1967 saw Julie Christie and Terence Stamp immortalised by The Kinks in ‘Waterloo Sunset’ and cast as lovers in Thomas Hardy’s epic love story Far from The Madding Crowd.
Headstrong and passionate Bathsheba Everdene (Julie Christie) unexpectedly inherits a large farm in rural Dorset. Struggling to manage the farm herself, she captivates the hearts and minds of three very different men: an honest and hardworking sheep farmer (Alan Bates), a wealthy but tortured landowner (Peter Finch), and a reckless and violent swordsman (Terence Stamp). As emotions become entangled, free spirited and innocent folly soon leads to devastating tragedy.
Farmer Bathsheba Everdene is the most modern of 19th century heroines and Christie’s performance beautifully underlines her as a woman at odds with the conventions of the time. The film contains a number of stand-out set-pieces, such as Stamp’s seductive, Freudian display of swordsmanship. But what resonates so deeply is the way in which Schlesinger and cinematographer Nicolas Roeg frame the passions and tragedy at the film’s heart with the patterns of rural life and the harsh, sodden beauty of the Dorset landscape. This restoration reveals Far from The Madding Crowd as an immersive piece of cinema with Hardy’s cruel ironies and bleak lyricism fully intact.
Based On The Novel By Thomas Hardy
Screenplay By Frederic Raphael
Cinematography By Nic Roeg
The 4k Digital Film restoration was funded by STUDIOCANAL in collaboration with the BFI’s Unlocking Film Heritage programme (awarding funds from the National Lottery).