Morgan Hearne

Written by Morgan Hearne

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Are you a fan of classic movies? If so, then you’ve probably heard of the film “Hobson’s Choice.” Released in 1954, this British comedy-drama is renowned for its compelling story, memorable characters, and stellar performances. Directed by David Lean and based on the play by Harold Brighouse, “Hobson’s Choice” tells the tale of a stubborn father, his three daughters, and their pursuit of love and independence. With its rich humor, heartwarming moments, and timeless themes, the film has earned its place as a classic in cinematic history. In this article, we will delve into 35 fascinating facts about “Hobson’s Choice” that will not only enlighten you but also deepen your appreciation for this beloved movie.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Hobson’s Choice” is a timeless British film that celebrates female empowerment, family dynamics, and the power of determination. It’s a must-watch for anyone who loves captivating storytelling and exceptional performances.
  • This classic movie captures the spirit of 19th century England, blending comedy and drama to create a heartwarming and thought-provoking cinematic experience. It’s a beloved gem in British cinema history.
Table of Contents

Hobson’s Choice is a British romantic comedy film released in 1954.

Hobson’s Choice is a classic film that showcases the brilliant acting skills of Charles Laughton, who portrays the character of Henry Hobson, a proud and stubborn bootmaker in 19th century Salford, England.

The film is based on a play of the same name written by Harold Brighouse.

The play was first performed in 1916 and gained immense popularity amongst theatre-goers. Its success led to the creation of the film adaptation.

The movie was directed by David Lean.

David Lean, known for his masterful storytelling, was the visionary behind this remarkable film. His direction brought out the best in the actors and showcased the unique charm of the story.

Hobson’s Choice received critical acclaim upon its release.

The film was praised for its witty dialogue, superb acting, and authentic portrayal of the working-class society in England. It received several award nominations and won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

The key characters in the movie are Henry Hobson, Maggie Hobson, and Will Mossop.

Henry Hobson, played by Charles Laughton, is a stubborn and alcoholic bootmaker. Maggie Hobson, portrayed by Brenda De Banzie, is his strong-willed and independent daughter. Will Mossop, played by John Mills, is a talented and ambitious young bootmaker.

The film showcases the theme of female empowerment.

Maggie Hobson is a progressive and determined woman who challenges the societal norms of the time. She takes charge of her own life, both professionally and personally, and emerges as a strong female protagonist.

Hobson’s Choice was filmed in black and white.

The decision to shoot the film in black and white adds to its nostalgic and vintage appeal. The contrast and shadows captured on screen give the movie a timeless quality.

The film’s screenplay was written by David Lean and Norman Spencer.

David Lean and Norman Spencer collaborated to adapt Harold Brighouse’s play into a screenplay. Their expertise in storytelling resulted in a script that perfectly captured the essence of the original material.

Hobson’s Choice is set in the working-class society of Salford, Manchester.

The film offers a glimpse into the lives of working-class individuals in the late 19th century. The realistic depiction of the town adds depth and authenticity to the story.

The movie explores the complexities of family dynamics.

Hobson’s Choice delves into the relationship between Henry Hobson and his daughters. It highlights the struggle between parental expectations and individual aspirations.

The film showcases the importance of self-belief and determination.

Will Mossop’s character represents the underdog who transforms his life through hard work, talent, and self-confidence. This serves as an inspiring message for viewers.

Hobson’s Choice was Charles Laughton’s only directorial effort.

Charles Laughton, primarily known for his exceptional acting career, took on the role of director for this film. His talent behind the camera showed his versatility in the entertainment industry.

The movie beautifully captures the spirit of Salford and its people.

The attention to detail in the sets and costumes transports viewers to the vibrant streets of Salford. It immerses the audience in the charm and character of the setting.

Hobson’s Choice was a box office success.

The film’s compelling story and strong performances resonated with audiences. It became one of the highest-grossing British films of the year, further cementing its place in cinematic history.

The movie was nominated for several Academy Awards.

Hobson’s Choice received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor for Charles Laughton and Best Supporting Actress for Brenda De Banzie. Although it did not win any awards, the nominations were a testament to the film’s quality.

The film’s dialogue is filled with witty one-liners.

The clever and humorous exchanges among the characters add comedic value to the story. The memorable lines have become iconic in the realm of British cinema.

Hobson’s Choice remains a beloved classic in British cinema.

The film’s enduring popularity can be attributed to its timeless storyline, exceptional performances, and the way it captures the essence of a bygone era. It continues to inspire and entertain audiences to this day.

The movie’s runtime is approximately 1 hour and 47 minutes.

The concise duration allows for a well-paced narrative without any unnecessary filler. Every scene contributes to the overall storytelling.

Hobson’s Choice was restored and re-released in 2020.

The restoration gave a new generation the opportunity to appreciate the film’s brilliance and enjoy it on the big screen. The enhanced visuals and sound quality breathed new life into this cinematic gem.

The movie’s success led to adaptations in other mediums.

Hobson’s Choice inspired stage adaptations, radio dramas, and even a musical version. Its storytelling and characters have resonated with audiences across different forms of entertainment.

The film explores themes of class and societal expectations.

Hobson’s Choice examines the rigid class structure of the time and challenges the notion that one’s social standing defines their worth. It encourages viewers to question societal norms and expectations.

