The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1997) short review


Another BBC miniseries, which will tell you right off that it’s good.  Set in probably the 1750s, it’s interesting in that it portrays an earlier time period than is usually shown in 18th century costume movies.  This is the classic Henry Fielding tale of Tom Jones, a bit of a rake and a bit of an adventurer, but really just a Good Guy.  Lots of beautiful gowns with cuffs rather than sleeve ruffles (earlier style) on Samantha Morton and the other female leads.  Definitely played for comedy — some actors hit it right, like Aunt Western, and some go a bit over the top, like Squire Allworthy.


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

3 Responses

  1. Damnitz

    I think that Brian Blessed and Benjamin Withrow are the best actors for Fieldings novel. It’s a shame, that some remarkable Scenes didn’t made it into the film.

  2. Isabel Lessley

    I know it’s been a long time, but I love this movie. Is there any way we could get a more comprehensive breakdown on the costumes? I would really love to hear your thoughts.

  3. mekko

    Agreed! This was one I watched many times as a kid, and would love to see a more detailed review.