Posts Tagged ‘19th century’

Movie review: Hobson’s Choice

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

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Recommended for ages 12 and up
Cerebral — not action-packed; one short scene hints at the delights of the marriage bed, but these are not shown in any way.

Touching working class (reverse) fairy tale in which the OLDest daughter identifies and helps her “prince charming” (in this case a talented shoemaker) to notice and marry her and create his own kingdom (a shoe shop).

Hobson, played by Charles Laughton, is a widower, drunkard, and the owner of a shoe store whose success is pretty much entirely owing to the talents of his eldest daughter, Maggie, and one of his shoemakers (Willie). Hobson prevents his daughters from marrying, and thereby escaping from his household, by refusing to grant them dowries.

Beautifully filmed in black and white, directed by David Lean. As we watched Maggie, and then Willie, slowly manipulate Hobson into giving them exactly what they need (and, in the process, getting him to give up the alcohol that is killing him), my daughter would start by saying, “WHY are they telling him that?” And then, each time they had progressed in positive direction, she’d say “Ohhh, I get it.”

A great period piece. Nice to feel as if we were seeing how people lived in the late 19th century in a fairly small British town.

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