Classic Film Guide

Tom Jones (1963)

The editing and background music in this film are/were unique and something to behold. Although you may have seen some of the techniques copied (unfortunately, the only film which comes immediately to mind with regards to the editing is Start the Revolution Without Me (1970)), I feel fairly certain that freeze frames (with narrative voice-overs), characters playing (even talking) to the camera, and the lyrical wipes & fades ("zeroing" in on a specific object or face - like the singing mice in Babe (1995)) employed were first done in this Academy Award winning Best Picture. A very visually creative film which tells the bawdy tales of a bastard son raised by a wealthy squire. Another scene, the sensual eating of food, was also borrowed by several later films like Like Water for Chocolate (1992) (right? my memory escapes me). The score, which also won the Academy Award, is whimsical and upbeat with its tempo perfectly matching the kinetic pace of many of the more comical exploits of the title character, played by Albert Finney (Oscar nominated in only his third film). One of the few comedies (15%?) to win BP, it also took home Best Director (Tony Richardson) and Writing (the story was adapted from the Henry Fielding novel). Supporting Actor Hugh Griffith and three Supporting Actresses (Diane Cilento, Edith Evans, and Joyce Redman) also received Oscar nominations.

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