DVD Reviews - Tom Jones

      Date posted: December 31, 1969

Tom Jones
Tony Richrdson, director & producer; HBO Home Video; Pan & Scan only; Dolby Digital Stereo English, French, Spanish Mono; 121 Minutes

      HBO has done this wonderful film and its creator Tony Richardson a serious injustice in its DVD release. Instead of going back to original negatives or even a good print, it has mastered from a somewhat beat-up work or theatrical print with faded colour, lots of scratch sparklies, poor resolution, and mediocre screechy stereo sound. In other words, it’s pretty much the same old brew you saw on cable in a new cup.

      Worse, the dark scenes (and there are many of Tom’s frequent nocturnal descents into debauchery, including some very comic mistaken identity situations that Fielder created in the wonderful 18th century picaresque novel) are mostly mud, which tends to ruin their comic effect.

      There must be a better print of Tom Jones somewhere. Given some of the masterful restorations done by Criterion and others, and the work represented by other DVD producers in these pages, this quickie, on-the-cheap DVD is a professional disgrace for HBO Home Video.

Andrew Marshall

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