Hobson's Choice


Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance


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May 08, 2014 at 09:01 AM



Charles Laughton as Henry Hobson
John Mills as William Mossop
Prunella Scales as Vicky Hobson
John Laurie as Dr. McFarlane
720p 1080p
808.49 MB
Not Rated
24.000 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 2 / 6
1.64 GB
Not Rated
24.000 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 0 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ellkew 10 / 10

Perfect film

Made by one of the greatest practitioners of film making ever, this is a superb story with excellent characters. I defy anyone not to enjoy Charles Laughton's towering performance. There is so much in this film to revel in. I love the way the men constantly think they are running the show when in fact the women are. Laughton clings on to the last vestiges of male power but is no match for his intelligent daughter played by Brenda de Banzie. The opening shot alone is superb with the wooden boot creaking in the wind. Although this is a slightly ominous first shot, the film soon becomes peppered with touches of comedy throughout. The scene when Hobson walks back from the Moonrakers pub is wonderful and sublime. Purely magical cinema as he looks at the moon reflected in the puddles and tries to catch it. Lean lets us take in the scene instead of rushing it. This film is often overlooked when people talk about Lean's oeuvre. I have no idea why.

Reviewed by mlevans 5 / 10

Is there a Maggie out there for ME?

From a movie I had absolutely never heard of, Hobson's Choice has quickly flown to the top third of my all-time favorite film list. I happened upon this little gem by doing a Charles Laughton search in the video data bank of our university library computer system. I had been hoping we might have The Hunchback of Notre Dame. We didn't, but we DID have this wonderful period comedy.

Set in Salford, England in the 1890s, this David Lean film brims with good humor, spunk, fine black and white cinematography and absolutely first-rate acting. Charles Laughton plays Henry Horatio Hobson, a typical successful late Victorian Era businessman. One can almost picture him singing `A British bank is run with precision; a British home should expect nothing less,' as David Tomlinson would croon a decade later in Mary Poppins. A widower with three grown daughters, Hobson fancies himself to be king of his castle. Of course the daughters really wield the power-especially Maggie (Brenda de Banzie), the oldest.

When Hobson determines to marry off the two younger daughters, but declares Maggie too old for marrying (at 30), she takes it as a challenge. Virtually demanding marriage and a business partnership with her father's best shoemaker, Willie Mossop (John Mills), she engineers not only her own marriage but that of her sisters, as well.

Laughton was a true talent. I had never seen him do comedy. His round, rubber face is as expressive in Hobson's Choice as any comedian I have seen. His commanding stage presence is obvious. Many scenes stick in the mind, such as Hobson marching huffily toward his favorite watering hole, his lackey right behind him. With spirited march music playing, they stride through the street, making an amusing visual contrast. Laughton is tall, erect, and extremely rotund. He is headed straight forward, head held high and back arched proudly, as any proper self-made English gentleman of his day would be. His friend is perpetually hunched toward his benefactor, his thin, frail frame turned partially toward Laughton as he walks, intent on hearing and agreeing with every word Hobson utters. Others have already commented on the moon scene and his charge up the stairs after a night of drinking, both of which were delightful.

Of course de Banzie is magnificent as Maggie and Mills is great as Willie. His growth as the movie goes along is gradual and natural. The excitement of going out on their own, getting a loan and buying the needed supplies to open a business certainly connects with me. I have been there twice, although ultimately failing (at least on the bottom line) both times. Had I had a Maggie to support, encourage and inspire me, as well as to tend to the business side of things, I really believe I would have succeeded like Willie does. (Any Maggies out there???)

Daphne Anderson and Prunella Scales are very good as the attractive, but spoiled younger sisters. Obviously Maggie was raised in the earlier days when Hobson was building up his business and Vicky and Alice after he had acquired much of his affluence. The whole cast is extremely sound and Lean's direction is superb. I find myself surprised that I had NOT heard of Hobson's Choice. This is a dandy little film and a real plumb to have found as I found it. If you want to see a great film, either watch Hobson's Choice or watch another film with the VCR/DVD player unplugged. How's THAT for a `Hobson's choice?'

Reviewed by Graeme Tuck 9 / 10

One of the greatest British movies of all time

This film is still one of my all time favourites. The acting is superb, especially from Sir John Mills who delivers the most convincing piece of acting I have seen. Every part of this film is a joy to watch, from Charles Laughtons drunken behaviour to Brenda De Banzie's sheer determination to get what she wants by forcing Mills' character to stand up for himself once in his life.

They don't make films like this anymore, no profanity, no nudity and no innuendo.

A perfect family movie. You'd be mad to miss this next time you see it's coming on TV .

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