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84 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Big Al,Oxford
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...
Published on 28 Nov 2008 by Big Al

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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 M. Smith


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84 of 88 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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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By gum, it's good, 29 Aug 2009
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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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun to watch, "by gum"!, 16 July 2011
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
The story opens in Victorian England, where Henry Hobson (Charles Laughton) is a wealthy boot shop owner, despite being a selfish blowhard and a drunkard who spends his days and nights at the pub. When he tells his smart, spinster daughter (Brenda de Banzie) that she's too old to marry, she takes matters into her own hands and marries an unlikely candidate (John Mills).

This is an absolutely delightful movie with endearing characters, a funny plot, and witty dialogue and it was directed by David Lean. Laughton is very good as the blustering father, but Brenda de Banzie steals the show. She plays a strong-willed, ahead-of-her-time woman who knows what she wants and goes after it, despite the social pressures of the day. John Mills gives a sweet performance as the oafish boot hand who grows into a confident and loving businessman.

The recreation of a Victorian town is complete and the costumes are lovely. This is an old-fashioned and thoroughly enjoyable movie that will leave you wondering why they don't make 'em like this anymore. Highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 23 July 2010
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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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36 of 38 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
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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 (Scotland) - 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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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a real gem, 16 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
Brilliant is the only word that sums up this film. Its full of humour with good acting from all involved. The location shots are nostalgic, particularly for someone who lived in the general region and can recognize some of the places. This is definitely worth the money
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You've a waist that's natural in wasps and unnatural in women", 1 Aug 2009
By 
Humpty Dumpty (Wall St, Upton Snodsbury) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
This could so easily have been a film version of the Harold Brighouse play that would have added little to the theatrical or indeed the ballet experience, just as Guy Hamilton's An Inspector Calls from the following year (1954) failed to do. In fact Hobson's Choice is a treat, and we must thank director David Lean for that as well as for demonstrating the difference that an artist with a camera can make over a journeyman.

The very first image, a close-up of the Hobson outsize shop sign swinging in the rainy night, announces the quality of things to come. This is straightaway followed by the drunken Hobson lurching upstairs to bed, the camera perched at the top of the steep flight of stairs, at an angle, so that Hobson's upward plunge, whirling helicopter-like, takes on a tipsy urgency. These early scenes burst with energy. Later on, during fine location scenes of the mean streets of Salford, Mossop and Maggie Hobson stop for their first kiss under an archway, silhouetted against a brightly-lit ginnel running away beyond them. The set-up of the shot is just perfect.

Lean and his script co-writers wisely bring things to a fairly brisk close after the Hobson business split, aware that the energy that suffuses the story up to that point rather drains away later on since the successful Mossop cannot hold our attention to the same degree as does the downtrodden Mossop.

Lean is zealously backed up by his cast. Charles Laughton's Hobson, though occasionally seeming to have stepped out of a farce rather than a character comedy, is a larger-then-life lazybones; his drunken scenes have entered film lore. The exotically named Brenda de Banzie as Maggie, while she might have been just a bit more abrasive and is definitely too attractive, is a good match for him in her first movie. The 21 year old Prunella Scales, also a debutante, shines in a smallish role, and Richard Wattis and John Laurie also have an outing.

It's a pleasure to watch this restored print of Hobson's Choice from Optimum with its sharp picture, good b/w contrast and clear sound quality. No extras to speak of.
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Hobson's Choice [DVD] [1954]
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