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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on 28 November 2008
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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VINE VOICEon 29 August 2009
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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on 23 July 2010
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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VINE VOICEon 4 February 2010
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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on 7 March 2010
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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on 3 March 2009
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 October 2016
This film accidentally became the last of a trilogy of films I’ve been watching which turn out to be about women and alcohol. The first was Hologram for the King (alcohol where its banned, broken marriages) the second I Saw the Light (no, not some alkie’s catharsis but Hank Williams' addiction to booze and women). Hobson’s Choice has Hobson thoroughly connected to a drink maybe as an antidote for having three busy daughters around him all day in his shop. Can you imagine three women in a shoe shop all day?

Must comment first on the immaculate reproduction of the film on blu ray. I watched on 10ft projection and could easily immerse myself in the background to the movie. Kids playing in the street, handcarts to move furniture, gas lighting indoors. I have been trying to pin down when it was set. No mention of wars, I would guess the 1920s. Hard times for some but not for shopkeepers. The idea of progression from Salford to Manchester is typical of so many invalid perceptions of neighbouring towns. People make places not money.

I was impressed by the quality of Prunella Scales’ acting; her name I noticed on the opening credits. Only known her from the still watched The Good Life. But all three women dominate the stage, dominate their men. Love the way John Mills first appears as if from the bowels of life, a trap-door to the workshop. His face the very picture of innocence. Poor lad, beneath the feet of an upper class customer. Does class define their objectives? This period piece still works today as a clarifier.
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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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on 14 September 2016
I have always loved this film, since I was a kid, though I had not seen it for some years until I saw Martin Shaw give his excellent performance on stage.

The characterisations in the film are definitely exaggerated, the story is a bit twee and Laughton overacts at every opportunity. His drunken scene is ludicrous. The result is just fantastic. It is one of these films that gives you a warm, contented feeling. Highly commended.
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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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