Cold Comfort Farm (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This old-fashioned British comedy of manners begins in the 1930s as the sophisticated lady Flora Poste is abruptly orphaned and rendered destitute. When Flora decides to move in with her countrified relatives at Cold Comfort Farm in Starkadders, she finds the ramshackle farm populated by several eccentric family members.

Rating: PG (adult situations/language)
Genre: Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Malcolm Bradbury
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 25, 2003
Universal Pictures


as Flora Poste

as Mrs. Smiling

as Amos Starkadder

as Judith Starkadder

as Ada Doom

as Adam Lambsbreath

as Reuben

as Dick Hawk-Monitor

as Charles Fairford

as Mrs. Beetle

as Meriam Beetle

as Mrs. Hawk-Monitor

as Mr. Hawk-Monitor

as Earl P. Neck

as Doctor Adolf Mudel

as Aunt Gwen

as Mr. McKnag

as Mrs. Murther

as Hawk-Monitor Butler

as Couturier

as Girl in Hayloft

as Tea Shop Waitress

as Young Ada Doom
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Cold Comfort Farm

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (11)

Malcolm Bradbury's script and John Schlesinger's direction ... between them coarsen, soften and simply lose much of Gibbons' extraordinarily sophisticated, wonderfully funny humour ...

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Schelsinger's masterfully directed eccentric satire is based on Stella Gibbons' 1933 book which spoofs the serious, soul-searching, rural-set stories of writers like D.H. Lawrence and Mary Webb.

Full Review… | June 2, 2006
Top Critic

What could be more welcome than a classic English comedy, bristling with wit and hilarity and crammed with wonderful eccentrics?

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Dickens meets the Beverly Hillbillies.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Thanks to Schlesinger's exacting direction and Malcolm Bradbury's witty, restrained script, these characters are kept more amusing than horribly pitiable.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

"Cold Comfort Farm" may be hysterically funny to regular readers of Hardy, Lawrence, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, but it won't ring many bells for the rest of us.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Cold Comfort Farm


Cold Comfort Farm is a delightful tale based on the book of the same name. Set in the 1940s, this story about a young orphaned girl who goes off to live with her distant relatives and bring happiness into their lives was a joy to watch. Kate Beckinsale really impresses here, as does the rest of the cast. Favorites like Ian Mckellen and Rupert Sewell also pop in the supporting cast and give terrific performances. The cinematography is just gorgeous. The big city scenes and the down-home country scenes really work well together, for a lovely blend of old-fashioned 40's mixed with ideal country establishment. The score is also noteworthy as it really lends itself to the story, giving it a peppy and upbeat feeling that is never tiresome and somehow keeps the story grounded, rather than fleeting. My only real problem with the film I guess would be the beginning of the story, as it is a bit slow to get going. The opening shot of the film of a young girl "seeing something nasty in the work shed" isn't really necessary at all. Furthermore, that whole idea that the film is centered around is never resolved, even though it plays a major part, so for me, that opening doesn't feel appropriate for this movie. Also, the sudden changes and motives in the film's characters, particularly Aunt Aida, are very sudden and not given much lead-in, but then again, perhaps they aren't necessary. I just felt that the characters in the movie change their minds rather quickly without much forethought. Still, the film is very enjoyable and delightful, as I've said before. It's always nice to see a film about people who change their lives for the better, particularly in such an upbeat and pleasant way.

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

Fantastically funny.

Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer


This film is a lot of fun and has a cast of brilliant British actors.

Everyone is great, but especially fun is the cameo by Joanna Lumley as the Aunt with a passion for bustiers & bra's. And when I say "passion" I mean that she has a vertiable museum of them in her home and speaks about them each as if they were her lovers.

I saw something nasty in the wood shed!

Robert C

Super Reviewer

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