Tom Jones - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Tom Jones Reviews

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½ May 8, 2013

Plot: The story begins with Squire Allworthy coming home from a trip to find a baby in his room. Thinking that his barber and one of his female servants had the child out of lust, he banished both and takes the child as his own naming him Tom Jones. From there the story is about Tom Jones all grown up with all these sorts of adventures of wooing or sleeping with women and eventually traveling to London and who knows what.

Again I say; what that frick? I may not have seen all of the best picture winners yet, but I think this one is easily the most messed up kind of movie to win. And comparing to all the really bit best picture screw ups from Broadway Melody to Shakespeare in Love, that's saying a lot. While just about all of the other best picture winner are romantic comedies, thrillers, romantic drama, and heaven knows what else, I really can't believe that at some point in the past, one of the winners is a comedy in this specific kind of style. Tom Jones is a comedy that starts off with a silent movie kind of sequence but is afterwords just this story film that is otherwise just a story based off a book apparently with even points where Tom Jones and a couple of other characters break the fourth wall. It's still a little fun enough to be something of a meh film - because while this film is hardly laugh out loud hysterical and doesn't really go over the top... like at all, it has its moments in being a little amusing with some of its jokes and its performances somewhat - but even so, it's still just a meh kind of movie, and it just is a marvel for me that a movie like this was even nominated let alone won best picture. I mean how it won, I have no idea. I understand that it's something of an adaption of some book, and it became such a huge deal in England...and...that's just it. I don't really know for sure why it won, I guess enough people thought it funny that the academy decided to make it the winner.

And that's my review for Tom Jones. It really is just some meh kind of comedy movie that even if it was something of a talk of the town back in it's day (at least in England for all we know for sure), but it doesn't really hold out to the point where people like me are just scratching their heads that this movie won best picture.
May 5, 2013
Best Picture Winner of 1963. This British comedy adventure is one of only a handful of comedies to win Best Picture. It gets an unfair reputation as being a mistake by the Academy. I found it to be charming and humorous thanks to Albert Finney. Director Tony Richardson uses comedic techniques like funny montages and characters breaking the fourth wall. This may seem silly, but it fits the movie and makes it entertaining to watch. Despite its funny demeanor, the film has scenes of drama and Tom Jones is just more than a handsome womanizer. It may not be the greatest Best Picture, but it is far from the worst. At least the Academy had the guts to vote out of the box, and Tom Jones is certainly out of the box.

Grade: B
½ April 28, 2013
Basically, the storyline of every 60s movie, regardless of portrayed period. Libertines are cool. Pious people are not. The former have a special ability to feel that those bound by social decorum do not. Things that are base are heralded, & things that are elevated are trampled. Deviancy is no big deal. It's all harmless.

All these counter-cultural movies portray the disreputable as the pinnacle of humanity, & the reputable as worthless & stuffy objects of contempt. They're all just such cute, clever, & lovable miscreants. Wiley little rascals! How can we then question what they do? I know it was presented in such a way where the audience was supposed to find him just irresistibly endearing...he annoyed me greatly.

It is not without achievement. The direction was superb, at times. Finney is very good. Many of the performers are. The mode of story-telling is quite unique & interesting. I did enjoy the hunting scene, but the direction in that scene was a little spastic.
More bad. I'm not sure if this film is the origination of the idea that a couple acting like retards was the universal sign of falling in love. The eating scene disgusted me one several levels. And the fact that the beautiful Miss Western would still be so unquestioningly & blindly given over to Tom Jones, despite anything he did whatsoever (multiple elicit affairs) is an insult to my intelligence & her character. She just always takes him back, & we're supposed to believe her to be a great lady.

He's continually referred to as our hero. Speak for yourself. Not mine.

