Henry Horatio Hobson (Charles Laughton) is the owner of a well established boot shop in nineteenth century Salford, Lancashire and the father of three daughters. The oldest, Maggie (Brenda De Banzie), shoulders both home and business responsibilities while Hobson whiles the time away at the local pub. The younger sisters are both being courted by neighbours, but Hobson refuses to give the couples settlements. Maggie becomes tired of his oafish behaviour and decides to take matters into her hands by seeking a husband. Much to the hilarity and consternation of her father, aged spinster Maggie sets her sights on shy Will Mossop (John Mills), Hobson's master boot-maker. Mossop is at first stunned by the suggestion, but eventually agrees to Maggie's authoritative persuasion, and together they set up a rival boot shop.
Excellent play, excellent film, excellent British acting, excellent British humour
- Hobson's Choice review by RP
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Based on a play by Harold Brighouse, this is not only an excellent stage play (I saw a revival at Birmingham Rep some years ago) but also an excellent film, combining a moral message with British humour.
Widower Henry Hobson is a successful bootmaker in 1880s Salford. He has three daughters but is a little stingy with his money (other than in spending rather too much on drink in the 'Moonrakers Arms') and forbids them to get married to avoid paying marriage settlements. He regards his oldest daughter Maggie, an astute businesswoman in her own right, as being on the shelf at age 30. But Maggie has her own plans and sets her sights on Will Mossop, Hobson's talented bootmaker, bosses him, educates him, weds him, and sets up in business with him. In a year they have become more successful than Hobson, and return to take over his shop.
Acted with much humour by a broad range of British talent, I enjoyed this very much. Apart from the well known leading men Charles Laughton and John Mills, in these older films I like looking out for small parts played by others who later became famous. There is a young Prunella Scales, later best known as Basil's dragon of a wife in 'Fawlty Towers' and also John Laurie, later best known as Private Frazer in 'Dad's Army'.