Tom Jones

Popular, irreverent adaptation of Fielding’s classic novel, scripted by John Osborne and directed by Tony Richardson in 1963. Despite the fitful energy and the beauty of the settings, the ugliness of the mise en scene and the crudity of the editing tend to triumph. Aping the stylistic eclecticism of Truffaut and Godard during the same period, the movie is too lacking in grace and finesse to provide anything more than broad and mainly random vaudeville turns. The precredits prologuesupposedly done in the style of silent films but blithely introducing handheld camera movement and a zoomis all too typical. Not even the gifted castAlbert Finney, Susannah York, Hugh Griffith, Dame Edith Evans, Joan Greenwood, Diane Cilento, and George Devinecan survive all the willful jauntiness. which is aggressively underlined by John Addison’s score. 129 min. (JR)

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