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Far from the Madding Crowd (1998)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  10 May 1998 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 486 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 1 critic

A vain pretty girl has recently taken over her uncles farm. Her independent, naive personality leaves her torn between three men who wish to marry her.

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Title: Far from the Madding Crowd (TV Movie 1998)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paloma Baeza ...
...
...
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Victoria Alcock ...
James Allen ...
Will Coggan
Robin Ardra ...
Tollgate Keeper
Peter Aubrey ...
Daniel Selby
Paul Ax ...
Sergeant
James Ballantine ...
Joe Coggan
David Barrass ...
Pennyways
Tim Bartholomew ...
Sam Sammy
...
Gwynn Beech ...
Simeon
Shannon Bone-Sands ...
Lizzie Coggan
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Storyline

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

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Drama

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Release Date:

10 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd  »

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(4 parts)

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Version of Far from the Madding Crowd (1909) See more »

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Blow Away the Morning Dew
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User Reviews

 
Excellent and authentic, an extended film of the Thomas Hardy novel
4 June 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This superb extended film, or mini-series (which may have been its format when originally broadcast), of the famous novel by Thomas Hardy was made for British Independent Television and deserves to be much better known. It is greatly superior in authenticity and detail to the 1967 John Schlesinger film, with its prominent stars and large budget, and vast media coverage at the time of its release. This film runs 3 hours and 21 minutes and is thus able to include much material necessarily omitted from shorter films of the novel (a new one is being shot at the moment, presumably for 2015 release). This film also contains an extraordinarily high level of authenticity. The characters speak in genuine local dialect, much of Hardy's original dialogue is retained in all its piquancy and 19th century eloquence, and the farming scenes are very accurate. (Now we know all the details of how to save a hay rick in a storm, how to shear a sheep with the old clippers before electricity came in, how to persuade a reluctant new-born lamb to suck, and how to sharpen our shears on a rotating whetstone without cutting our fingers.) The atmosphere conveyed in this excellent production is therefore just what Hardy wished us to experience. The story is set in the 1850s and early 1860s. The young independent farmer (an aspiring yeoman) Gabriel Oak is ruined by the loss of his entire herd of sheep and has to go in search of a farm labourer's job to survive. He is excellently played by actor Nathaniel Parker. He has just the right blend of solid character, patience, devotion, rectitude, and generosity of spirit. Even more brilliant casting was Nigel Terry as the tragic character Farmer Boldwood, whose emotional loneliness haunts him nearly to madness in his fine manor. He conveys the silent suffering of the character intended by Hardy far more convincingly than the late Peter Finch did in the 1967 film, which I must say, as much as I admire Peter Finch's wonderful work and career. Similarly, Parker exceeds the performance given by Alan Bates in 1967 as Gabriel. But the central performance of all in this film, and its very heart and soul, is given by the actress with the unusual name of Paloma Baeza. She has a Mexican father, hence her name, and an English mother. She perfectly portrays the fiery, almost manically independent, Bathsheba, in a wholly convincing manner. She is a very model of early feminism. Her task was the most difficult of all, and in it she succeeded splendidly. I noticed to my surprise that my cousin Susan Conklin, who is active in American television, was script editor for this film, which was a British-American co-production with PBS and WGBH of Boston. The film was directed by Nicholas Renton, one of British television's most talented directors. The following year, he directed the marvellous mini-series WIVES AND DAUGHTERS (1999, see my review), in which he found another extraordinary young woman, Justine Waddell, to create a memorable and unforgettable central role. Certainly one might say that the late 1990s appears to have been Renton's creative golden age. If he had done nothing else in his career (which is far from being the case), Renton could rest on the laurels of this film and that other series as crowning achievements, sufficient to carve his name in the stone of memory. Anyone who wants to know and experience the real Hardy on screen, and to see what life was really like in Hardy's 'Wessex', need look no further than this authentic, heart-breaking saga so brilliantly produced, acted, and directed, with all its emotional intensity. In our age of falsities and simulations, we get further from real life every day, and so far from the earth and the land, the beasts and the fields, that we live increasingly in a kind of Truman Show where everything is artificial. Now everyone has a thousand Facebook friends whom he or she has never actually met. Why not see what it was like to live in a small isolated community with only a few people and the urgencies of Nature on every hand at all times, the social difficulties and confining circumstances of traditional rural life, and see something of Real Life as lived by our species for most of its history. In those days, you could not escape reality, no matter how deeply you wished to do so, and that is the precise opposite of large numbers of lives today, which are devoted in so many ways to an escape from reality. In the 'old days' shown here, characters might become desperate or even deluded, but even the delusions then were real. Whereas today, so much reality has ceased to be real that the word has nearly lost its meaning. We need wonderful films like this to give us back our perspective and to remind us of what humans were, until now.


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