"Tom Jones," a 1964 British comedy directed by Tony Richardson, will be shown at the State Theatre on Sunday at 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
The film is sponsored by the State Theatre Film Collective and Nadine Kofman. David Spielman, a doctoral candidate in English at Penn State, will be presenting an introduction to the film for the 4 and 7 p.m. screenings. He will also be hosting a discussion following the 4 p.m. screening. Check out the column I wrote for Friday's Weekender & more: http://www.centredaily.com/2011/01/14/2453140/bawdy-tom-jones-a-moviehouse-hit.html.
Adapted from a 1,000-plus-page novel written in 1749 by Henry Fielding, the film follows Tom Jones (Albert Finney, in his breakout role), 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). The cast also featured Richardson's sister-in-law, Lynn Redgrave, in her first screen role. Gerry Susman, a fellow Film Collective member, told me that "Tom Jones" had the most Oscar nominations ever for actors and supporting actors, although none of them won.
I haven't seen "Tom Jones," and to be honest, I had never really heard of the film until it was proposed by the Film Collective to screen it. But after reading and hearing about the film, I'm very intrigued. In 1964, cinema was just beginning to become more sexually liberated, and I was told there is a memorable scene in the film that demonstrates the link between food and sex. In this day and age, there is a lack of films with sexual themes that are truly funny and engaging, rather than lewd and shallow.
"Tom Jones" may not have any profound themes, but if you like bawdy humor and would like the chance to see Albert Finney when he was a strapping young lad, you should enjoy yourself. We all need a hearty laugh sometimes, and from what I've learned about "Tom Jones," the film will certainly deliver that.