Hobson’s Choice is a delightful blend of comedy and drama.

The film skillfully balances light-hearted moments and emotional depth, making it a compelling watch. It evokes a range of emotions from laughter to introspection.

The movie’s success contributed to Charles Laughton’s iconic status.

Charles Laughton’s memorable portrayal of Henry Hobson solidified his reputation as one of the greatest actors of his generation. His performance in this film is regarded as one of his finest.

Hobson’s Choice showcases the talent of its ensemble cast.

From Charles Laughton’s commanding presence to Brenda De Banzie’s powerful performance as Maggie, each actor brings their A-game to the screen. Their chemistry and commitment to their roles elevate the film.

The movie explores the themes of ambition and success.

Will Mossop’s journey from a lowly apprentice to a successful businessman is a testament to the power of determination and seizing opportunities. It inspires viewers to chase their dreams.

Hobson’s Choice is a touching portrayal of familial love.

Despite their differences, the characters in the film share a genuine bond rooted in love and loyalty. It touches the hearts of viewers and reminds them of the importance of family.

The film’s cinematography captures the essence of the time period.

The visuals transport viewers back to the late 19th century, depicting the architecture, fashion, and lifestyle of the era in great detail. It adds authenticity and visual richness to the storytelling.

Hobson’s Choice has been praised for its strong character development.

The film gives each character a distinct personality and allows them to evolve throughout the story. Their growth and transformation resonate with audiences.

The movie’s title refers to a situation where one has no real choice.

The term “Hobson’s Choice” originated from the play and refers to a circumstance where an individual is presented with only one option, often without any alternatives. It becomes a central theme in the film.

Hobson’s Choice is an enduring example of British cinema at its finest.

The combination of exceptional performances, captivating storytelling, and memorable characters has made Hobson’s Choice an iconic film in British cinema history.

The movie has gained a dedicated fan following over the years.

Hobson’s Choice continues to captivate new generations of viewers. Its timeless appeal and universal themes ensure its continued popularity.

Hobson’s Choice was included in the British Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest British films of the 20th century.

The film’s inclusion in this prestigious list speaks to its significance and cultural impact on British cinema.

The movie’s soundtrack complements the story beautifully.

The music weaves through the film, enhancing the emotional impact of the scenes. It adds depth and texture to the storytelling process.

Hobson’s Choice offers a glimpse into the traditions and customs of the time.

The film provides an authentic portrayal of societal norms, particularly regarding relationships, marriage, and gender roles in the late 19th century.

Hobson’s Choice is a must-watch for film enthusiasts.

The movie’s blend of captivating storytelling, exceptional performances, and thought-provoking themes make it a cinematic masterpiece. It deserves its place among the all-time greats.


In conclusion, Hobson’s Choice is a timeless movie that continues to captivate audiences with its compelling story, brilliant performances, and thought-provoking themes. It is a true classic in the world of cinema, showcasing the talents of director David Lean and the incredible acting abilities of Charles Laughton, John Mills, and Brenda de Banzie. The film’s unique blend of romance, comedy, and drama, combined with its skillful storytelling and memorable characters, make it a must-watch for any movie enthusiast. Whether you’re a fan of classic films or simply looking for a captivating cinematic experience, Hobson’s Choice delivers on all fronts.


Q: Who directed Hobson’s Choice?

A: Hobson’s Choice was directed by David Lean.

Q: When was Hobson’s Choice released?

A: Hobson’s Choice was released in 1954.

Q: Who are the main actors in Hobson’s Choice?

A: The main actors in Hobson’s Choice are Charles Laughton, John Mills, and Brenda de Banzie.

Q: What is the story of Hobson’s Choice?

A: The movie follows Henry Hobson, a widowed bootmaker in 1880s Lancashire, who tries to control the lives of his three grown-up daughters. When his eldest daughter, Maggie, falls in love with one of Hobson’s employees, she determines to defy her father’s wishes and start her own business.

Q: Is Hobson’s Choice based on a book?

A: Yes, Hobson’s Choice is based on a play of the same name by Harold Brighouse.

Q: What genre is Hobson’s Choice?

A: Hobson’s Choice is a romantic comedy-drama film.

Q: Was Hobson’s Choice a success at the box office?

A: While Hobson’s Choice was not a huge box office success, it received critical acclaim and has since become regarded as a classic in British cinema.

Q: Are there any memorable scenes in Hobson’s Choice?

A: One of the most memorable scenes in Hobson’s Choice is when Maggie delivers her impassioned speech to her father, asserting her independence and determination to start her own business.

Q: Is Hobson’s Choice available to watch online?

A: Yes, Hobson’s Choice is available to watch on various streaming platforms and can also be purchased on DVD or Blu-ray.

Q: Did Hobson’s Choice win any awards?

A: Although Hobson’s Choice did not win any major awards, it was nominated for two BAFTA Awards for Best British Film and Best British Screenplay.

If you're a fan of classic British cinema, don't miss our fascinating facts about The Lavender Hill Mob. Love classic films? Check out the intriguing trivia behind The Thin Man Goes Home. And for a deeper dive into Charles Laughton's iconic career, explore the captivating details surrounding The Private Life of Henry VIII.

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