6.8/10
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7 user 2 critic

The Mill on the Floss 

The tragic tale of Maggie Tulliver, the miller's daughter, who defies her embittered brother in standing by the man she loves - shocking the stifling society in which she lives - in an attempt to pursue her blighted dreams.
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Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1979   1978  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Judy Cornwell ...  Bessy Tulliver 8 episodes, 1978-1979
Barbara Hicks ...  Aunt Glegg 7 episodes, 1978-1979
Pippa Guard ...  Maggie Tulliver 6 episodes, 1979
Christopher Blake Christopher Blake ...  Tom Tulliver 6 episodes, 1979
Ray Smith Ray Smith ...  Mr. Tulliver 6 episodes, 1978-1979
Anton Lesser ...  Philip Wakem 6 episodes, 1979
Peter Howell ...  Uncle Glegg 6 episodes, 1978-1979
John Stratton ...  Uncle Deane 5 episodes, 1978-1979
Julie Dawn Cole ...  Lucy Deane 5 episodes, 1979
John Moulder-Brown ...  Stephen Guest 5 episodes, 1979
Gillian Martell Gillian Martell ...  Aunt Pullet 5 episodes, 1979
Michael Troughton ...  Bob Jakin 4 episodes, 1979
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Storyline

Set in 19th century Lincolnshire, the story centers on Maggie Tulliver (Georgia Slowe). Headstrong and undisciplined, she loves her brother Tom (Jonathan Scott-Taylor), but he has his doubts about her. Frankly, he finds his sister exasperating. An uptight, ambitious young man, Tom can't understand why she won't act like a proper young lady. While he's off at boarding school, for instance, she forgets to feed his rabbits and they die. Well-mannered cousin Lucy Deane (Moira Durbridge) is a mutual friend and peacemaker between the two. Over the years, Phillip Wakem (Anton Lesser), another neighbor, will also enter their orbit. Alas, Mr. Tulliver (Ray Smith) and Lawyer Wakem (Philip Locke) are sworn enemies. More studious than her brother (now played by Christopher Blake), teenaged Maggie (Pippa Guard) is drawn to the bright, if hunchbacked Phillip, but her ardor doesn't run as deep as his. Either way, Tom doesn't approve - nor, as it turns out, does Mr. Wakem. Further, as the fortunes of... Written by Kathleen C. Fennessy

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Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 December 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Livet vid floden See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(8 parts)

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Harvest of Hate (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

 
1978 version vs 1997 version
19 April 2006 | by wedraughonSee all my reviews

The 1978 miniseries is over 3 hours long. The 1997 movie is 1 hour and 45 minutes long. Yet, every event in the 3 hour version is in the shorter version. The reverse, however, is not true. Five crucial events of the story are visible in the 1997 (shorter) version but are missing from the 3 hour version: (1) the first conflict between Mr. Tulliver and Mr. Wakem, in which Tulliver wins, then insults Wakem. This shows why Tulliver thinks he'll win again and is strung along by a lawyer until he has mortgaged everything. It also provides motivation for Wakem's vengeful act of buying the mill, which in the longer version is left unmotivated. We are merely told that he is fed up with Tulliver.

(2) The selling of the mill to Wakem. In the 1978 version, we are told that it happened. In the 1997 version, we see it happen.

(3) The selling of the furniture of the Tullivers. This makes their homelessness visible and visceral.

(4) The scene in which Tom pays his father's debts. In the 1978 three-hour version, we are told that it is going to happen; then we see Tulliver on the way back from the meeting. We need to see this climatic event. In the 1997 version, we do.

(5) The restoration of the deed to the mill to the Tullivers.

The picture quality is acceptable in both versions, as is the music, but are better in the 1997 version. The casting is acceptable in both versions. The acting is acceptable in both. So, why do I give 3 stars to the 1978 version and four and a half stars to the 1997 version? The screenplay. Since both screenplays tell the same story with almost the same events, this comparison provides an excellent study for those interested in screen writing.

The 1978 version appears to have been written by a stage playwright (and not a good one at that). Each scene is set. People chat for a few moments. A character enters. Whatever is going to happen in that scene happens. Characters exit. Next scene.

The 1997 version is written like a movie. We are thrust into a scene just as something is about to happen. It happens. We cut to the next scene, where we are again thrust into the moment when something is about to happen. This makes for far more effective storytelling.

Also, the nitty-gritty of the scenes is better done in the 1997 version. It isn't the acting. It is the fact that the actors have a script that will let them make the emotions effective, and they do.

If you compare either version (or any movie version) with the book, then of course you can call it Cliff Notes. That tells you nothing.

The ending is better in the 1978 version and is also faithful to the book. The beginning of the 1997 version, like the ending, is a mistake.

The other problem is that the 1997 version is only available on VHS and hard to get at that. So, get the 1978 version if you can't get the videotape or don't want to; otherwise, wait and hope that someone will have the sense to put the 1997 version on DVD.


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