Hobson's Choice (1954)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Domestic Comedy, Comedy of Manners, Satire  |   Release Date - Apr 19, 1954 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 110 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom, United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Richard Gilliam

Hobson's Choice is one of director David Lean's best comedies, featuring a fine performance by Charles Laughton as the domineering boot-shop owner whose drunken behavior causes his family to rebel. Filmed on location in Salford, England, Hobson's Choice marvelously recreates the late Victorian era, and makes a credible stab at the linguistic flavor of the region. The story is told with Lean's trademark subtlety, most apparent in the wedding-night scene between Brenda De Banzie and John Mills. One of Lean's greatest strengths as a director was his versatility over a wide range of motifs and settings. The intimate, back-and-white domestic comedy of Hobson shows little evidence of the widescreen, epic grandeur that would inform such later Lean work as Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, and A Passage to India. Cinematographer Jack Hildyard does a fine job of keeping Hobson's Choice visually interesting.