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The Mayor of Casterbridge 

In a drunken and disheartened state, Michael Henchard sells his wife at a fair. When he becomes sober again he realises what he has done, and though unable to find his wife and child, ... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
...  Michael Henchard 7 episodes, 1978
Janet Maw ...  Elizabeth-Jane 7 episodes, 1978
Jack Galloway ...  Donald Farfrae 7 episodes, 1978
...  Lucetta Farfrae / ... 4 episodes, 1978
...  Jopp 4 episodes, 1978
Peter Bourke ...  Abel Whittle 4 episodes, 1978
Jeffrey Holland ...  Carter 4 episodes, 1978
...  Mr. Joyce 4 episodes, 1978
Gillian Brown ...  Lucetta's Maid 4 episodes, 1978
Clifford Parrish ...  Longways 4 episodes, 1978
Avis Bunnage ...  Mrs. Goodenough 3 episodes, 1978
...  Newson 3 episodes, 1978
Douglas Milvain ...  Coney 3 episodes, 1978


In a drunken and disheartened state, Michael Henchard sells his wife at a fair. When he becomes sober again he realises what he has done, and though unable to find his wife and child, changes his ways. He becomes the Mayor of the town. Nearly twenty years later his past comes back to haunt him. Written by <burkeji@forfas.ie>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

3 September 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Il sindaco di Casterbridge  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first British television drama to be shot entirely on videotape, using a new generation of portable video cameras and equipment for location filming. See more »


Version of The Mayor of Casterbridge (1921) See more »

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User Reviews

a tragic hero in the dreaming spires
11 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

A thoughtful TV production, running over six hours, and a fine adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel, arguably his best Wessex tale. Casterbridge stands for the real-life Oxford, a town where dreams can happen and a man such as Michael Henchard can rise as high as man can climb, and fall as far as man can sink. He is a tragic hero, a towering tour-de-force of good and evil, fearlessness and folly, and is beautifully played by Alan Bates in this version.

In support, Anne Stallybrass and Anna Massey shine the most, with Jack Galloway going some way to give life to the dour and ambitious Scot Farfrae, but stopping short of illuminating his complexities as set out in the book.

The music and the settings of this adaptation are excellent, and the atmosphere of a farm town, not yet touched by anything beyond industrialisation, is richly drawn. Slow-paced, but satisfying, this drama's reputation has grown steadily, and it is well deserved.

Interestingly, the adaptor of Hardy's book is none other than TV's infant terrible, Dennis Potter, and it is interesting to compare 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' with the likes of 'Pennies from Heaven' or 'The Singing Detective'.

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