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Cold Comfort Farm
Format: DVD|Change
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon October 21, 2015
Do yourself a favor and watch this- a FEW times!
This is a quirky movie. I started reading the book and could not understand the lingo! so I decided to rent this first. When I went back to read I had the conversations down and understood the premise.
I have to say first and foremost that this movie is from a book by the same name. Stella Gibbons was the Author and she wrote this in 1932. Her humor is BEYOND funny, if possible- dry and off beat. The intro to the book is hysterical and gives you a hint of the woman behind the story.
The movie is almost word for word according to the book...
Flora, about 23 years of age is from London. Without a job and only 100 pounds a year to live on, she decides to 'visit' and 'live off of' some relatives for a short while. Her criteria for picking these relatives require that they be in desperate need of change in their lives. Flora was good at helping people with change and felt she was doing a good deed by accomplishing this task, for Flora did not like anything out of sorts. She knew JUST how to fix and direct others in the way they should live and behave. When Flora accomplished this good deed she was satisfied and all was well!
Flora finds herself in Sussex at her relatives farm... Cold Comfort Farm- but this is no ordinary farm for the Starkadders live here, and there has ALWAYS been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm...
As you can imagine this film is filled with oddball characters with oddball names and ALL of them are terrified of their Aunt Ada who rules the roost!
Flora tends to all the characters in her loving sensible way in which mayhem and bizarre and silly humor abounds. This is a fast and fun movie with a feel good ending. I could easily see this becoming a cult film because of repeated lines, silly names and colorful characters.
Made for television, but released in the theaters, Cold Comfort Farm surpassed the projected outcome for this film. You might be surprised by the well known actors in this movie and some actors who have bit parts. They all do a superb job.
I would definitely have English subtitles when watching for the first time because Cold Comfort Farm language can be hard to decipher.
Definitely a movie I will watch again and again and those movies are hard to find- humor, decent language, fun characters, great actors... a good story!
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on August 2, 2016
This comedic 1920's English period piece is a delightful bit of escapist fun, with Kate Beckinsale perfectly cast as Miss Flora Poste, a recently orphaned nineteen-year old city girl with a poetically refined sensibility, who suddenly finds herself living amongst her numerous rustic, eccentric, and most unreconstructed of rural relatives.

Kudos also for Joanna Lumley in her strong supporting role as Flora's London sophisticate of a mentor (the widow Mary Smiling), and especially for Ian McKellen's virtuoso performance, who virtually burns down the barn with his charismatic preacher-cum farm manager character, Amos Starkadder.

Lots of fun. Highly recommended..
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on August 12, 2014
Saw this movie when HBO first aired it years ago and loved it immediately! I've been searching and searching for a copy of it in the local stores for ages and have never found one. Can't believe that so many people have never heard of this movie! It's absolutely hysterical and fun to watch again and again. It's got an all-star cast of British favorites that will have you giggling and repeating the family's mantras along with them. Eileen Atkins, Joanna Lumley, Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen, Kate Beckinsale, Rufus Sewell, and Miriam Margolyes -- if you enjoy any of these actors' work, you'll love seeing them together in this movie!
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on September 23, 2011
" I saw something nasty in the woodshed".......

"There have ALWAYS been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm".....these two lines are repeated as a sort of litany throughout the film.

Very subtle British comedy. You will quickly realize in the opening seen that you are in for a very quirky brand of comedy as the delicious, lovely Joanna Lumley playing the character, Mary Smiling, piddles over her hobby with her butler. Her hobby is a collection of lady's corsets, bras, undergarments on partial mannikins. Mary Smiling, her character, of course, is always smiling. The names are very much tongue in cheek as well.

"Highly sexed young men living on farms are always named Seth or Ruben"..... [Flora Poste referring to cousins she has not yet met on Cold Comfort Farm.]

The film opens with about 50 seconds of black and white footage setting the history of the little girl who saw something nasty in the woodshed. That little girl is now elderly and uses whatever she saw in the woodshed as a lever and club over everyone's lives who lives with her on Cold Comfort Farm. Great Aunt Ada's (who saw something nasty in the woodshed when she was a little girl) worst fear is that her children and grandchildren will leave her alone on the farm.

