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Cold Comfort Farm (1996)

Eileen Atkins , Kate Beckinsale , John Schlesinger  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Eileen Atkins, Kate Beckinsale, Sheila Burrell, Stephen Fry, Freddie Jones
  • Directors: John Schlesinger
  • Writers: Malcolm Bradbury
  • Producers: John Schlesinger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: July 1, 2003
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009IB1D
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,072 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cold Comfort Farm" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Recommendations

  • Editorial Reviews

    From Academy Award winning director John Schlesinger comes a brilliantly witty film. Starring Kate Beckinsale (Pearl Harbor) as Flora Poste, a London society girl, and Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) as Flora's friend and mentor, this heartwarming comedy is full of charm and clever satire. Recently orphaned, Flora ignores the sage advice of Mrs. Smiley (Lumley) and moves to the country to live on a decrepit farm with her eccentric relatives. Fancying herself a writer, Flora encounters perfect material for her novel in the humorously odd collection of rural characters. In her own inimitable way, Flora insists on creating order out of their chaos, and in the process, she fills their lives with light and laughter. Also starring Rufus Sewell (A Knight’s Tale), Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings), Stephen Fry (Peter's Friends) and Eileen Atkins.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars SOMETHING NASTY HAPPENED IN THE WOODSHED... March 27, 2002
    Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
    This is a marvelous and fairly faithful adaptation of Stella Gibbons' 1932 novel of the same name. The film brilliantly captures the quirkiness of the novel which is a hysterically funny, tongue in cheek parody of the heavy handed, gloomy novels of some early twentieth century English writers who had previously been so popular. The film is likewise hysterically funny and itself seems to parody British costume dramas.
    The film starts out innocuosly enough, when well educated Flora Poste (Kate Beckinsale) finds herself orphaned as a young woman. Discovering that her father was not the wealthy man she believed him to be, she is resigned to the fate of having to live on a hundred pounds a year. After some discussion with her good friend, the wealthy Mrs. Smiley (Joanna Lumley), Flora opts to live with relatives, rather than earn her bread. She seeks out a most unlikely set of relations with whom to do so, the decidedly odd Starkadder family who live in rural Howling, Sussex.
    Therein begins what is certainly one of the funniest movies to grace the silver screen. When Flora arrives in Howling, she meets her odd relatives, who live in neglected, ramshackle "Cold Comfort Farm", where they still wash the dishes with twigs, and have cows named Graceless, Pointless, Feckless, and Aimless. Headed by a matriarchal old crone, Flora's aunt, Ada Doom Starkadder (Sheila Burrell), who has not been right in the head since she "saw something nasty happen in the woodshed" nearly seventy years ago, they are a motley and strange crew indeed. Confronted with their dismal and gloomy existence, Flora sets about trying to put things to right.
    Peppered with eccentric, memorable characters, this film will take the reader on a journey not easily forgotten.
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    110 of 117 people found the following review helpful
    Format:DVD
    Originally broadcast in 1971, the telly production of Stella Gibbon's 1932 novel, "Cold Comfort Farm" helped to launch the first season of PBS's signature series, "Masterpiece Theatre".

    This is a great remake and is director, John Schlessinger's acclaimed 1995 film adaptation starring a TERRIFIC Kate Beckinsale as the recently orphaned, Flora Poste.

    Set in the 1930's, in England, Flora writes to all of her relation, hoping someone will take her in as she has no real drive or ambition, save for possibly becoming the next Jane Austen. Flora accepts an offer from The Starkadders Of Cold Comfort Farm in Howling, Sussex. She thinks that she just might like farm life and it might be good for her writing career. However, once she arrives she finds out that the farm has had a curse upon it along with all of the inhabitants, human and animal alike.

    The Starkadder family is comprised of Amos & his forelorn wife, Judith, & their two virile & rakish sons, Seth and Reuben. As Flora says, "Highly sexed young men living on farms are always called Seth or Reuben."

