The story opens in Victorian times, where Henry Hobson (Charles Laughton) is a wealthy boot shop owner, despite being a selfish blowhard and a drunkard who spends his days and nights at the pub. When he tells his smart, spinster daughter (Brenda de Banzie) that she's too old to marry, she takes matters into her own hands and marries an unlikely candidate (John Mills).
This is an absolutely delightful movie with endearing characters, a funny plot, and witty dialogue and it was directed by David Lean. Laughton is very good as the blustering father, but Brenda de Banzie steals the show. She plays a strong-willed, ahead-of-her-time woman who knows what she wants and goes after it, despite the social pressures of the day. John Mills gives a sweet performance as the oafish boot hand who grows into a confident and loving businessman.
The recreation of a Victorian town is complete and the costumes are lovely. This old-fashioned and thoroughly enjoyable movie left me with a smile on my face, wondering why they don't make 'em like this anymore. Highly recommended.
John Mills and Brenda de Banzie make an unlikely but wonderful couple.
For those who didn't know, and I was one of them, a Hobson's choice is a free choice, but where only one option is really available. At the end of Hobson's Choice, a fine, vulgar, poignant and very funny film directed by David Lean, this is what Henry Horatio Hobson faces. Please note that elements of the plot are discussed. Hobson (Charles Laughton) is a prosperous shoe and boot merchant in the small town of Salford, England. The time is the 1880s. Hobson … more