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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
Until I watched the DVD last night, I hadn't seen this film since it first came out back in the 1950s. I had always remembered it as a brilliant film and the DVD did not disappoint. This is a delightful film and a classic of the British cinema. Charles Laughton and John Mills, and indeed all the main players, are on excellent form. The film has been subject to...
Published on 23 July 2010 by Johnny D

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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Film - Awful Sound
I have given this product 3 stars only because although the film itself is top notch with a wonderful story brilliantly acted by a strong cast, the sound on this particular transfer is quite appalling. Studio Canal seem to have a problem with audio when they (so called) "remaster" these older films and one is left wishing that they had left well alone. There is a constant...
Published on 7 Mar. 2010 by MusicMan


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 23 July 2010
By 
Johnny D (Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
Until I watched the DVD last night, I hadn't seen this film since it first came out back in the 1950s. I had always remembered it as a brilliant film and the DVD did not disappoint. This is a delightful film and a classic of the British cinema. Charles Laughton and John Mills, and indeed all the main players, are on excellent form. The film has been subject to restoration and the restorers have done a first-rate job. The picture is very sharp and the sound is very clear. In addition, it has the benefit of subtitles. A great film all round. I'm just surprised we don't see more of it on TV from time to time.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By gum, it's good, 29 Aug. 2009
By 
the antiquary (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
One word times three, perfect, perfect, perfect. What I tell you three times is true. If you have any doubts, dispel them now and buy this, it's v. funny, charming, an unbridled pleasure; the best investment you'll make in a DVD for many a year.

If your image of old fims is of some stiff in a suit speaking posh to some wet bint reclining on a sofa then watch this and be amazed. The film is a character-led comedy about the aspirational working class, not drawing-room drama.

Being northern and old enough to have had grandparents with the same attitudes I can tell you that the characters are spot-on. John Mills is a chameleon, nothing less than ideal, and the rest of the cast match him. Especially Charles Laughton and the eldest daughter, completely inhabiting their roles which, along with the production's sets, suck you into the late Victorian provincial world.

Hobson's Choice has been carefully restored, the picture is a picture of clarity.

You can take your Dark Knights and 300s and stuff 'em - this has pride of place on my mantlepiece now.
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90 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Big Al,Oxford, 28 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
This is a wonderful warm funny film from the days of the British film industry,when they didnt bother about appealing to a foriegn market they just made great films and put them out.Directed by David Lean and starring Charles Laughton as a fat bossy father of 3 daughters who is at a loss when his eldest daughter decides to marry one of his employees.Apart from a protracted drunken sequence the film skips along with sparkling dialogue and a great comic turn from John Mills as the hapless bootboy chosen by Brenda De Banzie to be her husband.I must have watched this film a dozen times or more over the years and cannot reccomend it more highly.Buy it and enjoy!
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A British Classic, 4 Feb. 2010
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Archbold Jake "Archie" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1953]

Forget that this is a film of a stage-play. It stands in its own right as a classic piece of its own time. It is a comedy of note and one which I find myself able to watch time and time again.

Charles Laughton plays Hobson, the owner of a shoe-shop/cobblers. He is a man of position in the locality, but is also a drunk. He is not only drinking away the profits of the business, but he is losing custom fast.

As a father he looks on his eldest daughter Maggie (Brenda de Banzie)as a skivvy. Being the oldest and least likely to be married off of his three daughters, she seems to be trapped into a lifteime of servitude to her father. Hobson employs a boot boy, Will Mossop (John Mills) who is very definitely 'downstairs' - literally, in the sense that he makes boots in the basement of the shop. Will, however, is the rising star and it is his ability as a boot-maker which keeps customers coming back.

Maggie is determined to break out of her virtual enslavement and sets her sights on Will. She has a strong character and 'leads' Will into marriage. Hobson resents the upstart, makes this plain and this inevitably leads to him getting rid of Mossop - the only real asset of his shop. The bootboy and his new wife now have no choice but to set up shop on their own.

The rest of the film is devoted to the rise of Mossop and the decline of Hobson.

The film was released in 1953 in black and white and was directed by David Lean with small supporting parts for Prunella Scales Richard Wattis and John Laurie. Although Laughton gets the biggest credit for the film, in my opinion, Mills deserves the accolade for a finely observed character performance.

It is a classic not to be missed.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hobson's choice, 3 Mar. 2009
By 
C. A. Wilson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant from start to finish! Fantastic story line and wonderful acting by all of the cast without exception. Full of subtle comedy, this film will never become outdated. Must be one of the best films ever made.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute classic, don't miss this, 3 May 2011
By 
Max - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
Hobson's Choice is a fantastic British film and you should not miss out on seeing it. It's sadly a film that doesn't get shown an awful lot on either terrestrial or digital so get it on DVD and you can watch it whenever.

