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"Fred from Maine" said very dismissively "The book was good, but apparently not good enough for the screenwriter. Some flagrant differences: In the book, Zlinter's coworkers are good, companionable fellows, who all like him and defend him when he is in trouble; in the film they beat him up when they find he was in the German army. In the book, the Australian doctor rose to Zlinter's defense; in the film, he is a heel. In the book, not a word appears about the Holocaust; in film, it is in your face, both at the start and at a crucial scene where an Australian Jew undertakes to erase a swastika painted on Zlinter's door (a scene totally fabricated for the film). The book ends with the lovers in England; in the film they are in Australia. In the book, Zlinter tries to learn about a namesake who lived in Australia. This entire subplot was deleted from the film. The good news: Michael York gives a first-rate performance as Zlinter. The bad news: Sigrid Thornton is an unconvincing Jennifer. Bottom line: Nevil Shute must have been spinning in his grave."
Whilst everybody is entitled to his own opinion, I thought that having thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation many times I would comment The book in common with all of the Prince of Storytellers novels includes such compleat descriptions, story line and dialog that I can sympathise with any screenwriter who has to write a film script from one and feels that he has very little to do to justify his salary! David Stevens who covered Shute's other major Aussie novel ATown Like Alice as a marvelous five hour long mini series starring Bryan Brown realized this and very largely left well alone, and in so doing paid far more justice to the full story than the earlier version starring Peter Finch which by comparison was a risible incomplete adaptation of only half of that book. A correction here regarding Fred's assertion that a major subplot was omitted There were in fact several different length videotape versions issued (two on single tapes) and the shortest does indeed leave out all mention of Carl's discovery of his namesake and even omits Rosie Sturgess who played Mary Nolan/Williams from the final credits roll In another review here Edwin said a tad over enthusiastically "Unlike most movies, which are pale copies of the books that inspired them, The Far Country is even better than the Nevil Shute novel upon which it is based." I would not myself go so far as saying that, but I certainly found that the "extra" Jewish detail was very well handled and IMHO added to the story and the change of opening and closing details unimportant. but I cannot think of any cogent reason why the local doctor's name ("Jennings" in the book) had to be changed to the film's "Edwards" Finally there is as yet regrettably no official re-release on DVD but there IS a Korean sourced DVD rip that is well done including a proper menu with scene selections on 2 DVDs with the full (190 minute) total time of the longest (3 tape) videocassette issue, (note that that is appreciably longer than the 100 minutes shown on the IMDb page If you search the internet long and carefully enough or check on an auction site you should be able to find that DVD set, but do make sure that it is the full 190 minute version
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