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99 of 105 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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An excellent adaptation but only fair DVD transfer.
I can't really add anything to what others have said as to this particular adaptation as it is a stunning work.
I give it 5 stars, but I give the DVD 3 stars. It is not a good transfer. At times slightly fuzzy and grainy, but still much better than my old VHS copy. If you have the VHS version, I would still recommend buying the DVD version even with its faults...
Published on April 10, 2012 by Mícheál É. Ó Máille


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99 of 105 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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55 of 60 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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35 of 39 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A longtime favorite comes to DVD, March 11, 2012
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This review is from: Far From the Madding Crowd (Masterpiece Classic) (DVD)
My VHS copy of this Thomas Hardy favorite was showing serious signs of degradation, so this DVD release is most welcome. Thomas Hardy is not one of my favorite authors. I consider his work, like much of the Bronte sisters, too "dark" for my tastes. So, when I was gifted with this Masterpiece Classic some years ago it sat unwatched for a period. The VHS program presenter (name fails me) made clear early in his introduction that this story stands apart from Hardys later works, being one of his first efforts as a young man.
The historical period is a favorite of mine, and the casting is perfect. Coming from a peasant farming and backwoods poacher background, I feel very much at home in the midst of these farm folk.
The principal characters are also very well cast, but I was particularly pleased with Nathaniel Parkers performance as Gabriel 'Farmer' Oak.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!, October 5, 2012
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This review is from: Far From the Madding Crowd (Masterpiece Classic) (DVD)
I read the book the first time about two months ago after seeing mention of the author Thomas Hardy in travel literature on a bus tour that I was taking to England, Scotland and Wales. For me, the casting was just as perfect as the setting and story. Looked just like the country that I just toured in southern England. Not certain that it would work as well if you hadn't read the book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Poor Boldwood.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Faithful to the book, September 29, 2012
By 
Judith (Philadelphia, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Far From the Madding Crowd (Masterpiece Classic) (DVD)
I'm not going to rewrite what other reviewers have already stated very well. I will just say that I agree with the high marks most have given this adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd. I recommend it. I'm writing this to add a few of my own thoughts.

First, I've read the book and seen the Julie Christie / Terence Stamp movie. I was a little wary of watching this version, thinking that it couldn't live up to the previous movie--it did. In particular, I didn't know if anybody could play Sgt. Troy as well as Terence Stamp, but Jonathan Firth made the part his own. I've seen him in at least three projects now, and I think he deserves so much more than being known as Colin Firth's brother.

I must admit I had a little trouble with some of the country accents. I watch a lot of British movies and TV shows, and generally have no problem at all with accents, but some of these country accents of the farm workers and country folk were a little tough. I didn't get every word, but I got enough.

The attention to detail was wonderful. Watching the farm workers engaged in their various agricultural pursuits using antique machinery and old methods was fascinating. The casting of the farm workers and household staff was perfect. It is hard to believe these were modern day actors, not genuine country folks.

I suspect that Hardy would prefer this version, as it is closer to the book than the previous version.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue DVD release, May 12, 2012
This review is from: Far From the Madding Crowd (Masterpiece Classic) (DVD)
I saw this production of "Far From the Madding Crowd" when it originally aired and recorded it on VHS. It was still "Masterpiece Theatre" then and was introduced by Russell Baker. It has always been one of my favorites, and I was stunned to finally see a domestic DVD release after all this time. (I have the Region 2 British DVD release, but the video quality is quite poor and I have to play it on a small window on my computer for it to look acceptable.) This film is beautifully done with great performances, especially by Nathaniel Parker as the steadfast Gabriel Oak. I've always had trouble buying Paloma Baeza as being so stunningly beautiful or irresistable that men would destroy themselves over her, but she is a good actress. A note on the video quality: I watched this first on a small HD TV, and it looked okay, but not great. I then played it on a large Standard Definition TV, and it looked much better. This appears to be one of those cases where an older production can suffer when played on an HD TV.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful version, May 12, 2014
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This review is from: Far From the Madding Crowd (Masterpiece Classic) (DVD)
"Far From The Madding Crowd" is one of my absolute favorite Hardy stories and this is my favorite movie version. (the old Julie Christie one is good too). Love the cast and the scenery is gorgeous. Can't recommend it enough. I had a well-watched double VHS and when I shipped it to my parents it got broken in transit. I actually wasn't too upset because it was just the excuse I needed to replace it with the new DVD version.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie, December 1, 2012
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This review is from: Far From the Madding Crowd (Masterpiece Classic) (DVD)
I just love this movie. I first saw this movie on PBS and fell in love with the storyline. I am a big fan of everything BBC mostly because they use real looking people,in other words, the actors and actresses have blemishes, crooked teeth, and are not all "beautiful people" leading to a realism when veiwing the BBC movies. This movie has Nathaniel Parker (Inspector Lynley)
as the humble , but strong hero. The movie begins with a spoiled girl (Paloma Baeza) becoming mistress of a working farm. She has her misadventures, but in the end finally grows into a woman. If you get this movie look for Colin Firth's (Pride and Predudice) real brother as the dashing officer who seduces Paloma Baeza.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unwavered interest from the first scene, May 12, 2014
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This review is from: Far From the Madding Crowd (Masterpiece Classic) (DVD)
As a fan of Nathaniel Parker from Inspector Linley Mysteries I only purchased this dvd as he was in it and I also did not know of any Thomas Hardy books and what a surprise...magnificient production, wonderful scenery and brilliant acting from all lead players. Nathaniel's performance was outstanding and Johnathan Firth's Troy was spot on although I would have liked a younger actor in Nigel Terry's Boldwood role. I thought the director Nicholas Renton captured the 19th century era in magnificient fashion. For anyone interested in Thomas Hardy Books and movies of this era I would highly recommend "its" purchase and would expect it to be viewed more than once.
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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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