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Cold Comfort Farm
Cold Comfort Farm
Actors: Eileen Atkins, Kate Beckinsale, Sheila Burrell, Stephen Fry, Freddie Jones
Director: John Schlesinger
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
PG     2003     1hr 35min



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Movie Details

Actors: Eileen Atkins, Kate Beckinsale, Sheila Burrell, Stephen Fry, Freddie Jones
Director: John Schlesinger
Creators: Chris Seager, Alison Gilby, Antony Root, Joanna Gueritz, Richard Broke, Malcolm Bradbury, Stella Gibbons
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Romantic Comedies
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/01/2003
Original Release Date: 05/10/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 05/10/1996
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 19
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

"I Saw Something Nasty In The Woodshed!" The Starkadder Fam!
Sheila Chilcote-Collins | Collinswood, Van Wert, OH USA | 10/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Originally broadcast in 1971, the telly production of Stella Gibbon's 1932 novel, "Cold Comfort Farm" helped to launch the first season of PBS's signature series, "Masterpiece Theatre".

This is a great remake and is director, John Schlessinger's acclaimed 1995 film adaptation starring a TERRIFIC Kate Beckinsale as the recently orphaned, Flora Poste.

Set in the 1930's, in England, Flora writes to all of her relation, hoping someone will take her in as she has no real drive or ambition, save for possibly becoming the next Jane Austen. Flora accepts an offer from The Starkadders Of Cold Comfort Farm in Howling, Sussex. She thinks that she just might like farm life and it might be good for her writing career. However, once she arrives she finds out that the farm has had a curse upon it along with all of the inhabitants, human and animal alike.

The Starkadder family is comprised of Amos & his forelorn wife, Judith, & their two virile & rakish sons, Seth and Reuben. As Flora says, "Highly sexed young men living on farms are always called Seth or Reuben."

Also living at Cold Comfort is a lovely waifish sprite of a cousin, Elfine, the hired help, Adam Lambsbreath, Urk, Rennet & Mrs. Beetle. Also locked in her chambers is an old crusty hermit of a grandmamma, Ada Doom (appropriately named). The Starkadders & the rest of the clan are pure country folk with pure country ways. Their lives being quite primitive in contrast with Flora's.

Flora sets out to change it all though and with some priceless and hilarious scenes ensuing. Flora tries to bring everyone around to a higher common sense and does it with great gusto.

With lines in the film like:

Amos Starkadder: Seth, drain the well. There's a neighbor missing.

Violet: She b'aint worf it Urk, she jus b'aint worf it!

and the two most repeated and beloved lines in the film:
Ada Doom: I saw something nasty in the woodshed! & "There has always been Starkadders on Cold Comfort Farm."

This film is a gem, a fabulous adaptation of the novel and a great and wonderful surprise for it's viewers. A great cast and performances with the great Ian McKellen,Kate Beckinsale, Joanna Lumley, Eileen Atkins and Rufus Sewell. I highly recommend "Cold Comfort Farm"!

