Movie description — In yet another film adaptation of R.D. Blackmore's swashbuckling romance, this excellent and lavish, BBC production of LORNA DOONE brings the classic tale of revenge and family warfare to life with a ste... more »rling cast. Filmed in Wales, the epic family saga begins in 1675, during a turbulent time in history when insurgence against the Catholic King James II, of England and Scotland, runs rampant. The fierce Doone clan has galloped into a farming village, murdering the village's protector, the father of young John Ridd (Jack Baverstock and, later, Richard Coyle). Determined to avenge his father's death, the teenager goes into the Doone Valley where he meets the independent but vulnerable Lorna Doone (Katie Pitts-Drake and, later, Amelia Warner)--ward of the clan leader, Ensor Doone (Peter Vaughan)--who was kidnapped as a child. Meeting again years later, the two fall in love. Ridd is steadfast in nobility of spirit, but Lorna has been unwillingly engaged to her cousin, Ensor's evil, sadistic heir, Carver (Aidan Gillen). Carver displays a kind of sad obsession for Lorna, but at the end of the day he is as murderous as they come. As their love grows, Ridd finds a new reason to pursue his campaign against the villains that have long dominated his world, and protecting Lorna becomes equal to revenge. Lorna, however, may not be quite what she seems« less
"Fortunately I was able to catch this originally when it ran on A&E and was so captivated I pre-ordered both the video and DVD. The video version differs only slightly from the DVD; the color is not as good. That's it. Overall it's a very good purchase at a reasonable price for such an excellent film.Fans of A&E's lush romances like Pride & Prejudice, Victoria & Albert, and Emma will enjoy Lorna Doone. It's a blend of romance, adventure, mystery, and something of the sinister, with a Romeo & Julietish twist. The acting is stellar, particularly in the casting of Aidan Gillen as Carver Doone. He completely overpowers the screne whenever present and makes a loathable and yet empathetic villain. Richard Coyle is doubly good as the heroic John Ridd, and Amelia Warner proves she can play leads effortly as the spirited but puzzling Lorna.It's a film my entire family enjoyed... there was enough romance for the girls, some action scenes for the guys, and enough lush English countryside and magnificent costuming for one and all. Rent it, buy it, borrow it -- see it."
Superb Production by A & E
KittyKins | 01/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This superb BBC/A & E production filmed in the English and Welsh countryside, is a haunting adventure and touching love story. The story line is quite a complex one and although it turns out happily, it keeps you on the edge of your seat right up to the very end. In fact you might want to keep a box of kleenexes handy! John Ridd's father was killed by the outlaw Doones when John was a boy, and his life complicates further when he falls in love with the Lorna, a member of this this evil family. The journey to find some way to be together is a theme throughout the movie. I did have to watch the movie for a second time before I completely grasped the many background details that motivated the characters. The romantic chemistry between handsome Richard Coyle and classic beauty Amelia Warner took my breath away. It's the best love story I've seen in a while and it contains so many beautiful scenes that I will want to watch over and over again. The movie has many contrasts such as the beautiful English/Welsh countryside - the dark and forboding scenes with the Doones, the ruthless and evilness of Carver - the extreme goodness of John Ridd. During the darker scenes there is a fair amount of killing and violence and so in my opinion the movie is most appropriate for mature pre-teens to adults. It is just over 2 hours and 20 minutes in length and so I was somewhat disappointed to find that the DVD contains only 14 chapters. The soundtrack is beautiful as well, but I believe that at this time it is not available to purchase. In closing, I would just like to say that I think this is a gripping story and I would highly recommend this movie. It really has something for everyone."
Splendid, enjoyable blend of action/romance!
Marcy Gomez | Kansas City, USA | 04/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lorna Doone is based on the 17th century English novel by R.D. Blackmore. It tells the story of the feud between the once-noble, banished Doone family and the honest, peace-loving Ridds. John Ridd's father was murdered by the Doones when he was young but John's hatred of the Doones is tempered when he falls in love with the beautiful Doone "princess," Lorna. Lorna and John's love blossoms but Carver Doone - the future head of the family - vows to do everything in his power to make Lorna his wife. Trouble and fighting ensues and secrets about Lorna's birth surface which threaten to divide her from John forever. This production is brought to us by the A&E/BBC team - the same creative minds behind the 1995 "Pride and Prejudice." Young newcomer Amelia Warner is luminous and enchanting as Lorna while the handsome leading men - Aidan Gillen ("Circle of Friends") and Richard Coyle ("Wives and Daughters") - turn in powerful performances as the blackhearted, obssessive Carver Doone and honest, kind John Ridd. Barbara Flynn ("Wives & Daughters," "Cracker") as Mrs. Ridd, Michael Kitchen ("The Buccaneers") as Judge Jefferys, Martin Clunes ("Shakespeare in Love") as Jeremy Stickles and Peter Vaughan ("Our Mutual Friend") as Sir Ensor Doone are excellent in their supporting roles. The film has a strong resemblance to the sweeping romance and powerful action scenes of "Braveheart" (without the gore). The story moves quickly and keeps the viewer engaged and interested. The costumes, acting, production values and music are all excellent. I was glued to my seat for the entire 2 hours and highly recommend this video to anyone who enjoys first-rate British drama."
