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92 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy adaptation of a Hardy masterpiece
This 1998 Granada TV-WGBH co-production of Thomas Hardy's 1874 novel of the same name - which was his first great literary success - is arguably the best tv adaptation of any of his works, in part becuz it runs for 200-odd minutes (not the 240 cited above), which allowed the production team to unfold the story in an "unhurried" fashion. The plot revolves around a woman,...
Published on February 27, 2012 by feedthecat

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Masterpiece Theater Production
I should start out by saying that I love the book, and I have seen the 60s version of this story and rather liked it. That said, this is a nice little production. The scenery is beautiful, the costumes are great, the music is lovely and appropriate, the acting is solid.
The plot involves the lovely Bathsheba who is the object of affection (obsession?) for three very...
Published on December 14, 2001 by Amazon Customer


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92 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy adaptation of a Hardy masterpiece, February 27, 2012
By 
feedthecat (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Far From the Madding Crowd (Masterpiece Classic) (DVD)
This 1998 Granada TV-WGBH co-production of Thomas Hardy's 1874 novel of the same name - which was his first great literary success - is arguably the best tv adaptation of any of his works, in part becuz it runs for 200-odd minutes (not the 240 cited above), which allowed the production team to unfold the story in an "unhurried" fashion. The plot revolves around a woman, wealthy farmowner Bathsheba Everdene (portrayed by Paloma Baeza, who, though she looks much more southern European than English, is brilliant in the role), and her relations with three suitors, Shepherd Oak (Nathaniel Parker), Sergeant Troy (Jonathan Firth), and Mr. Boldwood (Nigel Terry). Interestingly, btw, despite her unsual position for that era as an independent woman of wealth, each of the aforementioned men is drawn to Bathsheba for herself rather than for her money.

The adaptation is more or less faithful to the novel, which was set in the 1840s, and both are favourites among Hardy fans largely becuz FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD is the least tragic of the Victorian writer's great "Novels of Character" (indeed, compared to THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE, TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES, & JUDE THE OBSCURE, FFTMC is a positively happy tale). Another thing of note both in the novel and this TV movie is the way the farming scenes and the language, manners, and customs of the country folk are wonderfully presented, making the story as a whole seem true(r) to life. And, as this is a Hardy story, there will be some incidents that may seem improbable, but the characters themselves are very believable - and very human.

Yet, while this is my fav Hardy adaptation and one of my fav Hardy novels, I still have to agree with the opinion of his great contemporary Henry James that, "(the suitor who winds up finally winning Bathsheba's hand) is too good for her". Watch this excellent production to see whether or not you agree. Enjoy.

