Far from the Madding Crowd
is a 1967
feature film directed by John Schlesinger
, adapted from the book of the same name
by Thomas Hardy
. It was Schlesinger's fourth film and marked a stylistic shift away from his earlier works which explored contemporary urban mores. The cinematography was by Nicolas Roeg
and the soundtrack was by Richard Rodney Bennett
. Original folk songs were also used in various scenes throughout the film.
It was nominated for one Oscar for best Original music score and two BAFTA's, Best British Cinematography (Colour) and Best British Costume (Colour).
Set in the rural West Country
in Victorian England
, the story features Bathsheba Everdene (Julie Christie
), a beautiful, headstrong, independently minded woman who inherits her uncle's farm, and decides to manage it herself, which engenders some disapproval from the local farming community. It centres around her three suitors: the steadfast but luckless shepherd Gabriel Oak (Alan Bates
), the lonely and repressed farmer William Boldwood (Peter Finch
), and the rakishly-handsome but faithless Dragoon
, Sergeant Francis Troy (Terence Stamp
The film is faithful to the book but the choice of Christie attracted some criticism at the time. The film was shot largely on location in Dorset and Wiltshire . The film is memorable for the subtly erotic scene between Sgt. Troy and Bathsheba in which he is flaunts his expert skills as a swordsman in a private fencing display in an open field with an enthralled Bathsheba standing immobile before him.