• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is David Lean’s adaptation of Hobson’s Choice a good performance of the play? Comment on individual performances as well as the production as a whole.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Is David Lean's adaptation of Hobson's Choice a good performance of the play? Comment on individual performances as well as the production as a whole. From the s****t, coarse proprietor of Hobson's Boot Shop to the forthright, ambitious and "uppish" Maggie, Lean has, with the aid of some fantastic casting, excellently captured the unique characteristics of each character: the drunken pompousness of Henry Horatio Hobson, the cold sternness of "old maid" Maggie Hobson, the childlike innocence of Willie Mossop. The adaptation follows the play almost word for word, as well as the occasional addition by producer, director and screenwriter Lean. Charles Laughton, John Mills and Brenda de Banzie (as Hobson, Maggie and Willie) all give outstanding performances, portraying their characters perfectly. When reading the play, images are conjured up in the mind, and these images seem to have been projected onto the Silver Screen in the form of Laughton, Mills and de Banzie. Even the minor roles in the play (such as Jack Howarth's Tubby Wadlow, or John Laurie's Dr MacFarlane) contribute towards the overall gleam of this superb production. The part of the "crusty old curmudgeon" Hobson (according to the Baseline Motion Picture Guide) is played wonderfully by Charles Laughton, at the peak of his prowess as an actor. ...read more.

Middle

Unlike her other sisters, Alice and Vicky, Maggie is very calm and collected when dealing with the ramblings of her father, and also has a good head for business. She almost single-handedly runs her father's boot shop, and without her the business would almost certainly fall apart. De Banzie's manner while playing Maggie is very much like that of a strict head teacher, but she has a softer side, as we see later on in the performance. Maggie's curt manner is performed superbly by de Banzie, as is her stubborn and determined nature. When her father announces that she's "past marrying age" she seems determined to prove him wrong, and she does: not only does she marry Willie Mossop, but she sets up her own boot making business, which prospers and even starts to rival the great Hobson's. She reveals her softer side, though, when we see her glowing with pride in the final act, when Willie is successfully "high-handed" with Hobson, Alice and Vicky. As well as the three main characters (Hobson, Willie and Maggie) there are other minor characters that make the finesse of the adaptation complete, and who are no less important. Daphne Anderson and Prunella Scales are wonderful as Hobson's snobbish, almost spoilt younger daughters Alice and Vicky. ...read more.

Conclusion

The part where Hobson is delusional due to his many years of heavy drinking is a perfect example of the effects in Hobson's Choice, because in that scene Hobson imagines he sees a swarm of mosquitoes attacking him, and then imagines a man-sized rabbit at the foot of his bed. Overall I think that David Lean's adaptation of Harold Brighouse's Hobson's Choice is a marvel of its time. It sticks to the play almost word for word, and with the small changes that have been made the conversion from book to screen worked perfectly (although I think that Dr MacFarlane's role in this performance ends much too abruptly). The conflicting personalities of Hobson and Maggie are brought to life marvellously by Laughton and de Banzie, while John Mill's timid Willie Mossop is stuck hopelessly in the middle. The grim streets of Victorian Salford make for the perfect background of this macabre slice of urban drama, while the comical antics of its residents lighten the atmosphere, making the genre of this performance somewhat enigmatic: comedy or drama? Whatever it is, it is certainly an intelligent piece of work (Hobson's entrapment by eldest daughter Maggie so that he is forced to award her and her sisters financial settlements is exceptionally clever), and Lean should be congratulated. Matthew Gibson, B10. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harold Brighouse section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harold Brighouse essays

  1. Hobson's Choice Coursework

    When Maggie asks him to come to bed, he is reluctant to do so. In the film he is shown sitting by the fire and he eventually has the courage to go in with Maggie. This shows a bit of a change in Willie as he is now not as

  2. Hobson's Choice

    It is here at the park where Willie declares he is not in fact in love with Maggie. He also tells her there is someone else whom he is in love with, Ada Figgins. Maggie goes to see Ada and her mother and starts to tell them about her future

  1. Hobson's Choice Summary

    The business is obviously in trouble and Alice and Vickey are finding it hard to manage things without Maggie. We learn that they have lost a lot of their high-class trade. Alice doesn't know how to organise the work in the workshop and tells Tubby to carry on making clogs.

  2. Demonstrate, in detail, how the writer uses language effectively to represent Maggies character and ...

    This is showing Maggie hurting someone to help someone and herself which is how her. The play is showing how she is a liberator breaking the chains off Willie and setting him free in the world with her. Maggie said "I've got my work cut out."

  1. Hobson's Choice

    "Go away." I murmured, "Leave me alone." I wished the tears would go away, leave me alone. I hated crying. I found myself walking, walking down an alley, Leanne still behind me. A hand found my shoulder, turned my once again numb body towards it. I tried to fight back the tears, but the pain was too much.

  2. Hobson's Choice - How does Brighouse represent the character os Maggie in Act One?

    If a daughter did not like the way she was treated by her parents the only she could do would be to get married, but it was law in those days that a husband had control over his wife and could even beat her with a stick as long as it was no wider than his thumb.

  1. hobson's choiceStudying the Victorian period from Hobson's choice, I rewrote a section of the ...

    But mama for children means mother. 4. Salaam wa alaykm --> An Arabic (Islamic word) meaning good day or hello. 5. Wa Alaykm AL salaam --> An Arabic (Islamic word) word meaning, and a pleasant day to you. 6. Binty --> An Arabic saying to show love for a girl even though she isn't your daughter, which "binty" mainly means.

  2. Hobson's choice

    This event clearly marks w*****s assertiveness and social mobility, and at the same time Hobson's downfall. We can see from Hobson's character that he suffers from a bigoted arrogance. This prejudiced belief is linked with male status, and we see from various instances that he believes himself to be superior to women.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work