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Hobson's Choice

7.81 h 47 min1954U
Henry Hobson (Charles Laughton) is the owner of a well established boot shop in nineteenth century Salford, Lancashire and the father of three daughters. The eldest, Maggie, shoulders both home and business responsibilities while Hobson whiles the time away at the local pub. The younger sisters are both being courted by neighbours, but Hobson refuses to give the couples settlements.
David Lean
Charles LaughtonJohn MillsBrenda De Banzie
None Available
Audio Languages
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.

Included with STUDIOCANAL PRESENTS on Amazon for £4.99/month after trial

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David Lean
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4.8 out of 5 stars

1414 global ratings

  1. 87% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 9% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 2% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

D J Jackson: Passionate about Film.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 October 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Verified purchase
This is a review of the 60th Anniversary edition DVD from Studiocanal.

This is a classic British comedy, starring 2 of the greats of British cinema, John Mills and Charles Laughton. Both are at the top of their game in this film, and it is also fascinating to see the very young Prunella Scales, and also other stalwarts of British comedy from the time.

We really enjoyed this film. I have read comments on this site, that it is dated. Well, it was made in 1954, and it is set in about 1870, so clearly this has implications for the content and how the film looks. If you only enjoy modern highly coloured, frantic action block-busters, then clearly, this film will not appeal. Don't buy it. BUT if you are interested in film history, especially British film history, you will not be disappointed, as this is an outstanding example.

This is a wonderful, warm-hearted, feel-good film, and I suspect that the picture it paints of Victorian Salford (or any other industrial town of the era) is pretty accurate. The comedy is gentle and sympathetic. John Mills is wonderful as shy Willie Mossop, whose life is turned upside-down, then inside-out, by determined Maggie, played with great charm by Brenda de Banzie. Visually, it is a delight, and it is not a cheap production. The interiors are great fun, and the exteriors beautifully realised. The story is a delight, and if you are into this era of film, then you are likely to be cheering Willie and Maggie by the end. Just sit back, relax and enjoy!
20 people found this helpful
JayReviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 August 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
An absolute classic!
Verified purchase
Hobson's choice is a superb classic. This is a film for those who love the older black and white movies and also a love for the actors. Charles Laughton, Barbera De Banzie and Sir John Mills head up the cast. Prunella Scales also has a great part in this film as one of the Daughters and plays it well too!

This is the story of William Mossop (John Mills) who has the best hands in Lancashire for making shoes. Charles Laughton who plays Hobson the shop owner pays little attention to Williams talent and underpays him as well as works him hard. Barbera De Banzie who plays one of Hobsons three Daughters (Maggie) and spots William's talent. Hobson mocks Maggie saying that she is too past it to be married and so begins the fun.

Maggie decides she is going to marry William and does so. This is to the disgust of Hobson who feels that the relationship is going nowhere. Maggie and Will set up a shop and start to do well. The upshot is that Maggie wants to get Hobson's shop for her and William.

This is a beautifully made film with some good strong actors. If you want to own a classic then this is definitely one for your collection.
One person found this helpful
PalindromeReviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 October 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
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This film is pretty close to the original play script and filmed in glorious no-colour black and white. It's a typical 1940s-50s British film featuring slightly stuffy acting and a slight tendency to caricature, but even recent films sometimes have a 'dated' feel. The story-line is well described by other reviewers, so all I can add is that this film is part of my childhood and (apart from some rather 'stiff' acting by John Mills (as ever) is a 'watch and watch again', wet Sunday, need a dose of nostalgesic therapy sort of film.

Hint: if you like (and 'get') this film, try to find the silent classic 'Hindle Wakes'.
4 people found this helpful
Alan ParryReviewed in the United Kingdom on 01 March 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Superb text
Verified purchase
This has to be one of Lean's very best films. I used to teach this Brighouse text as recently as 2015 and secondary students loved the play. This is one of the best film realisations of a brilliantly comic, superbly crafted text. I cannot read the play now without visualising the film's cast in the different parts. It's a film that will put a smile on your face from start to finish and it has the added joy that it does not depend on high-speed car chases or new grim ways of destroying people. Highly recommend this as a family film.
Kindle CustomerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 August 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
so I was really pleased to find it on Amazon
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This is an old black and white film. A theatre company we know did a play based on the film, and we couldn't go, so I was really pleased to find it on Amazon.

It is a very fun film, lots of comedy (but not just for the sake of it, so it doesn't feel laboured), with the v.sexist lead character getting his comeuppance. Lovely to see the relationship grow between Maggie and Willy - and to see his character grow/develop.

Look out for the very young Prunella Scales.

A shame films like this don't get made any more.
5 people found this helpful
PoopsalotReviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 March 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Potential manufacturing issue with blu ray version
Verified purchase
Seems to be a fault with the BR version of this anniversary edition. Tried two copies now and both have had the same problem, playing some of the Studio Canal logo, bu displaying visual glitches while doing so, before my BR player refuses to go any further. It’s not the player, as every other film I’ve tried subsequently works fine. There’s an identical visible indented circle that almost looks like a scratch in the centre of both discs that I’ve had which looks very much like a manufacturing fault. Annoying.
One person found this helpful
Mrs Ruth A HalsallReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 November 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Well written movie with fun and laughs, but serious too
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This film is based on a stage play and is set during the early nineteen hundreds in the twentieth century. It deals with a man who owns a shoe shop and has all daughters. He wants his eldest to stay at home and look after him in his old age and not marry or have her own life. The title Hobsons choice refers to only having once choice in life. That appears as to what the eldest daughter has, but in fact, she has more than one choice in her llife. That is what the movie is all about.It is quite funny and also uses a kind of dialect of northern life, in its manners and culture. It is a fun movie and also a serious one. Great to watch and well written. Excellent product. Thanks
3 people found this helpful
Buzz W.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 March 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
The best film ever
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Great film with an excellent storyline. Set in the back streets of the city of Salford, it’s tells the tale of how a daughter running her family shoe shop, gets the better of her overpowering father in a very commercial and subtle way. Hypnotising portrayal of the grumpy father by Charles Laughton, and an even better performance as the young Boothand by John Mills. Watch it once and you’ll want to watc( it again and again and again.
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