TCM 31 Days of Oscar
I’ve challenged myself to watch a movie every day from Turner Classic Movie channel’s 31 Days of Oscar. I’ll be focusing on the movies I haven’t watched yet, with maybe just a few movies I’ve already seen.
Here is my 25th day and movie of my challenge to TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar.
Far From the Madding Crowd
8 out of 10 All Stars
1967 Drama, Romance film. Based on the novel of the same title by Thomas Hardy. Starring Julie Christie, Terence Stamp, Peter Finch, Alan Bates, Alison Leggatt, Peter O’Toole and Prunella Ransom.
The 360° Game: starts off with McCabe and Mrs. Miller starring Alison Leggatt, and she was in Far From the Madding Crowd with Peter O’Toole who was in the next film, Goodbye, Mr. Chips.
And the Oscar did not go to… Nominated for Best Original Score.
Short Synopsis: An English farmer (Alan Bates), soldier and aristocrat (Peter Finch) court a rural Victorian beauty (Julie Christie).
A note before I start watching this. And why I chose this movie… To compare with the new movie. Thought I’d watch this first before seeing the 2015 movie.
My Thoughts: This 3 hour movie ran a bit too long. I started watching this on Friday in between my very busy schedule. I only was able to watch 45 minutes of the movie on Friday and then almost a half hour on Saturday. Today I watched the rest of this with Gramps. This felt longer than watching the movie Doctor Zhivago. Speaking of the Doctor, I think Julie Christie performed better in that movie than she did in Far From the Madding Crowd. I didn’t connect her with that movie until today and when I did I just started thinking how much I liked her as Lara Antipova than as Bathsheba Everdene.
I did like Alan Bates as Gabriel Oak. I think the reason I liked him more is that his character seemed more developed in this movie than the other characters. They all did a good try at performing in these movie, with this script that seemed to make the characters like a backdrop to the scenery and show of farm life. I think that’s why I wasn’t to keen on sitting through this movie for 3 straight hours.
I do recommend seeing this movie. But as far as how this compares to the book, well I haven’t read it but I do intend to read it this year. It will be my first Thomas Hardy book too.
The Play by Play Thoughts…
0:07 Mr. Gabriel Oak and his proposal to Bathsheba Everdene. Poor guy, but she didn’t lead him on or anything. And besides, she’ll be moving later on anyway.
0:17 Thank goodness Gabriel isn’t married. Or at least that’s what he thinks. I couldn’t even watch the scene with the sheep and that dog, I ended up fast forwarding this. Now he needs to find some other work.
0:20 Frank and Fanny. A quick view of the soldier Frank and his fiance. Frank is surprised to see her and it doesn’t seem like he’s happy about marrying Fanny.
0:25 Old Mr. Everdene and a fire. After hearing these two men jabber on about how it’s not right to leave a farm to a woman, and a vain one too, Gabriel is off to help put out a fire. Luckily Bathsheba is there too. And the people putting out the fire are in need of a bailiff, which is also lucky for Gabriel but it looks like he’s content with just being a sheep farmer.
0:30 “Wonder who the new bailiff is going to be.” Well it’s a bit obvious that it’s Bathsheba, what with the way it’s already been obvious what a strong and independent woman she is. And one of the workers is Fanny, which connects that really short intro of her earlier.
Bathsheba Everdene: [to her workers] “Don’t anyone suppose that because I’m a woman, I don’t understand the difference between bad goings-on and good. I shall be up before you’re awake, I shall be afield before you’re up, and I shall have breakfasted before you’re afield. In short, I shall astonish you all.”
0:37 A joke on Mr. Boldwood. The marriage proposal will surely have him start liking Bathsheba soon enough. Now it’s of to see how Fanny and Frank are doing. Awe yes, she’s at one church while he’s waiting impatiently at another, along with some women all dressed in black. How dreary. Poor Franny.
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.”
0:44 Mr. Boldwood and his adorable dogs. Oh and that joke Bathsheba sent him is sitting by the clocks just so to annoy him. No wonder he threw it in the fire.
0:47 And another marriage proposal for Bathsheba. Yup, it’s that “foolish Valentine card.” And who does she go to to talk about the proposal, George Oak of course. Which leads to them having a quarrel and George being fired. Now her dear sheep are all sick and only “Shepherd Oak” can save them.
And then a promise to answer Mr. Boldwood after Harvest. Along with a song: Julie Christie sings “Bushes & Briars” (Far From the Madding Crowd – 1967) – Alan Bates at the flute.
1:06 A walk at night brings Sergeant Tory. And this Rakes romanticism and gallantry has Bathsheba in love of course. The cad, after he’s slept with and is engaged to Fanny.
“I simply want you to know that I don’t care for Mr. Troy in the least.” – Bathsheba to her farm girls.
And she hates him too. Sure, and I’m the Queen of England.
1:29 Mr. Boldwood trying to deal with Mr. Troy. Troy’s romanticism wins out and Bathsheba has betrayed herself by falling for his charms. Thank goodness for Gabriel Oak for taking care of her crops. But I don’t think Bathsheba will listen to him about who Frank Troy really is.
2:00 “My romance is gone.” Yes it has Bathsheba, and now it’s time to wake up from Frank’s spell. Especially after seeing who else is inside the coffin with Franny – a baby. Sleeping in the woods seems to be her cure of a broken heart.
Frank Troy: [to Bathsheba] “This woman is more to me dear than you ever were… or are… or could be.”
And yet he couldn’t bring himself to marry Fanny when he should have, let alone going off and marrying Bathsheba. And he can’t even properly bury Franny because as soon as Frank is done, the statue pours water all over the grave.
2:35 Christmas Eve. Now why in the world would Frank return to Bathsheba after trying to avoid her during his performance at the fair? It seems ridiculous after all that at the fair and the way he’s treated her after Fanny’s death. Makes no sense.
Then comes the scandalous murder and Bathsheba’s tearful cries of Frank’s death. At least the coffin makers are good at building those coffins.
2:46 A tearless departure. Gabriel Oak is leaving and all Bathsheba can think of at first is how helpless she is and her farm. Well she just had to remember about her independence.
“Now that I’m at my most helpless, you’re going away.” – Bathsheba to Gabriel.
2:48 The One Condition. A sweet condition too. And just like that they’re married. What do they do one their wedding night? Well Gabriel looks out the window to see how the farm is doing in the storm and Bathsheba reads the newspaper, all while that God awful clock chimed away.
Gabriel Oak: “At home by the fire, whenever I look up, there you will be. And whenever you look up, there I shall be.”
2:50 The End… with the credits and that soldier in the clock.