) has SO many plot twists and turns, that although the end may be guessable - the means is highly entertaining in its complexity.

Brian Blessed is a hilarious (and my favorite character) "country squire boobie" who is irrationaly blustering and bellowing. His conduct is ridiculous, but causes so much confusion and chaos, that it can't help but be amusing. Lindsay Duncan (HBO's Rome, Servillia) as the devious Lady Bellaston is fantastic - her seductive nature and relentless jealousy are a force to be reckoned with. All the actors do a superb job.

All in all, I found the film to be charming.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Clark on February 22, 2007
Format: DVD
I think that "Tom Jones" is my favorite movie. I must have seen the Albert Finney version (at least) a hundred times. I thought that it was impossible to improve on this wonderful movie. BUT I LIKE THIS VERSION EVEN MORE! Max Beesley is as good a Tom as Finney. I loved Susannah York, but Samantha Morton is even more endearing. The one character from the original movie who cannot be improved upon: Hugh Griffith! He is amazingly funny as Squire Western in the 1963 version. The A&E version is much longer than the original, and gives much more delicious detail. Some things are omitted completly from the 1963 movie.

The quality of the DVD is very good (both sound and picture). This is not a good choice if you are easily offended by bawdy behavior. But both versions give a delicious look at life in 18th century England, showing the bad along with the good (and having a lot of fun in the process).
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