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4.4 out of 5 stars
72
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 4 February 2006
I saw this adaptation when it was first televised and was totally enthralled by it. Alan Bates gave a well balanced and sensitive performance of the Mayor tortured by his past. The supporting players including Janet Maw and Annie Massey were particularly impressive too. The period was well captured and the essence of the story was further enhanced by the touching music score of Carl Davis. I loved it then and I love it now! A dvd to be treasured!
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on 30 July 2009
Another example of excellent BBC telly drama - in the days before the Corporation was determined to become poor man's cinema.

A dramatisation by Dennis Potter, no less (the perfect man for this job) combined with an extremely good cast, makes this 1978 gem a collector's classic.

The nice thing about adaptations like this is that they allow time for the very complex plot to breathe - and the viewer isn't left with his or her head spinning after a glossy roller-coaster ride through the bare essentials of the original story ...

(I know I'm a fan of these older 'classic serials' - and view most of them all with a fondness probably born of nostalgia, but hey - why not ? These are high quality programmes, beautifully made and performed. They deserve to be treasured - and most of them knock spots off more recent attempts.)

Go ahead and order - it's well worth it.
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on 12 June 2000
Not a lavish, expensive production like BBC's Pride and Prejudice, but nonetheless still worth watching, partly due to the quality of the acting. Fans of Hardy will appreciate the authenticity. At times a little drawn out, but there are many more excellent moments, especially the dramatic 'Skimmity Ride' scene. All the actors are excellent, but of particular note is Alan Bates, who IS the ill - fated hero, Michael Henchard.
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on 1 March 2012
This is a really well acted film, Alan Bates is superb as
Michael Henchard, Like he was meant for the part. The film script is
true to the book, And the atmosphere of the film keeps you engrossed.

In my opinion, for acting quality from all, and for scenery in Dorset as well,
This is the best Mayor of Casterbridge film.
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on 5 June 2010
I must have missed this the first time around on TV. The now aged production was never-the-less a triumph of expression of dramatic art. The story is well told and although the video quality back then was markedly different it has transcribed well to DVD and is of an acceptable finish.
The unusual and heartrending story is well played, well delivered and produced and is pretty faithful to the original.
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on 30 November 2000
I keep watching this BBC masterpiece, especially on days when I begrudge paying the licence fee and need reminding why I still cough up. Alan Bates plainly cornered the market in earthy Hardy anti-heroes, but nonetheless infuses the role of Henchard with a gritty, mesmerising fatalism. He is superb. Dennis Potter's adaptation is, however, a little suspect. His Forest of Dean mummerset just doesn't ring true. Dorset people don't, for example, say "I is". They may do in Cinderford, but not in Casterbridge. For all that, this is a very, very good effort. Why hasn't Bates been knighted by now?
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on 15 August 2009
I always did think this was a wonderful series and I still do. Alan Bates as Henchard was a perfect mix of bluster and vulnerability and the rest of the cast were really top notch.

The slow country pace of the book is rendered superbly and it all seem so authentically rural that you can almost smell the country air.

A sad, sad tale, and I really felt sympathy for the character of Henchard. Simply filmed, with a really good soundtrack.

You'll guess that I like this and I do. 5 stars everytime.
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on 31 August 2013
It wasn't as good as reading the book which I studied years ago for A levels but Alan Bates was very good. The daughter (actress who played daughter) Emily-Jane appeared not to have one ounce of emotion running through her body - I hope she has improved over the years. I'm a huge fan of Thomas Hardy and rate him as one of the very best Victorian novelist. Hardy was renowned for his atmospheric descriptions of perfumes, colour and a sense of being part of the story when you read it - I think some of that is lost in film.
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on 11 November 2006
With Alan Bates how could this not be a fabulous version of The Mayor of Casterbridge! Again, English theatre at its very best. Wonderful storyline, brilliant acting and the English countryside - who could ask for more.
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on 22 March 2011
This is a first class historical drama produced by the BBC which I thoroughly enjoyed watching again after seeing it for the first time it appeared on TV over 30 years ago. Alan Bates excelled as the Mayor like I always remember him in whatever film or play he did, a great actor. Amazon give a good explanation of who, where and what their DVDs are all about which certainly does help a great deal.
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