Having heard good things about it, i bought an old VHS copy of Hobson’s Choice (1954).
I’m really impressed. Charles laughton plays Hobson, a London bootmaker in Victorian itmes, whose three daughters are still living at home. And he likes it that way, th eold tyrant; they run his shoip while he whiles away the hours at the pub.
Until his oldest daughter, Maggie (Brenda DeBanzie) decides that she’s going to get married, and with coldblooded singlemindedness, she goes about accomplishing it.
Her choice is an employee of her father’s, a meek bootmaker named Willie (John Mills). And over the course of the movie, she establishes her independence from her father and makes a man of her husband.
What really makes the movie is Maggie. Her character is like nothing I’ve ever seen before: Strong-willed, practical, determined, and ruthless. And yet very likeable. Her marriage to Willie is very very strange; it starts out as a practical realization that his valuable skill, coupled with her business ability, would make a very good partnership. And then it evolves…
A very good picture of what I suspect a lot of Victorian marriages were like, and completely fascinating from beginning to end.
I recommend it highly, and Mrs. R, the harshest critic in our house, was captivated.