At a country fair, young hay-trusser Michael Henchard quarrels with his wife Susan, and in a drunken fit decides to auction off his wife and baby to a sailor for five guineas. The next day,...
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In a drunken and disheartened state, Michael Henchard sells his wife at a fair. When he becomes sober again he realises what he has done, and though unable to find his wife and child, ... See full summary »
An adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic story of parvenue Becky Sharp's rise from obscure & humble origins to her subsequent ignominious fall from Society; set amongst the ... See full summary »
At the center of the story is Augustus Melmotte, a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings. Trollope describes him as 'something in the city',... See full summary »
Based on a little known 1848 novel by Anne Bronte, Tara Fitzgerald stars as an enigmatic young woman who moves to 19th Century Yorkshire with a young son. Distancing herself from everyone ... See full summary »
Set in Victorian London, Gwendolen Harleth is drawn to Daniel Deronda, a selfless and intelligent gentleman of unknown parentage, but her own desperate need for financial security may destroy her chance at happiness.
Orphaned by smallpox, young Lancashire country lady Fanny Hill cheerfully accepts her friend Esther Davies's offer to join the London 'working girls' with Mrs. Brown, a madam who recruits ... See full summary »
This Masterpiece Theatre production, set at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, chronicles the life, loves, foibles and politics of the fictional English town of Middlemarch. Adapted ... See full summary »
At a country fair, young hay-trusser Michael Henchard quarrels with his wife Susan, and in a drunken fit decides to auction off his wife and baby to a sailor for five guineas. The next day, realizing his loss, he swears not to touch liquor again for as many years as he has lived so far. Eighteen years later, Henchard has become Mayor of Casterbridge, a man well respected but not well liked. The unexpected return of his wife and daughter Elizabeth Jane sets off a turn of events that force him to face the consequences of his selfish impulses and violent temper. Written by
Ok, I admit that although I like period dramas, and enjoy Thomas Hardy's novels, the sole reason I rented this film was James Purefoy. I expected to spend a couple of hours "enjoying the scenery" as it were, but not much more. What I got instead was a heart-breaking tale, powerfully delivered by an all-round excellent cast.
Michael Henchard is a very complex character, delivered masterfully by Ciaran Hinds. At times you loathe him, in the next scene he will break your heart. The impression that the pain this man is feeling is real, is at times so strong that I must confess to the occasional tear. I do not often get emotional when watching a film, but this was certainly an exception. Definitely not "light" entertainment, this is one to be watched when you are willing to give yourself over to the story, not to watch out of the corner of your eye while catching up on your e-mail...
As for James Purefoy...? What can I say? He delivered a performance above even what I expected. The barn scene in one that will haunt my dreams from this day forth!
Watch it! You won't be disappointed.
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