In eighteenth-century England, "first cousins" Tom Jones and Master Blifil grew up together in privilege in the western countryside, but could not be more different in nature. Tom, the bastard son of one of Squire Allworthy's servants Jenny Jones and the local barber Partridge, was raised by virtuous Allworthy as his own after he sent Jenny away. Tom is randy, chasing anything in a skirt, he's having a sexual relationship on the sly with Molly Seagrim, the peasant daughter of Allworthy's gamekeeper. Tom is nonetheless kind-hearted and good-natured, he who is willing to defend that and those in which he believes. Blifil, on the other hand, is dour, and although outwardly pious, is cold-hearted and vengeful. Despite his randiness, Tom eventually falls in love with Sophie Western, who has just returned to the area after a few years abroad. Despite Sophie's love for Tom, Squire Western and his spinster sister would rather see Sophie marry Blifil rather than a bastard, who Western ...Written by
Shooting concluded with studio work in London. By that time, the cast and crew were overwhelmed by the hard work and too many cut corners. Tony Richardson and his company believed the film was going to be a major disappointment. When the head of United Artists' British office saw the first cut, he predicted disaster. See more »
In the scene where Tom Jones and Sophie Western are riding around on various horses within a barnyard area, one of the barn sheds in the background has an area of its roof repaired with corrugated iron. The story was set in the mid-1700s but corrugated iron wasn't invented until the 1820s. See more »
In the west of England there was once a Squire Allworthy. After several months in London he returns home.
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Opening credits: In the west of England there was once a Squire Allworthy. After several months in London he returned home. his sister, Bridget. his servants. after supper. "Mrs. Wilkins!" "aaah!" a baby! abandoned!!! "how did it get here?" "who can the mother be?" "Jenny Jones!" "who is the father Jenny?" "send for Partridge the barber!" Partridge the barber - the father? "I will deal with you later, sir!" "you must be sent away from this shame and degradation." "as for your child . . . . . " "I will bring him up as if he were my own son." "what will you call him brother?" "Tom Jones." of whom the opinion of all was that he was born to be hanged.
For the 1989 reissue/restoration, the director trimmed approx. 7 minutes from the original. The initial home video release in 1981 on the Magnetic Video label contains the full-length original, which includes the following footage/dialogue cut from the reissue:
Tom running from Squire Western; Black George caught for killing sheep; trial
Sophie: "Oh, my little bird."
Molly being called a slut by her family: "You will have a bastard"
Tom/Sophie montage: Tom reading, eating nuts, picking berries, Tom and Sophie singing
Teachers fighting Tom; Tom going around tree; riding teacher
Tom's dream at the Inn
Sophie and Lady Fitzpatrick: Trimmed frames from laughing
Sophie and Lady Fitzpatrick: "What will you do in London?" "I have a friend..."
Sophie and Lady Fitzpatrick: "What about your friend?" "He is away for a few days. When he returns we shall make other arrangements."
Lady Bellaston and Lady Fitzpatrick: "The girl is obviously intoxicated and nothing less than ruin will content her."
Lady Bellaston muttering French phrase at dinner
Lady Bellaston: Dialog after "Are you afraid of the word 'rape'?"
Transition from Bellaston and Fellamore to Tom and Partridge
Transition from Tom and Partridge to "Rape"
Partridge and Tom: "She'll be the one to break it off"; transition to note; dialog: Narrator reads letter, Bellaston remarks to maid not to receive Tom Jones again.
"Scandal are the best sweeteners of tea."; transition
Partridge looking for people to uphold Tom's character (in the original he approaches one man, then two more - scene of him approaching the first man was cut)
No reprise of song for Tom as he's going to be hanged
End titles (re-done for reissue with restoration credits and extended music by 15 seconds, while cutting some of the original company credits)
This was a great film in its time, and is still a great one today. Well-directed, well-acted, well-shot, great soundtrack, and based on a splendid literary vehicle.
It's frustrating to see so much uninformed voting and so many uninformed remarks on this otherwise wonderful site; I guess its inevitable since anyone can post anything. But I would like to point out that Tom Jones did not sleep with his mother as erroneously alleged, and that Albert Finney, 26 or 27 years old at the time of shooting this film, clearly did not look too old for his part.
I haven't read the book(s), but from the film it's obvious that Dickens was much indebted to Fielding, using his amazing invention as a convoluted plot model (and perhaps a character-naming model) for many of his works.
Go rent this film after seeing Finney in the currently playing Big Fish -- it's great to see him do so well in such very different films made in different millenia, nearly a full professional lifetime apart.
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