Far From The Madding Crowd 1998

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(53) IMDb 7.6/10
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Far From The Madding Crowd is an evocative and sumptuous adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic novel set in the 19th Century. The arrival of Bathsheba Everdene (Paloma Baeza) as mistress of Weatherbury Farm causes quite a stir in the all-male environment of the Corn Exchange. A beautiful and proud youg woman with a fiercely independent spirit, she soon ensnares and almost destroys the lives of the three men who love her - local shepherd Gabriel Oak (Nathaniel Parker), gentleman famer Mr Boldwood (Nigel Terry) and the womanising Sergeant Frank Troy (Jonathan Firth).

Starring:
Nigel Terry, Jonathan Firth
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Starring Nigel Terry, Jonathan Firth, Nathanial Parker, Paloma Baeza
Director Nicholas Renton
Genres Drama
Studio ITV
Rental release 29 September 2003
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

162 of 164 people found the following review helpful By Jill on 2 Dec. 2007
Format: DVD
I have watched this so many times that my original VHS-format is falling to pieces! One of Hardy's most accessible novels, this story quite daringly (for its time) deals with such issues as love, patience and the -- often devastating -- effects of human sexuality. It is all done, though, with great humanity and even the villain has some redeeming features. There's little black-and-white in Hardy's portraits of the three men all humming around Bathsheba like bees. Nor is she herself a simplistic character.

As with the best of British television costume dramas, this 1998 version features some very well-known and -loved actors, although I believe that Paloma Baeza may not have been so well-known when she was cast as the female lead. Nathaniel Parker is simply stunning -- and irresistible -- as the superb Gabriel Oak (a more appropriate name for his character could not have been devised), and Jonathan Firth is very fine indeed as Sergeant Troy -- this may be his best role yet on the small screen.

The music is charming; the settings and costumes are perfect... Sit back for a few hours, and simply bask in the the warmth of this production. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Job on 4 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD
This is really a great adaptation of the novel - true to not only the plot but as often as possible to Hardy's very conversations. The actors are uniformly excellent, assisted by the subtle, well-paced script, gorgeous scenery and involving plot. I don't think a better version of FFTMC will ever be made and absolutely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Hardy - or of just sitting in front of an absorbing, fascinating, passionate and sexy costume drama for a few hours!
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Roger-Marie Howes on 25 Aug. 2005
Format: DVD
I thoroughly enjoyed this production - it is closer to Hardy's novel than the earlier version starring Julie Christie. Baeza's reading of Bathsheba Everdine is excellent, totally in character. She skillfully combines Bathsheba's independent spirit with both her youth and naivety. She is at all times consistent and convincing. In the Julie Christie version, Christie overplayed the role, moving away from Hardy's intention, and came close at times to trivialising the character. Also, she did not consistently capture the youthfulness and innocence of Bathsheba. The Everdine/Troy sword scene was also overplayed in the Christie version, including sequences that were not in the novel and which, quite honestly, reduced the emotional impact of this (very important) scene. In the Baeza version, this better captures the emotion of the meeting and adds to the superiority of this version.
The supporting cast (particularly the other key roles) and production is excellent, as it was in the Christie version, although the Christie version veered away from the novel in some points that seemed unnecessary and a bit confusing.
For me, however, Baeza's grasp of Bathsheba was perfect, showing her for the talented young actress she is, and it is this that rates this version, for me, well above the Christie version.
I would recommend this version to any one.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Irish Critic on 11 Sept. 2008
Format: DVD
One of Thomas Hardy's best-loved novels is sensitively and accurately dramatised in this 1998 classic.

Upon inheriting her uncle's farm, the beautiful and assertive Bathsheba Everdene (Paloma Baeza) is the most sought after maiden in the whole of Weatherbury. She's forced to choose between the affections of three very different men; local shepherd Gabriel Oak, gentleman farmer Mr. Boldwood and the womanising Sargeant Frank Troy. Here, Hardy's classic tale of love, betrayal and tragedy is faithfully dramatised. The 1967 Julie Christie version is good, but this is even better!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anon on 11 July 2009
Format: DVD
I absolutely loved this TV adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic. I studied the novel for my English Language and Literature degree and thoroughly enjoyed it and was concerned that I might not enjoy the TV version quite as much. However, I needn't have worried as this is a fantastic adaptation and as a fan of the text I was pleasantly surprised how faithful this adaptation was to the novel, even using some of Hardy's original dialogue. At times I found myself laughing out loud and at other times I was completely choked up. The cast are all excellent particularly Nathaniel Parker as the loyal and selfless Gabriel Oak and Nigel Terry as the obsessive and desperate William Boldwood. I enjoyed this version much more than the 1967 Julie Christie version and I would thoroughly recommend this dvd whether you're studying English Literature or not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Pots TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Feb. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This production stars a very young Pamola Baeza, playing the equally young Bathsheba Everdene, opposite Nathaniel Parker as Gabriel Oak, in a production made for TV. Pamola gives pleasing performance in what was then, even at her age, her tenth outing in a television series, but we begin with Parker, a lowly shepherd in love with the then equally lowly Bathsheba. When she inherits a farm, and he falls on hard times, they become master and labourer, in a tale that adheres to the key parts of Hardy's novel. We get two hours in when the story begins to drift away from the novel, and it's at this point that the whole thing descends into scenes that a far from Hardy's work. The biggest departure occurs when Sergeant Troy arrives. While we do get the main events Hardy describes, Troy's groping and bedtime capers with Bathsheba take the story into the realms of bodice-ripping nonsense that have nothing to do with Hardy. Sex is an often unwritten presence in Jane Austen's work, and one might visit it because it is in the text of her novels. Here though, Hardy doesn't go there and, in my view, the series has no business inventing these events. That said, we do eventually get something approaching the ending that Hardy wrote.

The production is grand, to be sure, but while it has all the right locations and a plentiful cast, the lighting is often too bright, giving the whole thing a made-for-television cheapness that does it no credit at all. For example, the barn-dance scenes are very brightly lit, which kills the atmosphere of the place stone dead. The editing is unusually good. Many ITV productions suffer from plotting and editing that chop the story into chunks around which may be dumped commercial breaks.
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