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Thomas Hardy Collection

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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(Aug 16, 2011)
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$124.99 $33.97

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Editorial Reviews

Prepare to be swept away by the romance and drama of two masterpieces from one of the greatest figures in English literature: Thomas Hardy. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles. Her luminous beauty blazing against the bleak background of rural Victorian England, Tess Durbeyfield is one of literature's best-loved and most memorable heroines. Violated by one man and forsaken by another, she refuses to remain a victim. But her struggle to endure despite the abandonment of her true love--and her desperate attempt to attain happiness--propel Tess toward a tragic end. The Mayor Of Casterbridge: Destitute and drunken, Michael Henchard is an itinerant farmhand who sells his wife and daughter to a sailor in a moment of alcohol-fueled desperation. So begins The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy's enduring classic. Ciaran Hinds (Road to Perdition, Jane Eyre) stars as the tragic, tormented Henchard. Decades after his fateful decision, now reformed and respectable, he is offered a chance at redemption when his wife re-appears with her daughter. But the reunion's promise is soon tarnished by a web of jealousy, deceit and wounded pride.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 16, 2011
  • Run Time: 380 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004WCSMHA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,017 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

This "collection" is comprised of the 1998 and 2003 ITV-A&E co-productions of the Thomas Hardy novels TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES: A PURE WOMAN and THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE: A STORY OF A MAN OF CHARACTER. Although written in 1891 and 1886, respectively, the stories are both set in the middle of the 19th century in rural England. Both TV movies were adapted by Ted Whitehead (a Hardy scholar) with Sally Head at the helm as executive producer.

TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES: 3 & 1/2 stars

This story is about Tess Durbeyfield (portrayed by the unconventionally beautiful Justine Waddell), a simple farm girl, who is wooed by first Alec d'Urberville (Jason Flemyng, who looks every bit the rogue), Tess' wealthy, distant relation (can't be more specific here) and then farmer-in-training Angel Clare (Oliver Milburn - another good casting choice). Like all of Hardy's protagonists, Tess is, to some extent, the "plaything" of fate, and her tragedy is all the more sad becuz she is - as is stated by the novel's subtitle - a "pure woman".

The acting, sets, locations, and music of this production are good. Unfortunately, either Whitehead or director Ian Sharp took it upon himself to give Tess flashes of sarcasm or assertiveness that didn't appear in the novel, which alter Hardy's depiction of the "pure woman" who was more resigned to her fate (the blame, however, for the good but far from stellar performance of Waddell - who was terrific in WIVES AND DAUGHTERS - can certainly be attributed to Sharp), and one of the sources of conflict that leads to Tess' act of retribution against another character near the end of the story had been revealed to her much earlier in the novel, a change made, perhaps, to provide a greater sense of betrayal and drama.
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The two films included on this CD, Tess of the d'Ubervilles and The Mayor of Casterbridge, are fine adaptations of Hardy's works. They are cinematically beautiful, the acting is wonderful and, of course, the stories are compelling. I highly recommend this collection.
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These were 2 great stories. Very sad though...the acting was high quality, the scenery was awesome. The only thing is that the A&E movies are not as sharp in image as BBC, they have a somewhat diffused look to them.
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I love period movies. I have read both these books years ago and now have watched the movies which were excellent copies.
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