Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Far from the madding crowd, again

Its back: FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, John Schlesinger's ravishing 1967 film from the Thomas Hardy classic - despite liking all four leads: Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Peter Finch and dashing (very) Terence Stamp I have not seen this for decades, though have the dvd filed away, its now on re-release and is one to see on a giant screen, before the new version arrives shortly. So - Julie Christie or Carey Mulligan?  hmmmmmm. 

Like Zeffirelli's ROMEO & JULIET and Tony Richardson's THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE, and OLIVER! and THE LION IN WINTER, all 1968, its a great 1960s period film that remains fascinatingly of its era with great casts and production values, scripted by Frederic Raphael, and of course lensed by Nicolas Roeg ...
The new version, below, should be interesting too with Matthias Schoenaerts,  Martin Sheen and Tom Sturridge. 


  1. This is one that grew on me over time. On my first viewing I thought it was okay, a bit too slow but Julie, the main reason I had caught it-she being my favorite actress, was lovely and Alan Bates and Peter Finch very good. I thought Terence Stamp rather blah. But then I watched it again a few more times and each time I fell under its spell a bit more. Knowing where it was going I was able to take in the visual splendor, Nicolas Roeg does an amazing job there, and warm to the story and the performances. I found new things in Julie, Peter and Alan's, who is the MVP here to me, performances and came to appreciate what Stamp was doing with Frank. Now I love the film but it took time.

    I've never read the book, my nephew had to do so for school and refers to it as the worst book he ever was forced to endure. Hardly a ringing endorsement especially since I find Hardy a challenge to begin with.

    As for the new version, the preview has a beautiful look. I like Carey Mulligan, who I'm guessing is probably closer to Hardy's Bathsheba then Julie was but I'll still have a bit of an adjustment getting use to her, still she's a fine actress so I'm hopeful and Matthias Schoenaerts is an interesting actor and his physicality makes him a good fit for Gabriel Oak though Alan Bates set a very high bar.

    Isn't it Michael Sheen not Martin who is playing Boldwood? I can see him doing very well by the role though again Finch was brilliant. The only one I have questions about Tom Sturridge as Sgt. Troy but that could just be because I'm not to familiar with his work. All in all I'm looking forward to it.

  2. Gosh, did I say Martin Sheen! Good someone noticed. Of course its Michael, an unusual choice, making Boldwood not as mature as Finch was. He looks great in the clips I saw.