The Best Picture winner of 1963 was this British Adventure Comedy set in the 1700s called Tom Jones. It follows the life of the title character, a bastard in both the literal and slang sense. He’s a rambunctious little bugger who runs around getting laid, causing a raucous, and embarrassing his foster-father, Squire Allworthy.
Tom falls in love with Sophie and she’s a proper lady who has a dad who’s all stuffy and junk, so he tries his best to make sure a more suitable companion marries his daughter instead. That suitor is Squire Allworthy’s sister’s son, Blifil, who then tries (and succeeds) in getting his competition, Tom, expelled from their town or village or whatever. But there’s a secret to Tom’s heritage that only Blifil knows after intercepting a letter written by his dying mother to Allworthy, and this secret could change Tom’s life forever.
DUN DUN DUN!
This all sounds so dramatic in text, but Tom Jones was enjoyable, lighthearted and fun, especially for its time. Albert Finney rocked the lead role, coyly breaking the fourth wall to wink at the audience from time to time. I mean…who did that in 1963!? No one, my friends. Props.
The movie even started with a silent film sequence setting up Tom’s abandonment and adoption by Squire Allworthy in a classic British-silent-picture sort of way. A lot of the comedy and style of this Best Pic were totally ahead of its time and that’s something to appreciate as a modern-day viewer. (Shoutout to director Tony Richardson – well done, I say! I’m sure he really needs my validation. Oh bummer, he died in 1991. This shoutout just turned into an homage. This is a really long aside.)
In sum, man-whores existed even way back in the 1700s. And even though I claim ol’ Tommy was a douchebag, he was a loveable douchebag…kind of like a modern day Hank Moody from Californication. Is that show on yet? Doesn’t it start soon? Someone remind me.
Tom Jones brought my Epic Film Quest tally down to 31…but wait a sec…it’s actually 30! Because I watched another one before I even wrote this post! Almost under 30, kids.. I really liked this one and give it a solid B+…and there’s another great, great flick to follow!
I should write more and be more speedy.