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Far from the Madding Crowd (1998)

A vain, pretty girl has recently taken over her uncle's farm. Her independent, naïve personality leaves her torn between the three men who wish to marry her.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gwynn Beech ...
Stephen Tomlin ...
Brian Rawlinson ...
Parson Thirdly
Elizabeth Estensen ...
Rhys Morgan ...
Phillip Joseph ...
Charles Simon ...
Old Malter


Bathsheba Everdene, a young vain girl, has just taken over her uncle's farm. Her pretty face, wealth, and naive personality attracts three men who wish to marry her. Naïve and vain, she gets herself into a love tangle between them. As time passes and responsibilities pile up into a stressful mess, she begins to learn the hardships of life. Written by Dana

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Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

10 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Longe Deste Insensato Mundo  »

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Technical Specs


(4 parts)

Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Featured playing period music is the Mellstock Band, which also appeared in Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1998). See more »


Version of Far from the Madding Crowd (1915) See more »


On the Banks of the Allan Water
Written by Matthew Lewis
Performed by Paloma Baeza
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User Reviews

In my opinion, there is no contest...
5 February 2004 | by (San Diego, California) – See all my reviews

Having read this book more than once (it is my favorite Thomas Hardy book, and one of my favorite books of all time), and having seen both filmed versions, I have to say that the original version (with Alan Bates, Julie Christie and Peter Finch) cannot hold a candle to the second (with Nathaniel Parker, Paloma Baeza and Nigel Terry).

The original version was a great disappointment to me -- Julie Christie was, as another reviewer pointed out, too old for the part of Bathsheba, did not fit Hardy's description of her at all, and has never impressed me as much of an actress -- a major casting faux pas, in my opinion. Peter Finch, as Boldwood, did not elicit the strong feeling of empathy from me, as Nigel Terry did in his portrayal of the character. The greatest surprise to me, in regard to the first version, was that I also felt the same about Alan Bates' performance as Gabriel Oak -- he did not convey the emotions and the quality of Oak's character, as described by Hardy in the book, and I found his portrayal to be bland, boring, and, at times, overacted. Part of the blame would have to be shared by the director of that version -- the actors appeared to be acting, and neither they, nor the director, seemed to have a firm grasp or understanding of the explicit emotions and personalities of the characters, which Hardy had gone to great effort and detail to describe in the book.

After having seen Nathaniel Parker's interpretation of Gabriel Oak, I cannot imagine anyone else playing the part -- it was the first time I had seen Mr. Parker in any performance, and he ripped my heart out with his portrayal of this noble, dignified, aggrieved and tormented soul. He and Ms. Baeza, Mr. Terry, and Mr. Firth (Sergeant Troy), seemed to have a thorough comprehension of, and sensitivity toward, the characters as they were intended by Thomas Hardy -- they appeared to have walked straight out of the pages of the book! In addition, the sensitive and intuitive direction by Nicholas Renton drew powerful performances from all, including a superior supporting cast. The accurate period costumes, and beautiful sets and cinematography, serve to round out a production of true quality.

I highly recommend to anyone interested in this story, that he or she consider reading the book first. Although this screenplay remains true to the book, some of the detail which enhances understanding and feeling for the characters, the time period, and the plot, was edited due to time constraints, as is common with filmed productions of great pieces of literature.

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