Screenplay by Philomena McDonagh and directed by Nicholas Renton (WIVES AND DAUGHTERS).
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Plot! The actors and characters are interesting and believable., February 9, 2012
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This review is from: Far From the Madding Crowd (Masterpiece Classic) (DVD)
The plot of this Thomas Hardy novel kept me involved from beginning to end. The location included scenery that was both beautiful and enjoyably realistic. It was so much fun watching British actor, Nathaniel Parker, and the absolutely gorgeous Paloma Baeza! The twists and turns just squeezed the breath out of me at times. Main characters include the selfish, cruel, insensitive soldier, Frank Troy, masterfully played by Jonathan Firth, and the pathetic, lonely, love-struck neighbor, Mr. Boldwood, so artfully played by Nigel Terry. The supporting cast members just make this classic a delight to watch.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine, authentic version of Madding Crowd, November 18, 1999
By A Customer
This latest dramatization of Far From the Madding Crowd (my favorite Thomas Hardy novel) is true to the novel's characters and to its romantic countryside mood. Nathaniel Parker as Gabriel is an example of perfect casting - expressive, gentle and stalwart; and the others are wonderful too. Paloma Baeza seems at first a bit too thoughtful to resemble impetuous Bathsheba but she really acts and looks like a 19th century woman. Jonathan Firth's dashing Troy is the picture of reckless disregard. This version, in my opinion, is MUCH better than the 1960s Julie Christie version, which resembles more a 1960s translation of Hardy than Hardy himself. (And Christie looked nothing like Hardy's dark-haired independent heroine; she was wrong, wrong.) This PBS version is very right, very authentic. A classy, romantic production; I'm glad they filmed it again.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best version, February 3, 2012
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This review is from: Far From the Madding Crowd (Masterpiece Classic) (DVD)
This version is most faithful to the book, plot-wise, and has a top-notch cast. Captures the flavor of the countryside and farming beautifully. Love the music as well. I've waited a long time for this to come out on DVD!!!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best from Mobil Masterpiece Theatre!, August 7, 1999
By A Customer
Full of beautiful scenery and colorful characters from the lead actors to the supporting cast. I watched it three times on my local PBS station and fell in love with the movie more each time. Nathaniel Parker as the faithful and patient Gabriel Oak turned me into a fan. If you enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility this is your kind of movie.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars definitive version, June 21, 2006
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although i do love the julie christie/alan bates version, this newer version is much more faithful to the book, and includes unforgettable scenes not in the earlier version, such as the scene in which farmer oak witnesses bathsheba's erotic horseback riding when she thinks she's alone. nathaniel parker is THE gabriel oak. the fanny robin in this version is absolutely heartbreaking. paloma baeza is wonderful as bathsheba, and all the other actors are excellent. the farming/sheep tending aspects of this version seem completely authentic, and so many of the actors seem to be right out of hardy's actual landscape. if you only buy one version, buy this one. i hope to see it rereleased on dvd soon.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Masterpiece Theater Production, December 14, 2001
By 
Amazon Customer (Sunny and not-so-sunny California) - See all my reviews
I should start out by saying that I love the book, and I have seen the 60s version of this story and rather liked it. That said, this is a nice little production. The scenery is beautiful, the costumes are great, the music is lovely and appropriate, the acting is solid.
The plot involves the lovely Bathsheba who is the object of affection (obsession?) for three very different men. Paloma Baeza is Bathsheba, she is a good actress but I found her extremely youthful face a bit distressing at times. She just looked too young to be such a tease. Still, she plays her role well.
The three men in her life are the stalwart shepherd Gabriel, the obsessive older farmer Boldwood and the dashing, heartbreaking Sgt. Troy. Nathaniel Parker (very good in Vanity Fair as Becky's clueless husband) plays Gabriel with perhaps more passion than he displayed in the book but he looks the part and anyone who has not read the book would never know the difference. He fits right in and looks quite handsome in the bargain.
Jonathan Firth (Fred in Middlemarch. Brother to Colin Firth of Pride and Prejudice) plays the thankless role of Troy with great relish. (Troy is not a cool villain, he is the sort you boo and hiss at whenever he is on screen, it takes a good actor to carry him off without seeming too Snideley Whiplash about it) He is the only man of the three who excites Bathsheba and he is the only one who is not truly in love with her.
The supporting cast is good, especially Natasha Little (Becky in Vanity Fair) as Troy's cast-off mistress Fanny.
In conclusion, I liked the 60s version a hair better but only a hair and I highly reccomend anyone interested in this story to try both versions as both are good in their own unique way. This version is more accurate with costumes and such but the 6os one is more suitable for family viewing.
Scenes I liked better in this version:
Gabriel looks for a job
Gabriel and Bathsheba's first argument
Troy's sword exercises
Fanny visits Troy at the barracks window
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant film, December 19, 1999
By 
Tracy Marks (Arlington, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This film, and the tv version of Pride and Prejudice, are by far the greatest 19th century dramas I've ever seen. The cast here is masterful - Paloma as Bathsheba, and especially Nathaniel Parker, whose spoken and unspoken expressiveness communicates such a depth of both patient and steady loyalty, compassion, love and turbulent, repressed feeling and desire; he is absolutely haunting! This is a film to watch again and again. My only criticisms are that Boldwood is simply too old and unattractive for us to fully believe in his appeal to young women, and that Nathaniel Parker is simply too handsome to be the homely, rejected but kindhearted Gabriel Oak of this very excellent novel. (And by the way, do read some wonderful quotes from the highly recommended Hardy novel and view photos from the movie at my Far from the Madding Crowd site - under the name BathshebaOak Hardy at Readers Vine!)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars faithful and compelling, July 16, 2000
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i love BOTH versions of this film, but prefer this newer one. it is by far more faithful to the book, including many scenes of hardy's the other version simply cut out to allow for time constraints. both casts are excellent, but, again, i found the newer version's cast just a TAD closer to the book's intent. this bathsheba and gabriel are both totally lovable and pitiable in just the right places. This fanny is absolutely HEARTBREAKING! boldwood and troy are perfect as well. my only complaint is the omission of the gargoyles in the scene where the grave is flooded. if you must choose, get the newer one. if you can afford both - get them both!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want this DVD for US viewing please!!!, February 23, 2007
I am also waiting to buy this DVD when and if it is released for US viewing.
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Far From the Madding Crowd (Masterpiece Classic)
Far From the Madding Crowd (Masterpiece Classic) by Nicholas Renton (DVD - 2012)
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