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4.6 out of 5 stars103
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 22 November 2007
Stunningly beautiful soundtrack original music by Carl Davis using period (pre-Victorian) instruments, with melodies to stand up in their own right.
Mostly the acting is first rate and subtle. Ben Kingsley brings just the right degree of emotion. Star turn cameos from the likes of Jim Broadbent and Freddie Jones.
A script that in 90 minutes keeps the plot flowing, and at times is truly poetic.
Not a cinema release but made for TV - which perhaps is an advantage avoiding the temptation for flashiness for its own sake.
My no.1 film by a clear head. Why should film be fast paced? Its strength is in its holding the moment.
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on 12 April 2009
I have waited so long for this to come out. I love the book and it is rare that any adaptaion comes close to the original - but this is as good. The story and acting are fantastic, I recall having a real sense of time and place. I, like Mr Cooke, also have been waiting for 'Precious Bane' too - when is that coming? I do not watch TV anymore because it is mostly rubbish - even documentaries are dumbed down - I think the BBC has an obligation to put some of its classics on DVD for us that can't bear being patronized.
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on 20 October 2008
I remember watching this on TV, Christmas 1985, and was completly taken by it. Far and away the best thing Kingsley has done. I was fortunate enough to have taped it and over the years watched it more times than I can remember. Everything about it is superb, the cast, the settings, the dialogue the costumes, the period feel, everything. A year or two later we were treated to "Precious Bane" staring the superb Janet McTeer.Whenever I come onto Amazon I always look for these two films. WHY have they not been available. WHY when S.Marner is finally available do we have we to wait another year before we can get a copy. WHY is tosh like "Heroes" and "Torchwood" available on DVD when the series is still showing on TV???
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on 15 November 2010
Ben Kingsley is outstanding in the title role of this George Eliot adaptation. He captures perfectly the disillusioned, vulnerable, mistrusting, solitary nature of the weaver whose life is changed by a little orphan girl. In particular, his scenes with the kindly farmer's wife, Dolly Winthrop (Rosemary Martin) are marvelous; as she tries to reach out with small acts of kindness, and he begins to respond, but only with nods and shakes of his head. I find such scenes much more moving than all the tears and tantrums of modern drama (our American cousins in particular seem to have no flair for this type of subtlety).

At the heart of the film is a little scene just after Eppie gets locked in the coal-hole where we see Silas and the toddler together, talking and fool-acting just like a real father and daughter. It is so sweet and natural that it was obviously unscripted, with Ben Kingsley ad-libbing in reaction to the little girl. Nothing much happens, there is no killer punchline like 'I wuv oo Daddy', but again it was wonderful and really moving in its simplicity.

Apart from the Silas/Eppie story, the sub-plot with the Cass family was also very well done, and the whole thing stayed close to the original novel. I wasn't very keen on Patsy Kensit as the teenage Eppie, she seemed to overdo the 'simple country girl' act, but that was only a minor grumble in an otherwise magnificent production. It is a thoroughly enjoyable evening's entertainment that warms your heart and makes you want to be a better, kinder person.
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on 16 April 2014
A wonderful adaptation of a well-loved classic.
Ben Kingsley, always a delight, plays the weaver, hardworking, honest.
He loses everything but finds something more precious...
The child actress steals the show, she is luminous and natural, Patsy Kensit 'not so much'
as the child grown.
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on 22 February 2008
A beautifully acted cracking yarn. The first film that I saw Ben Kingsley in and was rivited by his work. Unsung film.
A film both moving and well told. Mr Kingsley is remembered for Ghandi but I will always think of him as Silas Marner.
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on 17 July 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this rendition of the story by BBC. It kept absolutely close to the story in the book. I did not notice any deviations from book story at all. The atmosphere of the movie, in my mind, truly represented the era of the story depicted n the book, including the scenes and activities of the people of the period. The acting of Ben Kingsley was convincing. The pace of the movie was just right to tell the story. The minor criticism that I have was that the supporting actors were not too convincing in the final scenes when the revelations were made to Effie.
Otherwise, a very enjoyable story well worth the cost of shipping this DVD to my foreign location.
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on 4 January 2012
Wonderful production with excellent acting by Ben Kingsley, and great supporting cast; strong morality tale of redemption from George Elliot and enjoyed by group of viewers from 20 to 75! Highly recommended as best available production.
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Banished from his community after being wrongly branded a thief, Silas Marner hikes to a remote village many miles away, where he spends the next 15 years as a miserly hermit, working only for the gold he earns. When his precious hoard is stolen, he is forced to turn to his neighbours for help. They try to aid him, but he is utterly inconsolable over his loss, until a little girl toddles into his humble cottage, into his life, and into his heart. Silas adopts her, naming her Eppie. She changes his life, he intergrates with his neighbours, & we & they see his true self. For 16 years, he is completely happy, but there is a dark cloud on the horizon. Eppie's birth father wants her back, but which of them will she call her father?

This is a fine, moody piece, but I would have liked a little more detail, such as the trip back to Lantern Yard which appears in the book. However, this is just a minor niggle about an otherwise excellent drama.

The cast do a fine job, but this is Ben Kingsley's film. His performance as the weaver should have won him the BAFTA - it was that good. Even his accent is authentic, (he sounds a bit like Wallace). Overall, top-quality drama from the Beeb, and accompanied by a fine documentary about Silas Marner's creator, George Eliot.

A fine bargain!
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on 26 March 2012
First saw it on TV in the 80s and have been looking forward to seeing it again for some years. Fine performance by Ben Kingsley - perhaps one of his best. If you enjoy Middlemarch and The Mill on the Floss, or indeed understated period drama you will enjoy this. Unlike some of the more modern dramatisations it's not showy but the wonderful story shines though and you almost wish it was a little longer ...
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