910 Tom Jones

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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domino harvey
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910 Tom Jones

#1 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:54 pm

Tom Jones

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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.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• 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, with uncompressed monaural and stereo soundtracks on the Blu-ray
• New program on the film's cinematography featuring a conversation between Lassally and critic Peter Cowie
• Excerpt from a 1982 episode of The Dick Cavett Show featuring actor Albert Finney
• New interview with actor Vanessa Redgrave on director Tony Richardson, to whom she was married from 1962 to 1967
• New interview with film scholar Duncan Petrie on the movie's impact on British cinema
• Illustrated archival audio interview with composer John Addison on his Oscar-winning score for the film
• New interview with the director's-cut editor, Robert Lambert
• PLUS: An essay by scholar Neil Sinyard

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knives
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Re: Streaming the Criterion Collection

#2 Post by knives » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:57 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Minkin wrote:Tom Jones was one of the Mister Lime MGM titles that he listed as possibly with Criterion (the first actual Criterion confirmation from that list).
Tom Jones shocks me, mainly because it is suuuuuch a Twilight Time title
I thought it was pretty much guaranteed after Taste of Honey.

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ermylaw
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Re: Streaming the Criterion Collection

#3 Post by ermylaw » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:13 am

domino harvey wrote:Tom Jones shocks me, mainly because it is suuuuuch a Twilight Time title
On a recent Battleship Pretension Movie Journal podcast, one of the guys was discussing Tom Jones, and he hinted strongly that Criterion were doing some restoration work in preparation for a release. I gather this person has some inside knowledge of film restoration projects since he also had some information about the Taviani Brothers restorations prior to the release announcement.

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knives
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#4 Post by knives » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:22 am

I think this was already assumed, but Tom Jones just came on TCM with Criterion and Sam Goldwyn tags.

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Roscoe
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#5 Post by Roscoe » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:41 am

knives wrote:I think this was already assumed, but Tom Jones just came on TCM with Criterion and Sam Goldwyn tags.
Very good news indeed -- I hope this comes to be. Soon.

beamish13
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#6 Post by beamish13 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:46 pm

knives wrote:I think this was already assumed, but Tom Jones just came on TCM with Criterion and Sam Goldwyn tags.

please tell us it was the original cut and not the revisionist garbage Richardson edited in 1989.

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knives
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#7 Post by knives » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:50 pm

The end credits listed a restoration by Richardson which I assume indicates the later, but I am in no way an expert on the subject.

Ishmael
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#8 Post by Ishmael » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:22 pm

The last Region 1 DVD of Tom Jones that MGM released had the original cut on it, so I'd hope Criterion wouldn't revert to the Richardson bowdlerization. The problem with the latter is that in what appears to have been an attempt to snip out some of the more risqué dialogue toward the end of the film, Richardson ruined the pacing. Up until then, his changes are no big deal, but I'd be really shocked if anyone found the revision superior in any way to the original.

vidussoni
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#9 Post by vidussoni » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:45 pm

Ishmael wrote:The last Region 1 DVD of Tom Jones that MGM released had the original cut on it, so I'd hope Criterion wouldn't revert to the Richardson bowdlerization. The problem with the latter is that in what appears to have been an attempt to snip out some of the more risqué dialogue toward the end of the film, Richardson ruined the pacing. Up until then, his changes are no big deal, but I'd be really shocked if anyone found the revision superior in any way to the original.
Too risqué for 1989? It was only trimmed for the theatrical re-release.
The director said he grabbed the rare opportunity to return to the editing room and fine-tune a movie he had made a quarter-century ago. The new version is minus seven minutes of earlier footage, "all trims, the kind I would have done then if I'd been smart enough. It's taken me 25 years to not be so dumb."

Ishmael
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#10 Post by Ishmael » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:52 pm

vidussoni wrote:Too risqué for 1989? It was only trimmed for the theatrical re-release.
Standards change. In the 60s, maybe it was amusing for a female character to say lightheartedly that "even the Sabine women sometimes enjoyed being raped" (paraphrasing, but not much), but that kind of stuff sounded pretty embarrassing 25 years later. Also, the trims weren't just for theatrical re-release, because I saw the revised version on videotape.

Who knows what other motives Richardson had? Maybe he thought he was improving the film. I don't think he did. (Though there's one strange scene near the beginning that no one would ever notice the absence of, so props to him there.)

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knives
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#11 Post by knives » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:54 pm

Richardson seems pretty open from the beginning that he felt it didn't entirely work.

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Roscoe
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#12 Post by Roscoe » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:17 pm

TCM and Criterion ran the abominable Director's Cut from the late 80s, shame on them. Sad. I hope they come to their senses and release the original cut, as MGM did a few years back. I won't buy that other monstrosity.

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Roscoe
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Re: Criterion Newsletter: Clues and More, Volume Four

#13 Post by Roscoe » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:57 pm

Let's hope they do the original release version, and not the abominable edited version that Richardson released in the late 1980s. Alas, the edited version is the one on FilmStruck, so...