The film follows the eldest daughter Maggie (Brenda De Banzie) of boot maker Henry Hobson (Charles Laughton). Frustrated with her father telling her she's past marrying age she takes it upon herself to find a husband. In Hobson's employment is Will Mossop (John Mills) who has a real talent for boot making. Maggie takes it upon herself to turn Will's talents towards forming a new boot making business and turning Will into the man she's happy to marry. The story is a kind of a reverse Pygmalion with the working class man being moulded into a successful, confident businessman.

The film is packed with great British talent. None more so than Charles Laughton who is Oscar worthy in his performance of Hobson (a man who values drink before his daughters and feels the world owes him something). John Mill's puts in a great performance as Will Mossop as he grows from a weak workman into a confident and independent businessman and husband to Maggie.

It's funny, charming and very uplifting and it's a film you really must own.

ON THE DVD: The quality is fantastic in both picture and sound. Studio Canal have once again restored a great to its former glory. I used to have a VHS of this film and it was very grainy. This DVD release is a stunning transformation and makes the film even better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 21 May 2014
A 60 year old black and white British film...how many of these do I own and watch? Errr...well one actually...this one! I have always loved this film, and even to this day, it holds up so very well in spite of it's age. Superb performances all round, but Charles Laughton continues to stand out as the tyrannical Henry Hobson, John Mills as the illiterate and meek Will Mossop, and Brenda de Banzie as the redoubtable Maggie. I could write a tome about this film, but why bore everyone to death...just buy it and enjoy British Cinema at it's very best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Old Film, 7 Aug. 2013
By 
A. Roberton "Alan Roberton" (Hinckley, Leicestershire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
As I said in the title, "A Lovely old Film" and indeed it is. John Mills at his best with Charles Laughton his usual powerful self. The story of a Boot and Shoe shop owner from Salford and his three daughters make for a delightful film. The story of how William (Willy) Mossop was helped from a boot hand to a shop owner together with his old bosses daughter is a delight from the first few minutes to the very end. A film not to miss.

The quality of picture and sound is excellent, especially when you think that this film is almost 60 years old.

Look out for Richard Wattis, John Laurie and a very young and beautiful Prunella Scales.

If you are a fan of good acting without the need of special effects and noisy background music, with actors words coming over clearly and precisely, then look no further. A true British film to watch again and again. Brilliant.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Film - Awful Sound, 7 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
I have given this product 3 stars only because although the film itself is top notch with a wonderful story brilliantly acted by a strong cast, the sound on this particular transfer is quite appalling. Studio Canal seem to have a problem with audio when they (so called) "remaster" these older films and one is left wishing that they had left well alone. There is a constant "pulsing" on the soundtrack, most evident when the background music is playing long sustained notes, which is extremely intrusive and distracting. It starts on the chimes of Big Ben at the "London Films" ident logo and continues throughout the whole film.

This is one of two recent purchases of Studio Canal DVDs (the other being "The Sound Barrier") which have this same audio defect. I have an old VHS recording of one of these films and the sound is far superior than this DVD; it being an older, non-digital version.

If you can find this film released by any other company than "Studio Canal" then go for it but as for this particular version, leave well alone. I will definitely not be buying any more DVDs made by Studio Canal.

Amazon are in no way at fault here; they delivered the product quickly and well packaged, as always. My only gripe is with Studio Canal and their very poor sound processing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digitally restored to it's original 1954 glory and still the best film ever., 7 Jan. 2011
By 
JK "J. K." (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
Charles Laughton, Henry Horatio Hobson, is the star of this wonderful film directed by David Lean and originally released in 1954.

The inspiration behind Hobson 's Choice was Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, and this film joins David Lean's other classic adaptation, Oliver, as probably one of the best film of the era.

I particularly enjoy the scenes of 19th century Salford and the way the film is played out between a small group of actors but; what a group of actors!. John Mills is sublime as terrified boot maker Will Mossop while Brenda De Banzie, Maggie Hobson, steals the show with her portrayal of strong minded, determined elder daughter relegated to the role of 'spinsterhood' by her drunken father. Without a doubt it's Charles Laughton's performance as the chauvinistic shop owner that holds the whole thing together. He's a blend of comedy, cruelty, alcohol and drama that's hard to beat.

My favourite film of all time and one I've watched too many times to count.

This version of the DVD has been digitally restored and in original black and white format. Running time is approx. 104 minutes. Special features are quite limited to a stills gallery with captions. The film has English subtitles.

I'm more than happy to recommend.
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