Happy Watching!
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 03/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a marvelous and fairly faithful adaptation of Stella Gibbons' 1932 novel of the same name. The film brilliantly captures the quirkiness of the novel which is a hysterically funny, tongue in cheek parody of the heavy handed, gloomy novels of some early twentieth century English writers who had previously been so popular. The film is likewise hysterically funny and itself seems to parody British costume dramas. The film starts out innocuosly enough, when well educated Flora Poste (Kate Beckinsale) finds herself orphaned as a young woman. Discovering that her father was not the wealthy man she believed him to be, she is resigned to the fate of having to live on a hundred pounds a year. After some discussion with her good friend, the wealthy Mrs. Smiley (Joanna Lumley), Flora opts to live with relatives, rather than earn her bread. She seeks out a most unlikely set of relations with whom to do so, the decidedly odd Starkadder family who live in rural Howling, Sussex.Therein begins what is certainly one of the funniest movies to grace the silver screen. When Flora arrives in Howling, she meets her odd relatives, who live in neglected, ramshackle "Cold Comfort Farm", where they still wash the dishes with twigs, and have cows named Graceless, Pointless, Feckless, and Aimless. Headed by a matriarchal old crone, Flora's aunt, Ada Doom Starkadder (Sheila Burrell), who has not been right in the head since she "saw something nasty happen in the woodshed" nearly seventy years ago, they are a motley and strange crew indeed. Confronted with their dismal and gloomy existence, Flora sets about trying to put things to right.Peppered with eccentric, memorable characters, this film will take the reader on a journey not easily forgotten. Kate Beckinsale is delightful as the practical, no nonsense Flora Poste. Joanna Lumley is delicious as the sophisticated and wordly Mrs. Smiley. Eileen Atkins is a standout as Flora's gloomy first cousin, Judith Starkadder, Ada's daughter. Rufus Sewell is well cast as Judith's son, Seth Starkadder, the oversexed ladies man. The role of the fire and brimstone preacher, Amos Starkadder, is played to perfection by Ian McKellen, while Shiela Burrell is nothing short of sensational as the imperious Ada Doom Starkadder. The rest of the supporting cast is likewise uniformly excellent. All in all, this is a hilariously funny film and every bit as brilliant as the novel upon which it was based. It is certainly worth having in one's personal collection, as it is a keeper by any standard."
An affectionate, funny film
Bruce F. Webster | Parker, CO USA | 04/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this film soon after its 1995 release and thought it wonderful, all the more so because Kate Beckinsale's interpretation of Flora Poste reminded me very much of my oldest daughter. So I was pleased to see that it has finally come out on DVD; I bought a copy, watched it again, and still think it wonderful. You should be warned that you may have a hard time understanding what some of the inhabitants of Cold Comfort Farm are saying. However, that's intentional and straight from the novel, where the accents and strange word usages often leave Flora puzzled. Here's an exchange (from the novel) that I believe is reproduced pretty much verbatim in the movie, when Reuben comes in after working out in the fields not long after Flora has started living at Cold Comfort Farm:========
...After another minute Reuben brought forth the following sentence:'I ha' scranleted two hundred furrows come five o'clock down i' the bute.'It was a difficult remark, Flora felt, to which to reply. Was it a complaint? If so, one might say, 'My dear, how too sickening for you!' But then, it might be a boast, in which case the correct reply would be, 'Attaboy!' or more simply, 'Come, that's capital.' Weakly she fell back on the comparativel safe remark:'Did you?' in a bright interested voice.
========Speaking of which, the original novel (written in 1932 by Stella Gibbons) is just as wonderful, and the film is a remarkably faithful adaptation, if (understandably) a bit trimmed and modified. I read the book for the first time after watching the DVD release of the movie and was delighted to see that most of the dialog comes straight from the book, including my favorite line (the interchange between Neck, the movie producer, and Aunt Ada), if a bit punched up. Finally, for the reviewers who are frustrated that we never find out what Ada saw in the woodshed, what wrongs were done to Robert Poste by Amos Starkadder, and what Flora Poste's rights were...well, the novel leaves us pretty much in the dark as well. In the book, Aunt Ada _does_ answer the second question for Flora--though we as readers don't get to hear the answer--and Ada is interrupted before she can answer Flora's intriguing follow up question, "And did the goat die?" The movie and the book are both delightful; enjoy. ..bruce.."
A wonderful book brought to life masterfully...
vintage_girl | 10/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Stella Gibbon's comic novel, Cold Comfort Farm, written in the 1930's, is brought to perfect fruition with this 1995 adaptation. It's the story of a young woman (Flora) who's parents die leaving her with only 100 pounds a year--not nearly enough to keep her living in the high-society style to which she's becomed accustomed. So she writes to her relatives and picks one to go live with--the Doom family of Cold Comfort Farm. Flora plans to tidy up their lives, and collect material for the book she plans to write when she's 53--after she's lived life. Cold Comfort Farm is filled with a fabulous collection of characters who Flora systematically converts to a Higher Sensibility. The film is well acted, cinematically superior, and perfectly captures the spirit of the book--a wonderful read that I highly recommend as well!I love this film, and have found it the perfect addition to my rainy day/sick bed viewing library. If you like british eccentrism, you'll love this movie!"