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  • Jude [VHS]
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Jude [VHS]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Eccleston, Kate Winslet, Liam Cunningham, Rachel Griffiths, June Whitfield
  • Directors: Michael Winterbottom
  • Writers: Hossein Amini, Thomas Hardy
  • Producers: Andrew Eaton, Mark Shivas, Sheila Fraser Milne, Stewart Till
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English, Latin
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Polygram USA Video
  • VHS Release Date: November 4, 1997
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304342950
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,134 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom didn't make a particularly good film until Welcome to Sarajevo, and this curiously dry adaptation of Thomas Hardy's last novel is a good example. Christopher Eccleston plays Jude Fawley, a self-educated stonemason who dreams of attending university but identifies with the working class. Kate Winslet is his cousin Sue Bridehead, a young woman with suffragette leanings and a position as a teacher's assistant. When the two enter into an illicit union, they are condemned to the margins of society, ultimately resulting in a horrifying tragedy. Winterbottom takes an oddly lean approach to Hardy's deterministic story, which leaves a viewer feeling short on emotion just when one needs it for the from-bad-to-worse third act. Welcome to Sarajevo proved that Winterbottom needs a whole other level of personal involvement to make a film that inspires him. Jude isn't one of those lucky films. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Jude is a very powerful film.
At a young age he winds up married to a woman named Arabella, but his marriage does not work out (lack of love and a supposed curse on the Fowley men).
Andrew Ellington
For anyone who has read the book they will know that this is not the end of the story by a good margin.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By "eurotrashgirl" on May 8, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
In this 1996 adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel, Jude the Obscure, a sad, archetypal story plays itself out across the rainy English landscape, helped along by brilliant acting and directing alike.
Though the film is admittedly incredibly bleak, and the ending sad beyond words, it is all-told a brilliant, classic film.
After a short opening sequence introducing us to the young Jude, the viewer is quickly drawn into the parameters of Jude's adult world. Almost at once, we begin to feel his pain, his longing, his hope, and his persistence. We understand well what is driving him in his journey through life. This is a novel brought to life, a story in motion.
As a die-hard fan of Kate Winslet, I have to say that this film one of my Winslet favorites. In my view, 1997's blockbuster Titanic was not only a success as a box office triumph or well-loved film in its own right, but also because it opened the world's eyes to the talent of this young British actress, whose consistently fine performances and willingness to break through barriers as an actress have brought the world great joy on the silver screen, and will surely continue to do so well into the new millenium. In Jude, Winslet is charismatic and beautiful (as usual), and plays Sue Brideheard to a tee. Introduced to her in a small, well-loved photograph, we soon come to understand what Jude sees in her. Her beauty, her intelligence, her promise of a better life. Her laughter still echoes in my head, like the flashbacks in the film. She is youth, she is carefree, she is unattainable, she is a vision, a memory, love.
Eccleston is perfect for the role of the ever-yearning Jude, his face a landscape of green hills, rain, cobblestone streets and stone carvings, and green hills yet again.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Spare-Time Critic on August 21, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
While I realize a filmmaker can't be expected to slavishly follow the original text word for word, most go too far in remaking the characters as they see fit. "Jude" is a good example. In this version, Sue has been crystalized from a flighty woman "in love with being loved" to an opinionated pre-feminist. Arabella has peeled off several layers of crassness to reveal a pragmatic, self-sufficient person who is simply trying to get by. Even Aunt Drusilla must have found better living through medication; she's now a basically good-hearted person who cares deeply for her adopted nephew! After I got past those little changes, I had to take a skeptical look at Jude himself -- with everyone around him now presented in such a sympathetic light, you start wondering, "What's HIS problem?"
For example, since Arabella's basic lack of compassion is never exposed, one can only wonder why Jude leaves the house as she's butchering the pig: Is he sickened by the sight of blood? Is he repulsed by seeing his bride up to her elbows in pig entrails? In the book version, the issue was that Arabella wanted to prolong the pig's death to make the meat tastier, while Jude insisted on putting the poor creature out of its misery. In the movie, you might assume he'd thought bacon grew on trees.
Another change from book to film: "Jude the Obscure" was considered scandalous when it was published, but what can shock a jaded '90s audience? Hmm... *ponder*... Oh, I know! More sex scenes! Suffice it to say, if you've ever wondered what Kate Winslet looks like in the buff, you need wonder no more. As for Christopher Eccleston, a fig leaf would've covered everything we didn't see. There's a lot more eroticism here than the book called for.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 4, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This screen adaptation of the classic by Thomas Hardy (Jude the Obscure) stars Christopher Eccleston as Jude Fawley and a slim Kate Winslet as his cousin, Sue Bridehead. Strong supporting roles are provided by Rachel Griffiths, June Whitfield and Liam Cunningham.
The film starts like many American films: someone poor and disadvsntaged has a driving ambition to succeed. If this were an American film, we would be sure of a happy ending: Jude finds a well-paid job and lives happily ever after with Sue and the children. Anyone familiar with the work of Thomas Hardy will expect fate to intervene and somehow make it impossible for the protagonists to realize their dreams. If Thomas Hardy had been born somewhat later and worked as a screenwriter, I cannot help thinking he would have specialized in the film noir genre.
My main criticism is that none of the actors manages an authentic Dorset accent, with the possible exception of June Whitfield. Christopher Eccleston attempts one but invariably goes back to his Manchester accent. Rachel Griffiths produces something that sounds more like an Irish accent whilst Kate Winslet usually speaks like she does in Titanic.
The film contains a few very strong scenes: a pig being slaughtered and disembowelled as well as a close-up of Kate Winslet giving birth.
As a screen adaptation of one of the classics of English literature there is a lot of material, feeling pain and suffering, crammed into 110 minutes, so much so that I kept finding new meaning after four viewings. Perhaps those familiar with Hardy will prefer to read the novel whilst those who are not will find this adaptation slow and depressing.
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