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Customer Review

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A British Classic, 4 Feb. 2010
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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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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Apr 2012 08:42:30 BDT
I know this film well and would love it in DVD. However I am a little hard of hearing and can only use it if it has subtitles

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Apr 2012 10:26:47 BDT
I may not be able to reply to this post for a week or two. I have loaned the DVD to a friend who lives about 90 miles away, and will need to retrieve it to check the position!

In reply to an earlier post on 10 May 2012 19:39:38 BDT
.W says:
Hi Dennis, I took a gamble buying this, and am pleased to confirm that it has English subtitles.
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