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The Mayor of Casterbridge 

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In a drunken and disheartened state, Michael Henchard sells his wife at a fair. When he becomes sober again, he realizes what he has done, and though unable to find his wife and child, ... See full summary »
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1978  

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Cast

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

In a drunken and disheartened state, Michael Henchard sells his wife at a fair. When he becomes sober again, he realizes 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>

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 September 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Il sindaco di Casterbridge See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Version of Vichitra Jeevitham (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Outstanding adaptation of Hardian gloom
26 April 2006 | by joanmarieherbersSee all my reviews

Another BBC masterpiece finally out on DVD. Hardy's world is shown in all its darkness, yet permeated by rays of hope. This rendition of the classic novel is brilliantly cast and well shot. You have to listen pretty hard to hear through the thick accents, but that patience is rewarded because nuances of the accents round out the characters.

Alan Bates is simply stunning as the heroic anti-hero Michael Henchard. A stupid decision made when he was a drunk 21-year-old comes back to haunt him 19 years later when the wife he sold returns to his town. The unfolding drama is about fatherhood, friendship, betrayal, and most importantly, the complexity of human characters. Bates is able to make you see inside his brain as he silently weighs courses of action between what his demons tempt him to do and what his angels urge him to do. Both sides win along the way as he redeems himself, only to then act rashly out of jealousy, embarrassment, or self-disgust.

The other characters are also well done, with Janet Maw playing the daughter who cannot understand her father until it is too late and Anna Massey playing the fallen woman who wishes to have her own life. Jack Galloway does a good job as the honest Scot, but I did not see any spark between Farfrae and Lucetta. The scenery and weather are always characters in Hardy's books, and here they enter the drama intermittently.

But this film in the end is all about Alan Bates. I love much of his other work but his Michael Henchard is the performance of a lifetime.


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