Lesson: if you're related to the right people, you can get the girl.
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2013
The wanderings of the wittiest eighteen century bastard-gentleman. An enormous Albert Finney and an equally great supporting cast give life to Tony Richardon's vivacious, rhythmic and cunning storytelling. Full of charm.
February 15, 2013
Não é uma obra-prima, mas Tom Jones é uma rara comédia pastelão inteligente, com ótimo visual e excelentes performances de todo o elenco, principalmente Albert Finney, que está muito engraçado no papel titulo.
½ January 25, 2013
Lyric beauty, bawdy humor and adventure set to celluloid and music--It gives the sense of the joy of living through the movie media at the highest level!!
Super Reviewer
December 11, 2012
As this is an Oscar Best Picture Winner, I'm forcing myself to see it
½ October 18, 2012
Tom Jones, the adopted son of a British country squire, is a love-'em-and-leave-'em lady charmer who goes blithely from bed to bed, while managing to get into enough other mischief to come within moments of being hanged.
Super Reviewer
July 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.
July 2, 2012
Tom Jones speeds, races, jumps, and goes all over the place; and man what a fun ride it makes! This is a film which jumps out all over the place and has a lot of fun with the source material. Albert Finney is having an awfully good time and captures the nature of the Fielding character. Tom Jones is, in a sense, the precursor to One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest in that we follow a character who constantly rebels against the social norm and is more concerned with having fun than doing any real work. And that's what this film is, fun. It's delightfully cheerful and hilarious. The techniques employed in this film make it a perfect transition from the early 60s into the mid to late ones and create a general carefree atmosphere.
May 10, 2012
My favorite movie of all time! I loved Albert Finney in it, & Hugh Griffith was hilarious! I loved the movie "trick" where the actors occasionally turn to the audience & talk.
March 21, 2012
Yeah, the humor is hit or miss. Though Albert Finney is one charming scoundrel. But it's really a misfire.
½ January 15, 2012
Remember the eating sequence, and the anti-hunting horse cruelty
January 1, 2012
Perhaps the least boring 18th century period movie ever.
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2011
A voracious bastard pursues his love - among others - in a satirical exploration of British class structure and sexual politics.
Henry Fielding is sometimes credited with inventing the modern novel, and his works read like an experiment in a new form; in Joseph Andrews the narrator actually tells the reader to skip the boring parts. And in Tom Jones it is clear that this is a faithful adaptation if only because the spirit of experimentation pervades. It is a romp, full of baudy humor and high-energy ballyhoo. The characters even break the fourth wall a few times. But when I read Fielding, I often feel like I'm looking at a child's creation out of Play-Doh and other people expect me to see Rodin. I felt the same way about this film. Yes, I like the satire - the blood spewing from the horses, whipped too a frenzy by fanatical hunters, and the so-called "ladies of quality" acting more whorish than a Kardashian - but director Tony Richardson crosses the line between mad-cap romp with a purpose and mad-cap romp for romp's sake. The ending is too convenient, the behavior too extreme to be taken seriously, Tom Jones is a film made out of Play-Doh.
Overall, even though its heart is the right place, I think the film strays too far into unreality to have any real effect.
November 28, 2011
Best Picture? Really? Another reason I have no respect for the Oscars.
Super Reviewer
½ October 24, 2011
As insolent as its protagonist, this British production managed to snap up the year's Best Picture Oscar. While its deserving status is debatable and its timeless status has long worn off, the frantic pace and director Tony Richardson's handling of the material wins you over, showing that the Brits can have fun at their own expense and also eat their slice of the cake.
August 16, 2011
Tried watching this, but the narration and acting bugged me right away, so I didn't get that far before I turned it off.
August 4, 2011
This is one of those instances of a movie that must have been mind-blowing when it came out (as evidenced by its Best-Picture-Oscar win), but has become a little bit dated since then. Still, it's an enjoyable, spirited, and inventive comedy, and an interestingly postmodern retelling of an 18th century classic novel. It's also substantially better than director Tony Richardson's later adaptation of Fielding's Joseph Andrews.

The plot is a condensation of an 800-plus-page novel, so it ends up being kind of overstuffed and zany. The story concerns Tom Jones a young man of uncertain parentage who has been raised by a prominent squire in 18th century England, and his multiple amorous misadventures. He sleeps or at least flirts with so many different women in the movie that I honestly lost count at some point.

Albert Finney is charming as the perpetually beset Tom Jones, though his presence isn't really strong enough to completely hold together a movie whose tendency is to spin out of control. Susannah York is kind of bland as his love interest Sophie. The movie got three best supporting actress Oscar nominations, which makes it unique in Oscar history: one each for Edith Evans as Sophie's stuffy old aunt, one for Diane Cilento as bawd-next-door Molly, and one for Joyce Redman as an older woman of ill repute. All three performances are amusing, though they're not the sort of thing the Academy would ever think to nominate these days. Hugh Griffith also got an Oscar nomination as the drunken and repulsive Squire Western, and does a good job of being drunken and repulsive.

What really makes the movie of interest, I think, is the playfully postmodern way Tony Richardson put it together. It opens with a faux-silent-film sketch, complete with intertitles, of Jones's birth and discovery. Throughout, there are many instances of fourth-wall-breaking, the narrator being snarky, New-Wave-y tricks with sped-up film or freeze-frames and such, and just a generally irreverent feel. This must have been a real shock to the system in 1963, when you think of the other films that came out around that time, and it's got some of the techniques that Woody Allen used more elegantly to win another Best Picture Oscar 14 years later with Annie Hall. The movie easily could have been a boring costume drama, but it plays itself as an outrageous comedy. It's also notable that it insistently treats the 18th century as a rather dirty, nasty time - consider an extended, ridiculous sequence in which Tom and a woman flirt while eating all kinds of disgusting food. It's still extremely funny, and it contrasts sharply with our typical notion of period pieces as dry, clean films.

Still, as interesting as the movie is, it has become somewhat dated by now. The cinematography looks faded and dull. The ribaldry seems awfully tame by our post-The-Hangover standards. Some sequences and scenes drag on way too long and the movie occasionally becomes boring. Still, though, if you can mentally transport yourself back to 1963, when all of this was in fact outrageous and new, you will be able to appreciate Tom Jones for the fun movie that it is.
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