Hobson’s Choice Hobson’s Choice

Hobson’s Choice

David Lean

 
Hobson’s Choice (Criterion DVD)

DVD

1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

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  • United Kingdom
  • 1954
  • 108 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  •  
  • Spine #461

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. With his haughty, independent daughter Maggie (Brenda De Banzie) decides to forge her own path, romantically and professionally, with none other than Henry’s prized bootsmith Will (a splendid John Mills), father and daughter find themselves head-to-head in a fiery match of wills. Equally charming and caustic, Hobson’s Choice, adapted from Harold Brighouse’s famous play, is filled to the brim with great performances and elegant, inventive camera work.

Cast

Henry HobsonCharles Laughton
Maggie HobsonBrenda De Banzie
Willam Mossop John Mills
Alice HobsonDaphne Anderson
Vicky Hobson Prunella Scales
Albert ProsserRichard Wattis
Freddy Beenstock Derek Blomfield

Credits

DirectorDavid Lean
Associate producerNorman Spencer
ScreenplayNorman Spencer, David Lean and Wynyard Browne
Music composed byMalcolm Arnold
Performed byThe Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Music directorMuir Mathieson
CinematographyJack Hildyard
Art directorWilfred Shingleton
EditingPeter Taylor

Disc Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer from a restoration by the BFI National Archive, funded by the David Lean Foundation and StudioCanal
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholars Alain Silver and James Ursini, co-authors of David Lean and His Films
  • The Hollywood Greats: Charles Laughton, a 1978 BBC documentary about the actor’s life and career, featuring interviews with his family, friends, and colleagues
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A new essay by critic Armond White

    New cover by F. Ron Miller

Film Essays

Hobson’s Choice: Custom-Made

By Armond White February 16, 2009

David Lean may not be known primarily for his comedies, but the two he made—1945’s Blithe Spirit, based on the Noël Coward play, and then Hobson’s Choice in 1954—were exceptional, combining . . . Read more »

Press Notes

Press Notes: The Choice Is Clear

March 01, 2009

The words “David Lean” and “laughter” aren’t often used in the same sentence, but our recent reminder of the British drama and epic maker’s good humor, in the form of the DVD release of Hobson’s . . . Read more »


Features

Laughton_1118_015_thumbnail

Charles Laughton: Size Matters

By Graham Fuller February 22, 2009

“Let me have men about me that are fat.” —Julius Caesar, act 1, scene 2 Just as Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe admired small, brave men who stick to their principles, I like—in the movies at . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Hobson’s Choice: Custom-Made

By Armond White February 16, 2009

David Lean may not be known primarily for his comedies, but the two he made—1945’s Blithe Spirit, based on the Noël Coward play, and then Hobson’s Choice in 1954—were exceptional, combining . . . Read more »