"As long as Lorna will have me, I'll not abandon her."
Dave | Tennessee United States | 04/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This epic production from BBC and A & E is simply outstanding, an underated gem that truly has something for everyone. Set in the beautiful English countryside, the movie opens with John Ridd (played by Richard Coyle) swearing vengeance on the ruthless Doone clan after his father is ruthlessly murdered by one of them. The Doone clan lives in a fortress in a swampland and terrorizes the local population, but beautiful Lorna Doone (played by Amelia Warner) wants nothing to do with her evil relatives. She meets John Ridd and it's love at first sight for both of them. Although they see the danger and risks involved with seeing one another, John will not give up seeing Lorna.
Their relationship is put at further risk by sinister Carver Doone (played by Aiden Gillen), who wants Lorna for his own...at all costs. He cares nothing for the fact that she doesn't love him, and he'll stop at nothing to make her his bride. When the aging patriarch of the Doone family, Sir Encor Doone (played by Peter Vaughn), dies, Carver becomes the new head of the family, and makes plans to marry Lorna. John rescues her, however, and takes her to his family's home, where friends of John are heavily armed and prepared to defend the two "lovebirds" from the Doone clan.
After a costly assault on John Ridd's home fails miserably, Carver stops his ruthless pursuit of Lorna, but only temporarily. Meanwhile, it is discovered that Lorna is no Doone at all but actually a royal heir to a vast fortune awaiting her in London. She is forced to go to London and her romance with John is furthur put to the test. The feud between John Ridd and Carver Doone finally reaches the boiling point and a huge battle between the militia (fighting alongside John) and Doone men results in the almost complete destruction of the Doone clan. Will John be able to marry Lorna despite their class differences? Watch and find out!
This outstanding film has great performances, especially from Richard Coyle and the lovely Amelia Warner, and the scenery of the English countryside is breathtaking. This excellent film has plenty of action, romance, humor, drama, and suspense. Modern films that are this entertaining are few and far between, so I suggest you add this gem to your collection!"
A Swooning Romantic Masterpiece!
Gypsy | Canada | 02/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't stop raving about this movie. When it aired on A&E I was glued to my television set for three hours. I have rarely found a TV movie that watchable and fascinating. I instantly loved the story, and not long after bought a copy of the R.D. Blackmore classic novel. The actors became the characters, so much so that you forgot they were just acting.
Everything about this film is superb. The story of a young man, John Ridd, from a farming family in the southwest England in the 1600s who watches as his beloved father is murdered in cold blood by the infamous aristocratic Doone clan, who terrorize the countryside. He grows into manhood determined to seek revenge, only to fall in love with the lovely Lorna Doone, and to come to blows with the violent and controlling Carver Doone who is betrothed to Lorna and will stop at nothing to possess her. The feud between the two families leads to consequences, as does the political intrigue gripping Britain at that time. The opposition towards the Catholic James II inheriting the throne and the illegitimate Duke Of Monmouth's attempts to have the title of King for himself whips the country into a frenzy.
The costumes, locations, hairstyles, production design, dialogue and music are all top-notch, and the performers are all outstanding. It's not just a beautifully shot love story, but it is also full of fast-paced action, humor, intrigue, and drama. Amelia Warner fits the bill as Lorna, her exquisite beauty, fantastic presence, vulnerability and strength embodying her character wonderfully. Richard Coyle, rugged and handsome, is right on in his portrayal of John, a young man torn between his loyalty to his family and the memory of his father, and his love for this young beauty whom he knows is nothing like her vicious family. And the gorgeously roguish Aidan Gillen (I have a thing for Irish guys) is magnetic, strangely seductive and hypnotic as the obsessive, power-hungry Carver, who claims Lorna as his, and who wants all the power, all the while possessing a degree of vulnerability. When the story takes a twist regarding Lorna's true parentage, the film becomes even more engrossing as the viewer becomes more and more invested. What will happen? Will love conquer all? The smaller characters, from the Doones to the Ridds and the neighboring folk, to the nobility, King's army, royalty and the very real historical figure Judge Jeffreys, give the film a scope and adds authenticity to the story. All the people I have shared this movie with have enjoyed it, and have complimented the music, a lovely mixture of folk and Celtic melodies, and the wonderfully lush, green landscape and the design of the houses, cottages, and castles. In short, you feel like you are there, not that you are watching a movie. It all seems so real, making it a marvellous experience. It is a masterpiece!!! Romantics, take note!!!!!"