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Far from the Madding Crowd

original film poster by Tom Chantrell
Directed by John Schlesinger
Produced by Joseph Janni
Written by Frederic Raphael
Starring Julie Christie
Alan Bates
Terence Stamp
Peter Finch
Prunella Ransome
Music by Richard Rodney Bennett
Cinematography Nicolas Roeg
Editing by Malcolm Cooke
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)(US)
Warner-Pathé Distributors Ltd. (UK)
Release date(s) 1967
Running time 168 min

Far from the Madding Crowd is a 1967 feature film directed by John Schlesinger, adapted from the book of the same name by Thomas Hardy. It was Schlesinger's fourth film 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. Original folk songs were also used in various scenes throughout the film.

It was nominated for one Oscar for best Original music score and two BAFTA's, Best British Cinematography (Colour) and Best British Costume (Colour).


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. It centres around her three suitors: the steadfast but luckless shepherd Gabriel Oak (Alan Bates), the lonely and repressed farmer William Boldwood (Peter Finch), and the rakishly-handsome but faithless Dragoon, Sergeant Francis Troy (Terence Stamp).

The film is faithful to the book but the choice of Christie attracted some criticism at the time. The film was shot largely on location in Dorset and Wiltshire . The film is memorable for the subtly erotic scene between Sgt. Troy and Bathsheba in which he flaunts his expert skills as a swordsman in a private fencing display in an open field with an enthralled Bathsheba standing immobile before him.

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