Kate Beckinsale plays the role of Flora Poste, known throughout the film as "Robert Poste's child". Flora is recently orphaned in 1930's London when both her mother and father die at the same time. No relatives in London care to take her in as the estate only left her 100 pounds per year for her allowance. So, she stays with a friend in London while she writes letters to all of her relatives throughout Great Britain seeking the appropriate fit for the next stage of her life. Flora sorts through the responses from the relatives and chooses to go to Cold Comfort Farm with her cousins, the Starkadders. Fecundity rules as Flora leaves behind the societal refinement she enjoyed in the upper crust in London. Flora has ambitions to be a writer and believes she must experience "real life" (on a farm) in order to write about it. However, she has an ulterior motive. She possesses enough self awareness at a relatively young age to know something about herself. She likes to "tidy things up" that are messy. Thus, the untidy Cold Comfort Farm and the people who inhabit it seem an apropos challenge for her.


What I liked about the film is the trans-formative nature of Flora Poste, Beckinsale's character. Without being too much of a busybody she inserts herself into her unknown relatives' lives on Cold Comfort Farm and literally transforms the farm and all the people on it. It is a sheer joy to watch it unfold.
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on November 24, 2017
This movie is a hidden gem full of British wit and dry humor. Obviously the entire cast is phenomenal, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be Joanna Lumley. Her facial expressions are funnier than all of her snarky comments. "I saw something nasty in the wood shed" is high up on the list of movie quotes my sister and I use, right along "These mashed potatoes are so creamy".
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on October 4, 2016
SO funny! I can give no higher recommendation than to say we have watched it 10 times. It is a parody of the idealized, dark films of rural life. Orphaned Flora Poste (Kate Beckinsale) is sent to live with relatives, one of whom describes the farm as “plenty of hard life, surrounded by ruin on all sides”. An eccentric cast of characters is fabulous.
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on September 20, 2015
One of my all time favorite fun movies. I have watched it dozens of times. The casting is excellent. It is guaranteed to transport you way from the stresses of today with an amusing and lighthearted story line. This story is a fun-filled send-up of many British country life clichés with a pinch of Jane Austen thrown in for good measure. Pure enjoyment.
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on October 14, 2012
I found Cold Comfort Farm to be one of the most hilarious, clever and delightful film parodies I've ever seen.

It's brilliantly witty and full of outrageous stereotypes - the Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm, the bossy but charming cousin from London, the tyrannical grandmother, all wittily written and delightfully acted.
Kate Beckinsale is Flora Poste, a smart young thing from London at the end of the twenties who imagines herself a modern day Jane Austen. Orphaned at 23, she decides with Austenian zeal to 'tidy up all messes' - and this inclination starts with her desire to "smarten up" the lives of her distant country relations - the Starkadders on their surreal Gothic farm.

A riot of west country accents, witty jokes and bizarre personalities stand in her way - from the sex maddened Seth (the ever painfully beautiful Rufus Sewell) secretly in love with the talkies, his mystically inclined mother Judith - perpetually playing with tarot cards, to Ada the Great Matriarch who holds the family in a wild vise like grip, to Amos, Judith's husband (Ian McKellan)- a fire and brimstone preacher. Along with the advise of Mary Smiley -(the ever wonderful Joanna Lumley) a lovely and eccentric London society darling, Flora's attempts to create order from chaos fills the Starkadder family - and the audience - with pure laughter. This is satire at its best - not cynical so much as heartwarming and full of sincere charm!
Rufus Sewell shows yet again his too often overlooked flair for comedy - this film is absolutely fabulous!
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on February 13, 2014
Miss Post has lost her parents. Now she must find refuge. Her London relatives have turned her down, but a rich field of eccentric relations in Great Britain's provinces could be just the opportunity this budding writer needs. After several abysmal possibilities present themselves, she receives a letter from the Starkadder family of Cold Comfort Farm.
The cast of Eileen Atkins, Ian McKellan, Stephen Fry, Kate Beckinsale and Shiela Burrel as Aunt Ada Doom "who saw something nasty in the woodshed" and is determined to make her family pay for what she saw, make this a funny tale of eighteenth century backwardness put right by the spirit of 1920's self actualization, as the plucky Flora Post guides the members of Cold Comfort farm toward the lives they were put on earth to lead. This is one to buy for your library of all time favorite films.
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on November 3, 2017
Funny look at farm life in England, lots of laughs, great to watch while eating your buttery popcorn and drinking iced tea !
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