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Based on Thomas Hardy's 19th century novel, Bathsheba Everdene is a willful, passionate girl who is never satisfied with anything less than a man's complete and helpless adoration. And she captures the lives and loves of three very different men: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer who is captivated by her beauty and proposes marriage; William Boldwood, a prosperous man in his early forties and a confirmed bachelor; and Sergeant Frank Troy, a handsome, reckless swordsman given to sudden fits of violence. Written by
One of my favorite books of all time became one of my favorite films of the '60's. Yes, it's long and deliberately paced, but beautifully filmed (by future director Nicolas Roeg) and unusually intelligent. Julie Christie, fresh from her Oscar for "Darling," never quite gets a handle on the character of Bathsheba Everdene, but she is so beautiful and magnetic an actress that it hardly matters. Her three leading men, however, are all superb--Terence Stamp as the caddish Troy, Peter Finch as the lonely neighbor whose love for Bathsheba yields tragic results, and (especially) the late, great Alan Bates, who projects a wonderful and down-to-earth masculinity as farmer Oak. Director John Schlesinger crafted a film that evokes a time and a place as few other films ever have. Special mention also to Richard Rodney Bennett's beautiful musical score--sadly (and unbelievably) the only Oscar nomination this film received.
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