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TOM JONES

TOM JONES ($25) is another Academy Award winning classic for Best Picture, which has recently found its way to DVD. TOM JONES is amongst the few film comedies that have captured the coveted Oscar. Albert Finney stars as the title character in this bawdy 18th century tale of a bastard infant who is adopted into the home of an English Country Squire. Finney portrays the character as an adult, an unrestrained individual who engages in all sorts of less than gentlemanly pursuits, with women being a particular weakness. Susannah York is Sophie Western, the woman whom Tom truly loves. Circumstances cause the young lovers to part, with Tom forced to seek his fortune in London.

While Tom does have a number of amorous adventures along the way, he eventually finds himself back on the road to his true love. The top-notch cast of TOM JONES also features Joan Greenwood, Hugh Griffith, Edith Evans, Diane Cilento, Joyce Redman, George Devine, David Tomlinson and David Warner. In addition to its win for Best Picture, TOM JONES snagged Oscars for Tony Richardson’s fine direction, as well as John Osborne’s humorous screenplay and John Addison’s delightful score. Not to be overlooked on the acting front, Finney, Griffith, Evans, Cilento and Redman each received a nomination for their engaging performances.

TOM JONES was given something of a restoration several years ago with the participation of its director Tony Richardson. The restoration doesn’t appear to be as complete as those given to films like MY FAIR LADY and VERTIGO, with the "day for night" sequences still requiring quite a bit of work. Perhaps a computer aided, frame by frame restoration of TOM JONES is required. HBO Home Video has given TOM JONES a respectable Letterboxed transfer, but the limitations in the film element are quite evident. The transfer is framed close to the 1.66:1 theatrical aspect ratio, and for the most part it appears correct. The image has good detail and color during the daylight sequences. Darker indoor sequences, as well as those that were shot "day for night" are problematic. These sequences are murky and show a good deal of film grain. Digital compression artifacts were hardly a problem, but were detectable during the darker scenes in the film.

The two-channel Dolby Digital stereo soundtrack will decode as matrixed Dolby Surround. The track adds depth to John Addison’s score, but little by way of directional effects. Other soundtrack options include French and Spanish language tracks. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus offer access to a theatrical trailer, cast and crew biographies/filmographies, plus the standard scene selection feature.

All reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 
TOM JONES 



 

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DVD reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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