In rural England in 1799, emotions run high when two men, one rich and one poor, love the same girl, driving the confused girl to drastic measures.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Mrs. Poyser
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Reverend Irwine
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Lisbeth Bede
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Michael Percival ...
Court Official
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Judge
Brian Osborne ...
Jury Spokesman
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Martin Poyser
Tacita Haffenden ...
Totty Poyser
Chase Marks ...
Tommy Poyser
William Holmes ...
Marty Poyser
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In rural England in 1799, emotions run high when two men, one rich and one poor, love the same girl, driving the confused girl to drastic measures.

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1 March 1992 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This episode takes place in 1799. See more »

Connections

Featured in George Eliot: A Scandalous Life (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Over the Hills and Far Away
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
The weakest of the George Eliot collection but still quite good
30 December 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Anybody who loves flesh and blood characters, stories that are rich in detail and emotion and themes and social commentaries that were relevant to the time and that we can still relate to will love the work of George Eliot(my personal favourite is Middlemarch of her work). Adam Bede as a book is not an exception, the adaptation falls short compared to the other George Eliot- pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans- adaptations in the collection but on its own it is hardly a must-avoid. It is too short and rushed which accounts for why there were things touched upon but not explained very well or things implied that we don't see, especially in Hetty's motivations which would have made more sense if they'd kept the redemption scene. The spirit and most details are there but everything feels condensed and rushed. Most of the acting is good, but Patsy Kensit from personal perspective is miscast, Hetty here being one flesh and blood character that comes across as one-dimensional and vaguely drawn here and Kensit comes across as rather worldly-wise and selfish but not naïve or redemptive enough, Hetty's plight is very tragic which we don't get to feel properly in this adaptation. However, Adam Bede does look beautiful especially in the locations, the costumes and most of the make-up(apart from some of Hetty's being rather over-the-top and hooker-like) are evocative and it is photographed with elegant simplicity. The music is soothing and sensitive to mood, also allowing the dialogue and drama to speak for themselves. The dialogue is very reminiscent of Eliot's style and written in an intelligent, witty and well-flowed, though a few parts could have done with more development. The story has suspense, atmosphere and a strong emotional core, much of it compelling despite the short length and the consequences of that. The themes of the book are intact and dealt with in an honest way and while not everybody will like the ending, personally it was heart-breakingly bittersweet which in a way was what the book's ending was too. With the exception of Kensit the acting is good, fitting their likable-even-with-their-flaws characters. Iain Glen is a handsome Adam and handles the character with sensitivity and emotion, while Susannah Harker is likable and charming as well as beautiful(some may find her too-good-to-be-true but not me) and James Wilby is affecting. Freddie Jones and Jean Marsh don't disappoint, but some of Adam Bede's best acting comes from the deliciously sly performance of Robert Stephens who literally relishes his lines. Overall, quite good but falls short compared to the adaptations of Middlemarch and Silas Marner. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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