Attempting to repeat the commercial success of Tom Jones, this adaptation of Fielding's first novel is little more than a middlebrow's Carry On. Richardson allows his photographer and designers to make pretty pictures à la Barry Lyndon, while himself showing little interest in Fielding's essentially moralistic themes - innocence beset by rapacious experience, physically with Joseph and Fanny, mentally with Parson Adams. Indeed he violates the novel's guts and narrative coherence, at the same time reducing it to little more than a headlong tumble of bits of knockabout bedroom farce loosely hung together. Saddest of all is the usually brilliant Michael Hordern's performance as Adams. The one potentially interesting scene, a Ken Russell pastiche - a Black Mass with Fanny as victim - merely hints at a real depravity which might have been allowed to threaten.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Allan Scott, Chris Bryant|