Much of what makes the film astounding is not its translation of Hardy's text into cinematic narrative, but the depiction of a rural lifestyle that hums with pastoral, primal beauty. Scenes on the farm & interactions between characters eating, drinking, enjoying life's simple pleasures, anticipates something of Pasolini & his trilogy of life. A hymn to the splendour of nature, colour, the drama of the changing light.
Strangely passionless adaptation of the classic Hardy novel that mainly fails to the miscasting of Julie Christie as Bathsheba. Long winded at near 3 hours this take is well shot (by N. Roeg) but often tedious and ill paced. Peter Finch is excellent here and Alan Bates is quite good but Stamp seems to fail to get under the skin of his character as well. What drives Christie's character is never evident. A misfire.
the cast is wonderful. julie christie & alan bates really anchor the film's emotion & narrative trajectory, as expansive as it is. bates in particular incarnates his character's name, gabriel oak, in body & performance. terence stamp...otherworldly gorgeous & mesmerising.