Best Picture Winners Part 36 (of 87): Tom Jones


Title: Tom Jones
Year: 1963
Starring: Albert Finney, Susannah York, Diane Cilento
Runtime: 2 hrs 9 mins

What It Is: 
When a mysterious baby shows up to the Allworthy house Squire Allworthy vows to raise the child as his own. This after finding and banishing the mother into exile. Tom (Finney) grows in to a terror of a young man. A dashing rogue whose equal parts charming and handsome. Ready and willing to chase any skirt he sees fit to. After having a sexual liaison with one of Allworthy’s servant’s daughters (Cilento) but of coure his eye starts to wander. As the lovely Miss Sophie Western comes into the picture Tom is smitten by her, and after saving her life, she too is for him. As pressure mounts on Tom he’s forced to leave London, but Sophie is determined to find him.

Memorable Quote: Narrator: Happy the man, and happy he alone, he who can call today his own. He who, secure within, can say, Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have lived Today.

Competition: A split in quality. There are two films Tom Jones is better than in my opinion we’ll start with those. America, America is an Elia Kazan directed film which is loosely based on the life of the directors uncle as he immigrated from Greece. It works more as cinematic fellatio then so a compelling trip or a good immigrants tale. 3 directors and over 4 hours thats what it took to tell the story of the Egyptian Queen and her Roman lover. Elizabeth Taylor and Dick Burton star in Cleopatra. From a performance standpoint they’re okay but the film is far too superficial and its bloated runtime, and it isn’t nearly interesting enough. Though no one can deny the spectacle of this grand piece of cinema. Next we have the two films I believe are better than Tom Jones. John Ford teams with a killer trio of 60’s superstars in Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, and George Peppard from How the West Was Won. Overall this is up and down one of the best casts. This is a spectacle done right. It weaves a compelling tale full of rich characters and sprawling moments. Truly a cinematic classic. Lilies of the Field is a very important film insofar that for the first time ever a black man won Best Actor. Not just any black man, Sidney Poitier, a fantastic actor regardless of color. This films beauty is in its simplicity. Its a simple tale spun easily by Ralph Nelson who deserved an Oscar nod over someone like Otto Perminger.

As we continue our journey I hope you’ll share this with everyone you know! Let’s get this thing going across the internet. Its a big task that I’ve taken on, but one I’m finding more and more rewarding as I go. Also this is our 400th post! Let’s celebrate by getting this page viewed as much as possible.

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