Far from the Madding Crowd is a 1967 drama film adapted from the book of the same name by Thomas Hardy. It stars Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Terence Stamp, and Peter Finch, and was directed by John Schlesinger. It was Schlesinger's fourth film (and his third collaboration with Christie) and marked a stylistic shift away from his earlier works which explored contemporary urban mores. The cinematography was by Nicolas Roeg and the soundtrack was by Richard Rodney Bennett. Traditional folk songs were also used in various scenes throughout the film.
Set in the rural West Country in Victorian England, the story features Bathsheba Everdene (Julie Christie), a beautiful, headstrong, independently minded woman who inherits her uncle's farm and decides to manage it herself, which engenders some disapproval from the local farming community. She hires a former neighbor, Gabriel Oak (Alan Bates), to be her shepherd; a rejected suitor, Gabriel lost his own flock of sheep when one of his dogs drove them over a steep cliff. Ignoring Gabriel's love, Bathsheba impulsively sends a valentine to William Boldwood (Peter Finch), a nearby gentleman farmer. When he misinterprets her capriciousness and proposes to her, Bathsheba promises to consider his offer. Instead, however, she becomes enamored of Frank Troy (Terence Stamp), a dashing cavalry officer. Unaware that Troy has refused to marry young Fanny Robin (Prunella Ransome), a maidservant pregnant with his child, because she embarrassed him by going to the wrong church on their wedding day, Bathsheba foolishly becomes his wife. After Troy has gambled away most of Bathsheba's money and created disharmony among the farmhands, he discovers that Fanny has died in childbirth. Filled with remorse, he swears that he never loved Bathsheba, walks out on her, and disappears into the ocean. Bathsheba then promises to marry Boldwood when Troy is declared legally dead; but Troy appears at their engagement party and the nearly deranged Boldwood kills him. Shortly after Boldwood has been sent to prison, Gabriel tells Bathsheba that he is planning to emigrate to America. Realizing how much she has always needed his quiet strength and unselfish devotion, Bathsheba persuades Gabriel to remain in Weatherbury as her husband.
Liddy: (about Boldwood) He is married to his farm. That's the truth of it.
Temperence: There's no woman can touch him, Miss. 'Tis said he has no passionate parts.
Sgt. Francis 'Frank' Troy: (to Bathsheba) A woman like you does more damage than she can conceivably imagine.
Joseph Poorgrass: (Very drunk) Well, I got a slight attack of the multiplying eye.
|Release Date||16 October 1967|
|Tagline||Her romance with three men becomes a bold adventure [UK theatrical]|
|Filming Locations||Abbotsbury, Dorset, England, UK|
|Sound Mix||70 mm 6-Track, Mono|
|Film Class||Period Film, Romantic Drama|
|Mood||In the Mood for Love|
|Themes||Looking For Love|
|Tones||Atmospheric, Poignant, Literate, Earthy|