    Also living at Cold Comfort is a lovely waifish sprite of a cousin, Elfine, the hired help, Adam Lambsbreath, Urk, Rennet & Mrs. Beetle. Also locked in her chambers is an old crusty hermit of a grandmamma, Ada Doom (appropriately named). The Starkadders & the rest of the clan are pure country folk with pure country ways. Their lives being quite primitive in contrast with Flora's.

    Flora sets out to change it all though and with some priceless and hilarious scenes ensuing. Flora tries to bring everyone around to a higher common sense and does it with great gusto.

    With lines in the film like:

    Amos Starkadder: Seth, drain the well. There's a neighbor missing.
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    55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars An affectionate, funny film April 19, 2004
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    I saw this film soon after its 1995 release and thought it wonderful, all the more so because Kate Beckinsale's interpretation of Flora Poste reminded me very much of my oldest daughter. So I was pleased to see that it has finally come out on DVD; I bought a copy, watched it again, and still think it wonderful.
    You should be warned that you may have a hard time understanding what some of the inhabitants of Cold Comfort Farm are saying. However, that's intentional and straight from the novel, where the accents and strange word usages often leave Flora puzzled. Here's an exchange (from the novel) that I believe is reproduced pretty much verbatim in the movie, when Reuben comes in after working out in the fields not long after Flora has started living at Cold Comfort Farm:
    ========
    ...After another minute Reuben brought forth the following sentence:
    'I ha' scranleted two hundred furrows come five o'clock down i' the bute.'
    It was a difficult remark, Flora felt, to which to reply. Was it a complaint? If so, one might say, 'My dear, how too sickening for you!' But then, it might be a boast, in which case the correct reply would be, 'Attaboy!' or more simply, 'Come, that's capital.' Weakly she fell back on the comparativel safe remark:
    'Did you?' in a bright interested voice.
    ========
    Speaking of which, the original novel (written in 1932 by Stella Gibbons) is just as wonderful, and the film is a remarkably faithful adaptation, if (understandably) a bit trimmed and modified. I read the book for the first time after watching the DVD release of the movie and was delighted to see that most of the dialog comes straight from the book, including my favorite line (the interchange between Neck, the movie producer, and Aunt Ada), if a bit punched up.
    Read more ›
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars A keeper.
    Before Selene (of the Underworld series), there was Flora Poste. Kate B's performance here is a gem: intelligent, funny, intrepid, and subtly sexy. Read more
    Published 4 days ago by dori duz
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    I love this movie! Just lovely kind calm fun.
    Published 10 days ago by D. Smith
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great, great and great film
    Arrived on time. Great, great and great film. Worth every penny. No wonder the entire cast has become immensley famous! And thanks to England for their superior film industry.
    Published 15 days ago by scutter
    5.0 out of 5 stars The best English actors in a truly wonderful farce
    We love this movie and have watched it many times. Kate Beckinsale leads an all star case of English actors in a truly wonderful farce. Read more
    Published 16 days ago by Mary Krieg
    5.0 out of 5 stars For Anglophiles (and English actors)
    A parody of every cliche about English literature and film that you can imagine. Great actors and acting. Completely charming.
    Published 17 days ago by Ken
    5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, never profound
    A slight but charming entertainment, never dull, with a few great laugh-out-loud moments.
    Published 20 days ago by Steve H
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    This as become one of my favorite books. It is witty and idiosyncratic, just the thing for summer reading.
    Published 25 days ago by C. Pierce
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite films!
    I've been watching this film for over 15 years now and finally decided I had to buy it. It is very offbeat and near the onset quite weird, BUT it is a wonderful story of... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by sgm
    4.0 out of 5 stars Movie cold comfort farm
    Good movie. Acting is good. At times part of the movie drags. Stor is good and setting is excellent. Nice ending
    Published 1 month ago by Roy Carver
    5.0 out of 5 stars Younger Kate Beckinsale and Ian McKellan -Great Entertaining,...
    What hasn't already been said about this little known film? It's one of those go-to films, only set in the 1920's with gorgeous scenery and a quirky, charming feel good cast. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by WilF.
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