Far from the Madding Crowd

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Far from the Madding Crowd

John Schlesinger (1967)

160min
U Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Thomas Vinterberg clearly wants you to swoon while watching his spirited yet safe adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic novel, as the director jettisons boisterous rural colour in favour of something more romantically focused. Carey Mulligan is compelling as Bathsheba Everdene, a woman who inherits a Dorset farm in the 1870s and whose beauty and capability attract the attention of three men: bachelor landowner William Boldwood (Michael Sheen); her devoted employee Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts); and caddish Sergeant Troy (Tom Sturridge) who swoops in to win her affections. The romantic outcome is abundantly clear throughout, with complexity abandoned and meaningful looks constantly exchanged. Furthermore, the conservative approach is surprising given that Dogme 95 pioneer Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) is at the helm. Yet the story remains gripping and the cast is wonderful, with Mulligan proving an altogether less tortured Hardy heroine than usual. Charlotte Bruus Christensen's ravishing cinematography leaves the film buffed free of grit, danger, and the sweat and dirt of outdoor toil. Still, by cranking the yearning up to eleven, you may eventually be seduced into submission.

Summary

Part two of two. 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
Sergeant 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
Jan Coggan Julian Somers
Joseph Poorgrass John Barrett
Cainy Ball Freddie Jones
Andrew Randle Andrew Robertson
Matthew Moon Brian Rawlinson
Temperance Harriet Harper
Soberness Denise Coffey
Barker Bryan Mosley
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