August 29, 2009

'Crowd' All I Remembered It to Be

This will be a short post, but it'll include a huge recommendation...of a sort.

John Schlesinger's 1967 film Far from the Madding Crowd, adapted by the Thomas Hardy novel of the same name, should remain relatively unknown. Why? Well, let's put it this way: A crowd flocking to Crowd would dilute the movie's small "in crowd" fan base. Part of the appeal, perhaps, is the flick's relative anonymity.

And maybe that's just as well. The film, which in part concerns the romantic entanglements of Bathsheba Everdene, a headstrong landowner resolutely played by Julie Christie, has great direction, expert performances (particularly by Christie and her three suitors, portrayed by Alan Bates, Peter Finch and Terence Stamp), beautiful cinematography by Nicholas Roeg, and a gorgeous score by Richard Rodney Bennett. All of these qualities point to a movie that should be better known...but watching Crowd is something like finding a diamond needle in a haystack--like the ones dotting the English countryside that the film so ably showcases.

You don't want to share it with everybody. Just with the ones who will appreciate it.

Let Crowd remain little known. All the more for people to treasure when they discover it.

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