|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Tom Jones [Blu-ray]
(Tony Richardson, 1963)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Woodfall Film Productions
Video: Criterion Collection Spine #910
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Director's Cut Runtime: 2:01:41.752 / Theatrical Cut: 2:08:49.722
Disc One (The Director's Cut) Size: 47,938,086,997 bytes
DC Feature Size: 36,412,729,344 bytes
Disc Two (Theatrical Cut) Size: 44,846,306,835 bytes
Theatrical Feature Size: 38,589,118,464 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.74 Mbps + 35.78 Mbps
Chapters: 20 / 20
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: February 27th, 2018
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
English (SDH), none
• New program on the film's cinematography featuring a conversation between Lassally and critic Peter Cowie (24:32)
• New interview with film scholar Duncan Petrie on the movie's impact on British cinema (22:18)
• New interview with the director' cut editor, Robert Lambert (10:04)
• Excerpt from a 1982 episode of The Dick Cavett Show featuring actor Albert Finney (4:32)
• New interview with actor Vanessa Redgrave on director Tony Richardson, to whom she was married from 1962 to 1967 (10:13)
• Illustrated archival audio interview with composer John Addison on his Oscar-winning score for the film (7:53)
• PLUS: An essay by scholar Neil Sinyard
Description: In the early 1960s, at the height of the British New Wave, a movement whose gritty realism they had helped establish, director Tony Richardson and playwright John Osborne set out for more fanciful narrative territory. Tom Jones brings a theatrical flair to Henry Fielding s canonical eighteenth-century novel, boisterously chronicling the misadventures of the foundling of the title (Albert Finney, in a career-defining turn), whose easy charm seems to lead him astray at every turn from his beloved, the wellborn Sophie Western (Susannah York). This spirited picaresque, evocatively shot in England s rambling countryside and featuring an extraordinary ensemble cast, went on to become a worldwide sensation, winning the Oscar for best picture on the way to securing its status as a classic of irreverent wit and playful cinematic expression.
Tom Jones (Albert Finney), a bastard foundling raised by the kindly Squire Allworthy (George Devine), loves the beautiful Sophie Western (Susannah York), but cannot marry her due to the difference in their stations. When the villainous Blifil (David Warner) tricks the squire into casting Tom out of his household, the young man goes forth into the world on a series of high-spirited adventures, including heroic swordfights, mistaken identities, good deeds and lusty women.
Tony Richardson's adaptation of Henry Fielding's classic novel was one of the most critically acclaimed and popular comedies of its time, winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film follows Tom Jones (Albert Finney), a country boy who becomes one of the wildest playboys in 18th-century England, developing a ravenous taste for women, food, and rowdy adventures. Over the course of the film, Jones tries to amass his own fortune and win the heart of Sophie (Susannah York). Not only does John Osborne's Oscar-winning screenplay stay true to the tone of the novel, but the cast--including Lynn Redgrave in her first screen role--tears into the story with spirited abandon, making the movie a wildly entertaining and witty experience. For the 1989 reissue, Richardson trimmed the film by seven minutes.Excerpt from Stephen Thomas Erlewine at B+N located HERE
A lusty historical romp with a cheeky sense of humor and a rollicking energy, Tom Jones (1963) was at once a dramatic and a comic change of direction for director Tony Richardson, a serious young British director and producer and a leader in the "kitchen sink" movement of social realist films. Henry Fielding's 18th century novel "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling" is a sprawling satire of high and low society as seen through the adventures of a bastard infant, adopted and raised by a kind and just country squire, and a parody of romantic conventions and epic storytelling with elements of both wry wit and broad burlesque. Richardson's film necessarily cut the 1,000-page novel down to a manageable size but otherwise is true to the tale of the young man sent from his home into the big city of London while pursuing the love of his life. What surprised audiences was the wicked sensibility. Richardson's Tom Jones is no dutifully reverent incarnation of a British classic but a liberating translation of a comic masterpiece with a modern sensibility and a style inspired by the freedoms of New Wave filmmaking.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Tom Jones looks excellent on Blu-ray from Criterion and is cited as "New 4K digital restorations of the original theatrical version of the film and the 1989 director's cut, both supervised by director of photography Walter Lassally". Both have max'ed out bitrates and the image quality is exactly, between the two versions, the same as evidenced by our screen capture comparisons. The 1.66:1 visuals are rich with consistent grain, showcasing earthy colors and the appearance in-motion is very pleasing. The darker scenes tend to be green-heavy. This dual-layered Blu-rays, reproduce very strong 1080P presentations.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Typically flat,linear PCM mono track at 1152 kbps (24-bit) for both versions. The score is by John Addison (Guns at Batasi, The Man Between, A Taste of Honey, The Honey Pot, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Strange Invaders) and augments the film's happy qualities. Some may notice Handel's Minuet and Sarabande plus standards Rule Britannia and O God Our Help in Ages Past sung in church. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.
On Blu-ray 1, the Director's Cut disc, there is a new, 25-minute, program on the film's cinematography featuring a conversation between Walter Lassally and critic Peter Cowie. There is a new 22-minute interview with film scholar Duncan Petrie on the movie's impact on British cinema and a new 10-minute interview with the director's cut editor, Robert Lambert. On disc 2 is a 4-minute excerpt from a 1982 episode of The Dick Cavett Show featuring actor Albert Finney. We get a new 10-minute interview with actor Vanessa Redgrave on director Tony Richardson, to whom she was married from 1962 to 1967. There is an illustrated, 7-minute, archival audio interview with composer John Addison on his Oscar-winning score for the film. There is a liner notes booklet with an essay by scholar Neil Sinyard.
Criterion disc 1 - Director's Cut - Blu-ray
Criterion disc 2 - Theatrical Cut - Blu-ray
January 23rd, 2018