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Jude the Obscure
Jude the Obscure
Actors: Robert Powell, Fiona Walker, John Franklyn-Robbins, Daphne Heard, Alex Marshall
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
NR     2006     4hr 30min

A Classic BBC Adaptation of a Controversial Literary MasterpieceAs Seen on PBS? Masterpiece TheatreJude Fawley is a poor stone carver who is tricked into a loveless marriage and ultimately forced to give up his dreams of a...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Robert Powell, Fiona Walker, John Franklyn-Robbins, Daphne Heard, Alex Marshall
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Drama
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 08/08/2006
Original Release Date: 10/03/1971
Theatrical Release Date: 10/03/1971
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 4hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A powerful production not to be missed
Jon Hunt | Old Greenwich, Ct. USA | 03/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I don't usually review DVDs and CDs but after reading Claire Tomalin's excellent new biography of Thomas Hardy I decided to rent a couple of films based on his novels. "Jude the Obscure", a mini-series delivered in 1971, was my first choice and what a choice it was! Set on two DVDs (six episodes of forty-five minutes each) I came away dazzled not only with a greater appreciation of Hardy but of this particular group of actors.

Jude is a character of great sympathy who is in constant conflict between his marriage to one woman and his passions for another. Leading this strong group is Robert Powell (the entire cast is British, of course) and he delivers a tour de force in the title role of Jude. The supporting women, (Fiona Walker as Jude's cousin and real love and Alex Marshall as his wife) express a range of emotions that plays true to Hardy's work. This mini-series became so engrossing as I got into it that I watched the entire series in one sitting. It's a drama-packed production, wonderfully directed and photographed and not for one minute seeming to be outdated. I highly recommend it."
Breath taking, Dramatic, Depressive, but very impressive
Jon Hunt | 06/02/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Of all the films based on a Hardy novel, this one is absolutely the most dramatic. The camera shots are very good and the music makes this production even more sad. I really liked this film very much, because I'm a Hardy fan and this film is very close to the book, nevertheless the book is still better, but that is always the case with films based on a book."
Jude the Hermit
-Ashi- | San Jose, CA United States | 10/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Like the other reviewer, I finished this two-DVD mini-series in one sitting. I was also clueless what I was getting, but my passion lasted 'til the very end.

It was very difficult to understand at first because of the regional British accent characters were speaking. It's to provide authenticity of the language spoken by people from that setting. However, I wished the DVD production company could have provided close captioning for easier watching.

Do not let the language issue deter you though, because the story is very rewarding and very timeless, not only for the production value like the other reviewer pointed out, but the story itself transcends the time period it is set (which is Victorian England, early Victorian, I presume).

The other reviewer already mentioned something about Jude's marriage life. I must mention there is another tragedy (a counterpoint) in Jude's life some of us may relate well. The early focus of the story was on Jude's impotence to fulfill his personal goal. He wanted to be a scholar at a university. However, his financial status as well as social status prevented him from achieving it (this was Victorian era where people must know their places).

To solve the financial obstacle, he learned a trade and worked as a mason. However, he still had to meet the obstacle to be admitted to a university. He was ridiculed as being too educated for his trade. He felt betrayed by the society. The upward mobility in Victorian England wasn't very good. A self-made man was not rewarded.

He later wandered through series of vocational changes (I think this is very relatable, given the time we're in). However, after each new dream shattered before him, he was back as a mason.

While he was wading through the river of vocational identity, he also had an emotional journey. He was a man of tradition value. His acquaintance to his cousin Sue soon turned into a taboo love affair. The problem was not they were close kins, but a legal problem. He was a married man.

She also couldn't make up her mind between her own cousin and her betrothed. Instead, she masked her non-commitment as a break of trivial social convention. Her free-spiritedness disgusted him at first but at the end of the story, we would see a reversal of values.

Sue, on the other hand, after their wedlock children had hung themselves, she believed it was a punishment for her sin. It led her to re-marry her original husband. The tragic ending fit the brand of being Thomas Hardy's most controversial work.

The story is very melodramatic, which succumbs me once a while as a guilty pleasure (*nervous laughter*). It also reminds me of Scarlett Letter, except with a male lead. Jude must face the world's slight opinion of him, both his trade and his value, and bitter end of his own family.

It's a very modern story."
Very dramatic
Sarah Bradford | Seoul Korea, Republic of | 06/30/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I read the novel "Jude the Obscure" before I got the movie. My favorite actor, Robert Powell, was in it as well, so I decided to get the movie. The acting is very good, and the movie is very dramatic- however, I was dissapointed with the cinematography. The story is about a man named Jude, a stonemason who wants to become a priest. He meets his long-lost cousin, Sue, and the two fall in love. It causes lots of controversy in their town, and they suffer a lot of hardships because of their position. If you're one who enjoys the drama of a movie and doesn't focus on technical points, then I think this is a movie for you."