Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tom Jones

Miss Western: You are such a boor.
Squire Western: A boar? I am no boar!

Though not known as a food film, Tom Jones does have a quite memorable dinner scene, which serves as a quite arousing bout of sexual foreplay for Jones (Finney) and Waters (Redman). Beginning with soup, bread, and beer, they proceed to lobster, chicken, beef, and oysters, consumed with the most suggestive gestures and facial expressions, including the splitting of the chicken’s “wish bone” with their pinkies. The completion of the meal—consumption of pears in a most indelicate manner, and a wine toasting with arms entwined—is merely the prelude to what the viewer can only imagine as an entertaining and sexually gratifying romp in Mrs. Waters’ bed upstairs.

Released October 6, 1963
Directed by Tony Richardson
Written by John Osborne, based on the novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding
Starring Albert Finney as Tom Jones, Susannah York as Sophie Western, Lynn Redgrave as Susan, Hugh Griffith as Squire Western, Edith Evans as Miss Western, Joan Greenwood as Lady Bellaston, Diane Cilento as Molly Seagrim, George Devine as Squire Allworthy, Joyce Redman as Mrs. Waters, David Warner as Mr. Blifil, and David Tomlinson as Lord Fellamar
Awards: 1964 Academy Awards for Best Director (Richardson), Best Music, Score (John Addison), Best Picture (Richardson), and Best Writing (Osborne); 1964 BAFTA Film Award for Best British Film, Best British Screenplay, and Best Film from Any Source; 1964 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures; 1964 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Musical/Comedy and Most Promising Male Newcomer (Finney); 1964 Grammy Award for Best Original Score from a Motion Picture or Television Show; 1964 Laurel Award for Top Comedy; 1963 National Board of Review, USA Award for Best Director and Best Film, English Language; 1963 New York Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Actor (Finney), Best Director, and Best Film; 1963 Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup for Best Actor (Finney); 1964 Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award for Best British Comedy Screenplay

Fun Facts
The director allowed Finney and Redman to improvise much of the dinner scene; given the gusto with which they consumed so much food, it’s not surprising that they suffered digestively for days afterward.