Hobson's Choice (1954)
July 6, 2015 7:43 AM - Subscribe

Henry Hobson runs a successful bootmaker's shop in nineteenth-century Salford. A widower with a weakness for the pub opposite, he tries forcefully to run the lives of his three unruly ...
posted by latkes (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I found the Armond White essay on the Criterion Site to be helpful to understanding the context of this movie, and also liked the commentary that accompanied the DVD version (not sure that it's on Hulu), which helped me notice a lot of the cool visual details. But on a basic level, this movie didn't need a lot of contextualization or explanation. I could just enjoy it on an entertainment level.

I love the creepy opening scene and then comic release of the introduction of our alcoholic hero. I love the proto-feminist lead and how they present her as totally competent and, instead of "ball busting", as someone who helps build up the strength of her chosen man. I love the sets and everyone's theatricallity. There were so many great details (the cobbler/future husband popping his head up from under the floor! The wicked friends in the bar! Charles Laughton falling in the hole!) It just worked for me!

(Hey, we only have a couple films left on the Criterion on Hulu club docket. People have named a lot of cool movies they want to watch in this series, does someone else want to add some to our schedule?)
posted by latkes at 7:54 AM on July 6, 2015

(On Hulu Plus and itunes, part of the Criterion on Hulu film club, but how do I make it appear among those club posts?!)
posted by latkes at 8:37 AM on July 6, 2015

(You just needed to add "_club" to the "criteriononhulu" tag.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:46 AM on July 6, 2015

I wish I had something more insightful to say than I laughed right out loud when I realized what Maggie had done after Henry turned up at her house on her wedding day to ask her advice about the lawsuit. The look on her face when she maneuvered Will into insisting that the new venture be named Mossop and Hobson was a great moment too.

It's a great looking picture. I especially loved the scene with Henry drunkenly traipsing in the moonlit puddles. The score was a bit much in places, but still not bad.

I did wonder if Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear consciously modeled his on-air persona on Henry Hobson or if being that kind of smug blowhard just comes naturally to a certain kind of northerner?
posted by ob1quixote at 3:02 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the suggestion of this, enjoyed it thoroughly.
posted by octothorpe at 5:49 PM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

The score was a bit much in places, but still not bad.

Agreed, though I did find it less bothersome when reading the White essay on the Criterion site and it discussed it as a conscious choice to put the whole farce in its

I'm making my way catching up on the Criterion Club this week, and don't really have much more to add except that I enjoyed this a lot and wish David Lean had done more comedies. (I'd seen Blithe Spirit in the past and thought it, like Hobson's Choice, was a great adaptation of a play for film, rather than just feeling like a play's script filmed awkwardly.)

Also, I'll just leave this right here at the foot of your bed.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:51 PM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

This afternoon I was watching the David Lean comedy Hobson's Choice, which opens with drunk old man Hobson stumbling through the streets. When he reaches home, his eldest daughter comes home to haul his drunk ass upstairs and says "Good job your Masons meeting's only once a month." I find the timing of my viewing of this amusing.

(oops I meant to post this in the IRL thread for our monthly meetup tonight)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:55 PM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

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