An unsung comic triumph from David Lean, Hobson’s Choice stars the legendary Charles Laughton as the harrumphing Henry Hobson, the owner of a boot shop in late-Victorian Northern England whose haughty, independent daughter decides to forge her own path, romantically and professionally.
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The bleak industrial wastes of Salford, North England serve as the backdrop for this hilarious and touching comedy. Brilliant performances and characterizations, especially Charles Laughton who turns out to be a gifted physical comic as well as thespian. David Lean was truly a versatile genius.
Hobson's Choice is no choice at all. I suppose the stereotypical drunk acting was a hoot at the time, but now it just looks embarrassing. That with the score trying to underline the hilarity is simply painful to watch. If you want to see someone charge up the stairs, watch 'Arsenic and Old Lace'. Now that kind of comedy holds up well.
"It's daylight robbery!" So utterly like-ably British. David Lean seems to be a natural perfectionist and a devoted professional. Snappy comedy, I even laughed out loud a few times. The drinking and street scenes are good. Hobson is a lovable oaf thanks to Charles Laughton.
Avec une composition truculente et savoureuse de Charles Laughton, peut-être le plus grand acteur de cinéma, toutes époques confondues, et une remarquable direction d'acteurs, dans une parfaite reconstitution historique et sociale, une oeuvre maîtresse d'un David Lean au meilleur de son métier et de son inspiration... www.cinefiches.com
A perfectly enjoyable anti-Victorian comedy with good performances by Charles Laughton and Brenda de Banzie. It comes from a by-no-means-quaint (and not-altogether-vanished) time when people still thought domineering, entitled, sweaty old men were charming (a figure very much related, as this movie bears out, to the affable alcoholic).
Another mini-triumph from the great Lean. Laughton is something to behold in this drunken comic turn. The oldest daughter supposedly being 30 but being played by a 45 yr old is the only real drawback to this film, although De Branzie (spelling?) gives a grand performance, making it hard to imagine someone else pulling it off. All in all, great work by all involved, and an underrated comic gem.