11 thoughts on “TBT: Tom Jones (1963)

  1. Wow…. I just rewatched ANNIE for the first time since I was a kid and now I just can’t picture Albert Finney as anyone other than Daddy Warbucks–certainly not as slutty Tom Jones. I’m having real difficulty reconciling the fact that this actor played those two characters. Not usually a problem for me.
    I do enjoy the story of Tom Jones, and really like the more recent film/miniseries production. It’s very much in the same spirit as Moll Flanders and Fanny Hill, only with a hot guy and no lesbian action. That I recall.

  2. Did they really change her name in the film to Sophie? It’s Sophia in the novel.

    I have to confess I haven’t seen this film, but when we were covering it in graduate school the professor showed a short clip and I **really** wanted to keep watching. It looked like a ton of fun.

  3. I suppose Fielding’s point was the hypocrisy of the times. Certainly made in a highly entertaining manner. He had a relative who was a royal Justice. In the novel
    “The Demoniacs,” John Dickson Carr uses Justice Fielding as a character. The historical detail in the novel is excellent. From an earlier period, Carr created “The Devil In Velvet,” late 17th C mystery in which a Cambridge don travels back in time to unravel the murder of an ancestor.

    1. Much of it was in response to Richardson. Fielding objected to the ways Richardson’s texts reduced a virtuous life to just being about preserving your virginity for marriage. Tom Jones has sex with everyone, but he is a fundamentally good character at heart, as opposed to Blifil, who is careful to maintain appearances but in reality is a nasty person.

      I think Trystan does a good job showing how the story is progressive on some levels, but also contains a lot of conservative elements (ie., the focus on Sophia’s purity). Fielding cared about the lives of the poor (He was a magistrate), but in a very paternalistic manner. He thought benevolent patriarchy was very important, since left to their own devices the poor would essentially behave like animals (see the scene in the graveyard with Molly Seagrim, or the entire text of Shamela).

  4. I will always remember the Masterpiece Theater of my childhood (1980s) which was pretty much on par with a National Geographic special in terms of sexual education. No idea where it got it’s reputation for being stodgy and staid, because some of my earliest memories of sex on film were via Masterpiece Theater, including one really bizarre movie that had a bunch of teenagers pantomiming sexual encounters in front of an adult audience in order to tell the Adults In Charge that they knew who the murderer was.

    Weird shit, but educational!

  5. The story was definitely actually set during the mid-1740s. After Tom had been cast away by Squire Allworthy, he came across a company of soldiers that were on their way to fight the Highlanders during the 1745 rising.

    When you claim that the movie is not historically accurate, are you referring to the its costumes or other aspects?

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