Hobson's Choice

Hobson's Choice

David Lean (1953)

U Certificate


Our Score
Winner of the British Academy Award for best British film in 1954, this is a splendid adaptation of the celebrated Harold Brighouse play. The role of the Salford cobbler at war with his wilful daughter is tailor-made for Charles Laughton (who had previously enjoyed much stage success in the role of Henry Horatio Hobson), and he gives one of his very best performances. The slick by-play between the leads belies the fact that Laughton detested Brenda de Banzie as Maggie and resented John Mills for landing the son-in-law part he wanted to go to Robert Donat. Director David Lean handles cast and material with equal care, judging the moments of comedy and poignancy perfectly. Also worthy of mention are Malcolm Arnold's delightful score and the grimy splendour of the photography, which earned Jack Hildyard the chance to shoot both Summertime and The Bridge on the River Kwai (for which he won an Oscar). The undoubted highlight is the scene in which a sozzled Laughton (with timing worthy of Chaplin) puzzles over the disappearance of the reflection of the Moon from the puddles he staggers past on his way home.


A cantankerous, overbearing boot-maker spends most of his time drinking while his three daughters push themselves to the limit taking care of his shop and home. A timid employee marries one of the sisters, then sets himself up as a rival for his business. Comedy, starring John Mills and Charles Laughton.

Cast & Crew

Henry Horatio Hobson Charles Laughton
Willie Mossop John Mills
Maggie Hobson Brenda de Banzie
Vicky Hobson Prunella Scales
Alice Hobson Daphne Anderson
Albert Prosser Richard Wattis
Freddy Beenstock Derek Blomfield
Mrs Hepworth Helen Haye
Director David Lean
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Studio CanalAvailable on: video, DVD and Blu-ray