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"All those viewers who loved the popular, epic BBC production of "Poldark", which was shown on Masterpiece Theatre in the mid to late nineteen seventies, will be more than disappointed with this film. They will be outraged. There is nothing epic about this film. The Poldark family saga is done an injustice by its very release, so very bad is it. It is with absolute justification that this film was pilloried by the critics. While none of the same actors of the original BBC production appear in this film, and they should thank their lucky stars that they do not, the fault lies not with the actors cast in this film. Mel Martin is a credible Demelza, and John Bowe is an adequate, though uncharismatic, Ross Poldark. Unfortunately, they cannot compare to Robin Ellis and Angharad Rees in those respective roles. Ioan Gruffudd, lately of Horatio Hornblower fame, is fine as Jeremy Poldark, and Kelly Reilly gamely acts the role of Jeremy's beautiful, high spirited sister, Clowance. Michael Atwell is excellent as George Warleggan, Ross Poldark's arch enemy. Still, their innate abilities are not sufficient to overcome the poor direction, the bad screenplay, and the inartful editing of this film.This is a film that, quite simply, should never have been released. The direction by Richard Laxton is ham handed and has all the drama of day old bread. The editing of the film leaves it incomprehensible at times. The screenplay is startling in its ineptness, as the film abruptly, though mercifully, ends with absolutely no closure of any of the story lines in the film. Perhaps, the director had high hopes that it would be continued as a sort of miniseries. If so, he was decidedly mistaken. This hellish screenplay, based upon Winston Graham's novel "Stranger From the Sea", is sure to have Winston Graham turning over in his grave over the indignity of being associated in some way with this complete travesty. Not even a viewer who loves period pieces, as I do, can sanction this mess. Do not waste your money. This film is a turkey."
Awful 90s version.
Birthe Jrgensen | Odense, Denmark | 10/30/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"If you know and love the original 1975-1977 TV series (shown on PBS in
America), then you'll hate this new dreadful version. None of the
brilliant actors from the classic BBC production took part in this
mess, and it was justly despised by all fans and slammed by most UK
critics. The warmth and charm such talented actors like Robin Ellis
(as the title character), Angharad Rees, Ralph Bates, Clive Francis
and Judy Geeson put into the original series is totally missing
here. If you want faultless performances, theater-like atmosphere and
good quality television (mostly filmed on videotape, except for the
outdoor scenes), then you're best advised to wait for BBC to release
the whole original series on DVD (soon please !!!) or stick with your
good old VHS.
Birthe Jrgensen | 11/25/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"OK, I admit I'm a fan of the orginal but, being aware that the original cast were not involved I approached this with an open mind. I came away with one burning question. Had any of the casting department actually read any of the books??? The saving grace could have been the presence of Fiona Victory. In the (much lamented) absence of Judy Geeson, she could have made a very credible Caroline Enys. I have seen Ms Victory in other roles and know that she could have brought the right qualitites to the role. However, she was prevented from doing that by the dreadful screenplay.In short, my advice is stick to the books or buy the BBC series. This production bore no relation to the books and, had it not bore the Poldark name, I would never have made the connection."
Dreadful with a Capital D
SIR | New York | 06/27/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This was awful. Reviewer Lawyeraau is right--it is a turkey and doesn't finish any of the story lines.This Poldark is such a mess that I'm not sure it even qualifies to be called a film. Were it done in the states - it would have been directed by Alan Smithee (if you get my drift.) Phew, what a stinker!"
How Dark and Dark It Grows
cachert | NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA USA | 08/25/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The British dawdled about releasing this dubious gem to its unhappy public. Not surprising. There had been a petition to hire at least Robin Ellis and Anghard Rhees of the original series. Since this makes all the sense in the world and would probably have led to filming the final Poldark novels, it wasn't to be. The result is a 'new' Poldark who looks as though he's been stuffed and mounted for years and a Demelza (Mel Martin) who gives a game try but one keeps looking for that tiny redhead.For avid readers of the novels, not to mention those who periodically stagger under the weight of their VHS collection to reprise the original, this may be a necessity. And you can still rely on the beauty of Cornwall."