Tom Jones

Critics Consensus

A frantic, irreverent adaptation of the novel, bolstered by Albert Finney's courageous performance and arresting visuals.



Total Count: 33


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,470
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Movie Info

This bawdy, funny adaptation of Henry Fielding's classic novel follows Tom Jones, a country boy who becomes one of the wildest playboys in 18th-century England. Over the course of the film, Jones tries to amass his own fortune and win the heart of Sophie.

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Albert Finney
as Tom Jones
Susannah York
as Sophie Western
Hugh Griffith
as Squire Western
Edith Evans
as Miss Western
Joan Greenwood
as Lady Bellaston
Diane Cilento
as Molly Seagrim
George Devine
as Squire Allworthy
David Tomlinson
as Lord Fellamar
Joyce Redman
as Mrs. Waters
George A. Cooper
as Fitzpatrick
Rosalind Atkinson
as Mrs. Miller
Angela Baddeley
as Mrs. Wilkins
Peter Bull
as Thwackum
James Jackson
as Mr. Seagrim
Rachel Kempson
as Bridget Allworthy
Wilfrid Lawson
as Black George
Rosalind Knight
as Mrs. Fitzpatrick
Jack MacGowran
as Partridge
Redmond Phillips
as Lawyer Dowling
Mark Dignam
as Lieutenant
Avis Bunnage
as Landlady at George Inn
Jack Stewart
as MacLachlan
Michael Brennan
as the Jailor at Newgate
Freda Jackson
as Mrs. Seagrim
James Cairncross
as Parson Supple
Julian Glover
as Northerton
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Critic Reviews for Tom Jones

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Tom Jones

  • Mar 28, 2018
    Richardson's fascination with and examination of the basest impulses of all people (regardless of class) works well within the story's madcap antics. I think the word "irreverent" was written specifically to describe this movie.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 22, 2014
    "I'm down here in the campfire light, searchin' for the ghost of Tom Jones." It figures that Bruce Springsteen manages to make a song that is really good even in the studio, and Rage Against the Machine make me not want to think about it, although I shouldn't be thinking about it when discussing this film in the first place, because it's about as old as the career of the Tom Jones we all know and love. Shoot, this may be the Tom Jones we all know and love, because this Tom Jones is also good-looking and charismatic, with a way with the ladies and a lot of energy, although Albert Finney is so white that I don't think he's going to go the way of the real Jones and turn black all of a sudden. Tony Richardson was known for his kitchen sink "realism", but I figured Jones changing races would be somewhere in here as the magical aspect of this story, because in most every other way, this film is pretty much one of those surrealistic adventures that Finney went on and on about in "Big Fish". Man, Finney actually looks like a big fish sometimes these days, but back in the '60s, he was mighty good-looking, although he never really opens up his shirt, like the drawn poster might lead you to believe. I'm sure that bummed Tony Richardson out, but he had to keep up some subtlety about his bisexuality if people were going to respect him back in the '60s. He must have done something right, because this film was a hit, and I can sort of understand, as it is a lot of fun, although there's no getting past its problems. From a silent film-style prologue and the occasional fourth wall break, to edgy dark humor, biting satire and colorful slapstick, the style to the humor and storytelling is unorthodox and typically effective, but uneven, with too loose a grip on the balance to the stylistic dynamicity for it to feel necessary. The stylistic inconsistency waters down the effectiveness of the humor, although I question if he hits were ever going to keep consistent by their own right, because as riotously funny and fun as this film is on the whole, whichever style it jars into comes with flaws, whether it be the dark humor which gets too awkwardly edgy for comfort, or the satire which lapses in subtlety at time, or the wit which gets too dry to be lively, or the slapstick which gets kind of cheesy, marking a height in the silliness which never really strays too far from storytelling. It's sometimes a little hard to embrace all of this quirk in the context of the telling of this very intentionally romantic and very colorful story, at least once you're faced with a combination of overblown fluff and overblown plot structuring. When I deem the plot structuring overblown, I mean that this film takes a convoluted route by layering on various branches and themes to the narrative, then having the audacity to rush through the development of these excessive aspects in order to exacerbate their feeling forced, and to establish a sense of inconstancy to pacing to accompany a sense of inconsistency to focus. Due to there being an unevenness to the structural pacing of this simultaneously undercooked and convoluted comedy, rushed spots go compensated for by tight aspects, in addition to aspects of excess which extend beyond the overall layering of the narrative, coming in the form of needless, almost repetitious filler which thins what realized focus there is to this disjointed affair into an aimlessness that a film so conceptually reliant on momentum cannot afford to succumb to. I mean, in a lot of ways, this film simply is what it is: an inconsequential affair whose conceptual lack of depth cannot justify a runtime of almost 130 minutes, let alone compensate for missteps in humor, focus and consistency. This film is almost rather forgettable in retrospect, but it is made fairly memorable by its being so fun, even in its musical style. The film's opening prologue is, not in black-and-white, but still presented in the style of a silent film, complete with dialogue cards and a quirky piano score, by John Addison, which is not abandoned after the opening, though often subdued with beautiful, traditional light classical sensibilities which bring some diversity to this colorful and genuinely unique score, which compliments the fluff and taste of this affair, as surely as Ted Marshall's art direction sells the era, and handsomely. This story is dramatically slim, yet still convolutedly overblown with melodramatic layers and themes whose incorporation doesn't even feel all that realized, thus, there is plenty of unexpected blandness to this plot, but on the whole, even in concept, it is very lively, juggling themes of fluffy romance and adventure with diverse, if uneven humor which encompasses edge, satire and silliness, and holds plenty of potential for entertainment value. Tony Richardson's direction does not fail to draw upon the color of this story concept, at least more consistently than the script, never allowing pacing to fall to blandness, and rarely even allowing it to descend beneath brisk, securing it through anything from a flashy style to some dynamically staged action set pieces. Richardson at least keeps the charm up by working exquisitely with a charismatic cast of talent, each one of whom is assigned a distinguished role which he or she nails through dynamic and thorough charm that ranges from endearing to sparkling, yet is never lost in any performance. The charisma and chemistry between just about every performer featured in this film make for some memorable characters, although the roles would not be so distinguished if they weren't well-drawn in an unevenly structured script. John Osborne's script delivers on more than just colorful, if either over-the-top or thin characterization, also delivering on, say, an uneven comic style, flat spots in humor, and a convoluted, inconsistent plotting structure, that is, when he isn't delivering on some tight and all of the bloating, and whose liveliness goes augmented by generally sharp humor which has enough wit and energy to amuse as frequently chuckle-worthy, and often, well, downright hilarious. This film is so much fun, and outside of entertainment value, it hardly has much going for it, and yet, plenty of style and amusement make the final product a fair one, despite its limitations and missteps. When the adventure is done, some inconsistencies in style flatten the liveliness about as much as flat spots in humor, questionable themes, and an unevenness to focus and pacing which convolute a story that is still of little consequence, but quirky score work, solid art direction, lively directorial storytelling, across-the-board sparklingly charming performances, and a script full of color and sharp humor manage to make Tony Richardson's "Tom Jones" a fun, if underwhelming pseudo-classic of a romantic period comedy and adventure flick. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • May 08, 2014
    Albert Finney is tremendously fun as the adventurous Jones who always seems to have a nose for where the adventure is at.A strong supporting appearance by Susannah York.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 19, 2012
    Including a famous seduction scene involving the rapturous eating of a meal, the best hunt ever filmed bar none, and a handful of zesty performances of outsized characters, this playful romp is hard to ignore and as much a testament to its time as 2001: A Space Odyssey, however much this testifies to a courser if truer side of human events.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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