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Adam Bede


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Adam Bede (DVD)

Amazon.com

Adam Bede is the very definition of a brash young man. George Eliot's young English country hero is headstrong and arrogant, and sees the world in black and white--not unlike his 18th-century countrymen, living and (barely) breathing by the strict moral code of the day. In this excellent 1991 BBC adaptation, Adam is played by the appealing Iain Glen, who shows he's as comfortable in a sweeping period drama as he is in popcorn fare like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider or the Resident Evil films. Adam is torn by love and commitment, and once he sets his sights on the fetching farmgirl Hetty (Patsy Kensit), he's convinced Hetty's love for his rich acquaintance Arthur is a sham, and uses force to get Arthur to break off their relationship. But what Adam has set in motion, the world will be reeling from for a very long time: in the wake of his impetuous act lie despair, heartbreak, a secret pregnancy, thoughts of suicide, and death. And still, the moral order must be upheld. Glen shows Adam slowly but truly growing up, realizing the consequences of his actions. (It doesn't hurt that he ends up with the lovely Dinah, played by the fabulous Susannah Harker of House of Cards and the 1995 Pride and Prejudice--why on earth has this talented young woman not become a huge star?) Viewing the characters' transgressions through 21st century eyes can make some of the plot lines feel remote--nearly unbelievable--but the all-too-human struggles of people trying to do the right thing will always ring true. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2007
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000M2E31S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,776 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Adam Bede" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

She also plays her as too worldly wise.
K. Moss
Although there is no happy ending for Hetty, it's not as bad as it could have been (no spoilers here), and the end result seems fitting and bittersweet.
Kendra
It is a good period drama, I enjoy this type of a film & it was well acted with a good story line.
Dk Chambers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By K. Moss on October 4, 2007
Format: DVD
It is just too bad that they condensed this fantastic story into so short a film. What they have done is done well, but there are so many layers to the characters that are just left out. I think if I had not read the book some of the character's choices and actions would have seemed too sudden or unjustified, due to the lack of character development.
I really enjoyed the portrayal of the characters and the acting itself with one exception. Patsy Kensit, though a fine actress, is too old to be playing Hetty. She also plays her as too worldly wise. Hetty is passionate and selfish, yes, but in spite of her desire to be worldly wise she is still very naive. She is described in the book as being like a soft downy peach with the stone hidden inside. I think the vain ignorance of her own naivitee is sadly lacking in this portrayal and makes you wonder what Adam ever saw in her at all.
Again, the rest of the movie is wonderful. Dinah and Adam and the other characters are spot on, but there needs to be more--especially if you have not read the book.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kendra on March 2, 2008
Format: DVD
I disagree a bit with the other reviewers here (at the time of my writing, there are three). I thought the movie was extremely well-done and I enjoyed every bit of it.

I have not read the book, so I do not have that added perspective. I do think Adam Bede, the main character, is an upstanding moral fellow. I do not think he is so black and white as the editorial review suggests, that he cannot see shades of gray. He is concerned not only for his own well-being, but is also concerned for those he loves, as well. I did not take him to be so stuck in his moral absolutes, that he judged others unfairly.

Adam loves Hetty. Hetty is beautiful and aspires for something more than working in the village. On the back of the box and maybe in the book, she comes across as selfish and vain. In this movie, she comes across as wanting more than she has, but not out of selfishness or vanity, out of mild ambition and desire-- the same way most of us would want something more if our prospects were bleak. However, this is Victorian England and the class system make this almost an absolute impossibility. Hetty foolishly ignores the probability that an affair with an aristocrat will go nowhere, and she falls in love with the kind and handsome landowner. She has an affair with him and gets pregnant, despite the fact that she's led Adam to believe she is interested in him and despite the fact that he loves her and intends to marry her.

This is a heartbreaking and suspenseful film. All the characters are likeable and the "villain" isn't really one person, it's a whole culture-- the class system and the obstacles one faces if he or she doesn't have a title and money behind him or her.

Although there is no happy ending for Hetty, it's not as bad as it could have been (no spoilers here), and the end result seems fitting and bittersweet.

Definitely recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Judith on April 27, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've read the book, and seen this DVD. Of course, the book is more detailed with more development of characters and storylines. That is to be expected. However, this production is true to the book. I think people who have not read the book will enjoy this story, and who knows, may feel inspired to read the book. I've certainly read many a book after seeing the TV program or movie.

This is the story of Adam Bede, a salt of the earth working man in late 18th century England. He is a hard worker, who tends to be intolerant of others faults, such as his father's drinking. He fancies himself in love with Hetty, a dairymaid, but he doesn't know Hetty's true self. Hetty dreams of fancy clothes and houses, but it's not possible to change your station in life in England in 1799. Hetty's beauty also catches the eye of Arthur, the grandson of a nobleman. He knows he could never marry her. He struggles to resist temptation, but soon enough seduces Hetty, who is all too willing because he is handsome, wealthy, very charming and she is unrealistic. Arthur truly loves Hetty, but of course, this cannot work out well for them. Also, Dinah is visiting the village. She is a sweet young woman who is too pious for her own good, as she believes anything she does to make herself happy is wrong in the eyes of God.

This is a typically terrific BBC production. Almost all of the parts are well cast. I thought Susannah Harker played pious Dinah perfectly, and James Wilby did very well portraying the struggles and pain Arthur felt. They were supported by an outstanding cast of character actors who really made the story come alive. The minister and Hetty's aunt were particularly memorable characters. The one miscast character was Hetty, played by Patsy Kensit.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen R on May 14, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The story charts Adam Bedes development as he deals with two personal tragedies the death by drowning of his drunken father, the betrayal by his first love Hetty Sorrell and his best friend Arthur Donnithorne. The book is full of graphic descriptions of life in bygone times in a small rural community which contrasts strongly with life of today. Adam learns many hard lessons before he finds a new and richer love and the description of this love is beautifully drawn.
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