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jsteffe
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Re: Criterion Newsletter: Clues and More, Volume Four

#14 Post by jsteffe » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:00 pm

Roscoe wrote:Let's hope they do the original release version, and not the abominable edited version that Richardson released in the late 1980s. Alas, the edited version is the one on FilmStruck, so...
Ideally, I'd prefer both versions. Not sure how much say Criterion has in this.

Jameson281
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Re: Criterion Newsletter: Clues and More, Volume Four

#15 Post by Jameson281 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:04 pm

Roscoe wrote:Let's hope they do the original release version, and not the abominable edited version that Richardson released in the late 1980s. Alas, the edited version is the one on FilmStruck, so...
After MGM released the original cut on DVD, they were contacted by Richardson's estate declaring that the edited version was the only one they would permit to be distributed. Hopefully Criterion can appease them by including both versions.

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Roscoe
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Re: Criterion Newsletter: Clues and More, Volume Four

#16 Post by Roscoe » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:18 pm

Jameson281 wrote:After MGM released the original cut on DVD, they were contacted by Richardson's estate declaring that the edited version was the only one they would permit to be distributed. Hopefully Criterion can appease them by including both versions.
Pity. I'll treasure that MGM DVD all the more now. Fingers crossed that Criterion manages a GOLD RUSH-style double header. Otherwise I won't bother.

Bressonaire
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Re: Forthcoming: Tom Jones

#17 Post by Bressonaire » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:32 pm

Ishmael wrote:Standards change. In the 60s, maybe it was amusing for a female character to say lightheartedly that "even the Sabine women sometimes enjoyed being raped" (paraphrasing, but not much), but that kind of stuff sounded pretty embarrassing 25 years later.
Lady Bellaston’s line to Lord Fellamar is something like “Does the word ‘rape’ frighten you, sir? I believe even the Sabine women made tolerably good wives,” and, irrespective of changing standards, it’s crucial to understanding the depth of her viciousness. It's only barely disguised as a comic line. Tom Jones takes place some 40 years after the Restoration, but its sexual politics are virtually identical. Indeed, Miss Western, who was young in the Restoration, advocates marriage to Blifil even if Sophia doesn’t love him, claiming that many successful marriages are made without love, just as her brother, Squire Western, sees the alliance as a matter of joining his property to Allworthy’s. The traffic in women as property, with a focus on their dowries, is common in Restoration comedy and still obtained in 1745, when Fielding’s story takes place. The movie is a magnificent, panoramic portrait of the 18th century and its mores, and it's faithful to the behavior of the period. I think, too, that some of its importance as a film lies in the way it undermined Hollywood prurience by displaying language, bosoms and sexual encounters that no Hollywood film of the time would touch, or even conceive of presenting so brazenly. Yet here was a classic novel faithfully brought to the screen, and it supplied a spark for the coming sexual revolution. Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper railed against it, but they couldn't stop it.

Bressonaire
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Re: Forthcoming: Tom Jones

#18 Post by Bressonaire » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:14 pm

My apologies. In my post above I meant to write "prudery," not "prurience." :oops:

htom
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Re: Forthcoming: Tom Jones

#19 Post by htom » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:15 am

I recall seeing this in the theaters in Richardson's revised cut (1989), and if I recall correctly the print shown appeared faded, much like the subsequent laserdisc release. At the time it was noted that the negative itself suffered premature color fading as single strip Eastmancolor was prone to doing in that era. I guess I'm wondering if it really has been possible since then to bring this closer to its original color look, unless that was what I was seeing. But I thought it didn't look very good on the big screen, with night scenes being more gray than black, and everything else being a shade of brown.

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swo17
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Re: Forthcoming: Tom Jones

#20 Post by swo17 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:04 pm

Feb 27, both cuts

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Roscoe
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Re: 909 Tom Jones

#21 Post by Roscoe » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:19 pm

Very exciting that both the original theatrical version and Richardson's misguided trashjob cut will be included. An absolutely essential purchase. My money is theirs.

But what the fuck is that cover art?

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Big Ben
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Re: 909 Tom Jones

#22 Post by Big Ben » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:13 pm

I can't find anything relating to the cover being poster art. So the aborted Egon Shciele painting look is new.

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Ribs
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Re: 909 Tom Jones

#23 Post by Ribs » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:08 pm

Beaver

*Fantastic* menu art. Better than the cover!

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Roscoe
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Re: 909 Tom Jones

#24 Post by Roscoe » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:44 am

The image on the cover is taken from a moment fairly late in the film, where Finney's Tom is all dandied up and listening to some not great news. A curiously pensive image for such a rowdy movie.

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jsteffe
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Re: 909 Tom Jones

#25 Post by jsteffe » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:16 pm

The DVD Beaver frame grabs look better than I expected, considering the film's difficult preservation history. I can't wait to enjoy this film all over again...

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