Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd

John Schlesinger (1967)

160min
U Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Director John Schlesinger had the cream of 1960s British acting talent at his disposal for this beautifully realised adaptation of Thomas Hardy's windswept Wessex romance. Julie Christie (hot after her best actress Oscar for another Schlesinger film, Darling) stars as Bathsheba Everdene, the headstrong country girl made good after inheriting her uncle's estate, who captivates devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak (Alan Bates), lonely landowner Boldwood (Peter Finch) and dashing soldier Sergeant Troy (Terence Stamp). When the film was released in 1967, some critics thought Christie more Swinging Sixties than 1860s, but she remains a fascinating presence and it's easy to see why her trio of suitors could fall under her spell. The male stars are rather good, too: Stamp is all cheek and charm (his sword-wielding seduction of Bathsheba is a standout), Finch exhibits pain and passion almost in the same breath and Bates is charismatic despite playing a virtual bystander to the trials and tragedies occurring around him. It won't be to every Hardy fan's taste but Nicolas Roeg's masterful photography acts like another member of the cast, convincingly creating a grimy, weather-beaten pastoral landscape that's brilliantly underscored by Richard Rodney Bennett's wistful and evocative music.

Summary

A beautiful woman arouses the ardour of three rival suitors in 19th-century rural Dorset and, having flirted and toyed with their affections, she chooses to marry a caddish, gambling soldier - a decision that leads to a sequence of harrowing events. John Schlesinger's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic novel, with Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Terence Stamp and Peter Finch.

Cast & Crew

Bathsheba Everdene Julie Christie
Sgt Troy Terence Stamp
William Boldwood Peter Finch
Gabriel Oak Alan Bates
Liddy Fiona Walker
Fanny Robin Prunella Ransome
Mrs Hurst Alison Leggatt
Henery Fray Paul Dawkins
Director John Schlesinger
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: ICO/Studio CanalGuidance: May be edited for nudity.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 13 Mar 2015
Drama