Far From the Madding Crowd

1967

Far From the Madding Crowd

Critics Consensus

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72%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 25

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,078
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Movie Info

This 1967 version of Thomas Hardy's novel should have done better at the box office than it did, given the star power of Julie Christie and the visual and aural fidelity to its source material. Julie Christie plays Bathsheba Everdene, a country heiress who is loved by three different men: Terence Stamp, Peter Finch and Alan Bates. Convinced that she is the intellectual superior of all three, Bathesheba loses many early opportunities for lasting happiness. Finally shedding herself of her haughty attitude, Bathsheba unconditionally accepts the love of Bates. The euphoric exuberance of Nicolas Roeg's photography is matched by the direction of John Schlesinger and the screenplay by Frederick Raphael. Only the nittiest of nitpickers would complain that some of the medium shots don't match the closeups (watch Terence Stamp's clown makeup in one scene). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Julie Christie
as Bathsheba Everdene
Alan Bates
as Gabriel Oak
Terence Stamp
as Sgt. Troy
Peter Finch
as William Boldwood
Prunella Ransome
as Fanny Robin
Paul Dawkins
as Henery Fray
Andrew Robertson
as Andrew Randle
John Barrett
as Joseph Poorgrass
Julian Somers
as Jan Coggan
Vincent Harding
as Mark Clark
Laurence Carter
as Laban Tall
Margaret Lacey
as Maryann Money
Harriet Harper
as Temperance
Denise Coffey
as Soberness
Brian Rawlinson
as Matthew Moon
Freddie Jones
as Cainy Ball
John Garrie
as Pennyways
John Carrie
as Pennyways
Marie Hopps
as Mrs. Coggan
Owen Berry
as Old Smallbury
Alison Leggatt
as Mrs. Hurst
Victor Stone
as Billy Smallbury
Peter Stone
as Teddy Coggan
Walter Gale
as Jacob Smallbury
Jonathan Newth
as Gentleman at Cockfight
Derek Ware
as Corporal
Peggy Ann Clifford
as Fat lady at Circus
Noel Henkel
as Circus Manager
David Swarbrick
as Fiddler at Barn Dance
Alba
as Gentleman at Party
Leslie Anderson
as Boldwood's Laborer
Keith Hooper
as Boldwood's Laborer
Frank Duncan
as Farmers at Corn Exchange
Hugh Walker
as Farmers at Corn Exchange
View All

Critic Reviews for Far From the Madding Crowd

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (7)

  • With the emphasis on plot rather than character only Julie Christie finds a part she can turn round in, suggesting convincingly Bathsheba's curious combination of coquetry with integrity.

    May 12, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Mostly this is a triumph ...

    Mar 13, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Everything in this extraordinary evocation of island life is seasonal; these folk, their affections and fortunes, shift with the winds and tides.

    Mar 13, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's maybe not up there in the pantheon of British classics, but there's something highly relaxing and radical about the fact that Schlesinger articulates this classical story with breathy longeurs ...

    Mar 12, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Christie carries the film with her own insouciant vulnerability. A classic.

    Mar 12, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • It has a kick that most other Hardy adaptations have conspicuously lacked.

    Mar 12, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Far From the Madding Crowd

  • Nov 14, 2015
    A very faithful adaptation that may not be a memorable classic but translates well the essence of Hardy's novel into a concise narrative that benefits from a uniformly perfect cast and takes its time to tell what it needs without rush, despite the rather hasty ending.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 30, 2015
    Far from the Madding Crowd lives up to the expectations for a period epic (a la Ben Hur, the Sound of Music, etc.) made in the 60s. The transfer is surprisingly good. The characters are enigmatic and the plot does not conclude with much catharsis (which probably figures into some of the low ratings). But all-in-all Far from the Madding Crowd is fine for what it is.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2011
    John Schlesinger's surprisingly dull three-hour epic "Far From the Madding Crowd" is not so much a movie as a TV mini-series. It is grandly majestic in its look but puny in its content and perspective. Just because something is filmed in wide-screen Cinemascope and covers a long chronological period doesn't mean it is broad in perspective. "Madding" has the look of a grand epic but the content of a soap opera. The Thomas Hardy novel upon which it is based must have some depth. But Schlesinger ends up providing the appearance of depth more than the real thing. His actors, who are almost absurdly talented, give a lot of meaningful looks, but they have little to say that is interesting. Almost everyone from England's 1960s acting royalty is represented here, including Julie Christie, Terence Stamp, Alan Bates and Peter Finch. But great actors cannot do much more than look regal when all they have is soap opera to play. This is the downfall of British television in general: almost without fail it puts aristocratic actors into petit-bourgeois soap opera. The film Schlesinger made after this, "Midnight Cowboy" (1969), is so much better than "Madding" that it's almost surreal. How could the same person direct these two films in the span of a few years? Amazing. (Incidentally, I still don't know what the hell "madding" means. Also incidentally, if you haven't seen "Midnight Cowboy," you are missing out on something extraordinary.)
    William D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2010
    The costumes and scenery of this romantic saga are wonderful, and the direction is impeccable (John Schlesinger, with help from cinematographer Nicolas Roeg). But there's something curiously unsatisfying about this Thomas Hardy adaptation. Maybe it's that Julie Christie never earns much empathy as the heroine Bathsheba, and just seems irritatingly fickle. Maybe it's that she wastes so much energy on the terminally skeevy Francis (Terence Stamp), and neglects poor Gabriel (Alan Bates). Maybe it's the abrupt happy ending, which defies the tone of everything which precedes it. Or maybe the film is just overlong. But something doesn't fit. I do know this much: The scene where moronic Francis wins Bathsheba's heart through showing off his sword tricks is one of the most ludicrous scenes I can remember seeing in a movie which intends to be a classy drama. I was haunted by its embarrassing memory throughout the remainder of the film and beyond.
    Eric B Super Reviewer

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