Tom Jones (1963)
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Top Customer Reviews
I also appreciated the performances of David Warner, as the disgustingly priggish tutor, Mr. Bliful, and Diane Cilento (once married to Sean Connery...) as Tom's sometime paramour. The entire cast is excellent, including Joan Greenwood as the predatory older woman after Tom at any cost. Watch for the Masquerade Ball and see Hugh Griffith in his elephant mask; what a great scene!
The peripheral players are superb, as is the setting of London in the eighteenth century, with the deplorable lack of sanitary conditions and the terrible poverty.Read more ›
That alone would justify giving this one the miss, but the transfer is also hazy and unfocused, and may even have been made from a VHS tape. MGM Enterntainment is bringing out a new version on 6/19/2001. Wait for that if you have any sense.
MGM's DVD is one of the worst looking efforts of digital mastering on the market. Where to begin? Colors are muted, dated, unbalanced and bleed throughout. Contrast levels are so low that night scenes look as though they were shot using only the light coming off of a flashlight with dying batteries. Flesh tones are way too orange. Fidelity in general is a mess. Edge enhancement, pixelization, aliasing and shimmering of fine details are excessive and present throughout the film. Digital and film grain are excessively high. There's really no instance where one can simply sit back and enjoy the film. The audio is a disappointing mono. Considering that the previously issued DVD (exhibiting the same disappointing picture quality) was remastered in "surround sound" the lack of surround on this disc seems odd. There are no extras.
BOTTOM LINE: Don't waste your money.
Even though the story is set in the England of the early 1700's, the film is solidly a reflection of the 1960's. It was extremely popular when it came out - winning the Academy Award as best film. Audiences were overwhelmed by its bawdy humour, sinning and sinful characters, and endless camera trickery - all briskly paced and accompanied by a rollicking musical score. Director Tony Richardson threw everything into the mix - speeded up film, freeze frames, screen wipes, character asides to the audience, a lip-smacking narrator, even a silent movie opening sequence. The characters looked like real people instead of actors - the costumes and settings actually looked lived in. John Osborne's script contained dialogue with a proper period flavour (too much so occasionally) and the whole thing was photographed with a subdued, grainy quality not unlike an old painting. In fact, Tom Jones is almost two films in one - the first part rustic, earthy and halcyon on the sprawling estates of Squires Western and Allworthy, then an abrupt change of style to the intimidating Hogarthian squalour of London where danger seemed to lurk behind every corner. Newgate Gaol and a public hanging are uncompromisingly realistic for what is, after all, basically a comedy.
Most memorable of all are the performances. Albert Finney as Tom and pert Susannah York as his one true love are suitably attractive and talented. But the real flavour of this feast is provided by one of the most incredible supporting casts ever assembled for such a film.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was reminded recently of just how horrible a transfer MGM has saddled us with on this DVD. Maybe I couldn't tell on my old, picture-tube television, but it's tremendously obvious... Read morePublished 8 days ago by R. Snare
This classic movie introduces Albert Finney to the world in 1966, and it left an indelible impression on this then sixteen year old. Read morePublished 22 days ago by E. Philip Snyder
I remember this movie when it came out. I was very young and I immediately fell in love with it. Exquisite performance of Albert Finney and Susannah York. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I got this movie to fill out my best picture collection. Not sure how it
got best picture that year. Read more
I *do* love it; it's one of my favorite movies from my favorite movie era. But could someone please--PLEASE--release, on Blu-Ray, the Theatrical Release version of the film? Read morePublished 5 months ago by East Village Tom