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Movies: “Tom Jones”

Oct. 6, 1963 - Opening today is “Tom Jones,” a British comedy film and adaptation of Henry Fielding’s classic 1749 novel “The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling.” The film stars Albert Finney (pictured with Diane Cilento) as the titular hero. The film was produced and directed by Tony Richardson, and the screenplay was adapted by playwright John Osborne. The film depicts the romantic and chivalrous adventures of adopted bastard Tom Jones in 18th-century England. The film has an unusual comic style. The opening sequence has subtitles and brisk action in the manner of a silent film. Later in the film, characters sometimes look directly into the camera and address the audience. In one scene, the character of Tom Jones suddenly appears to notice the camera and covers the lens with his hat. Another unusual feature is an unseen narrator, voiced by Micheál Mac Liammóir. His mock-serious commentaries between certain scenes deplore the action of several characters as well as the weaknesses in human character, and he provides a poetic denoument for the film.


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