Cold Comfort Farm (film)
|Cold Comfort Farm|
US theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Schlesinger|
|Produced by||Alison Gilby
|Screenplay by||Malcolm Bradbury|
|Based on||Cold Comfort Farm
by Stella Gibbons
|Music by||Robert Lockhart|
|Edited by||Mark Day|
|Distributed by||BBC (UK)
Gramercy Pictures (US)
Cold Comfort Farm is a 1995 British comedy film directed by John Schlesinger and produced by the BBC and Thames Television, an adaptation of Stella Gibbons' 1932 book of the same name, the film stars Kate Beckinsale, Joanna Lumley, Ian McKellen and Rufus Sewell. Originally broadcast on 1 January 1995 on the BBC, it was Schlesinger's final film shot in his home country of Britain, and was picked up for theatrical release in North America through Gramercy Pictures, where it was a small success.
After the death of her estranged parents, young Flora Poste, who aspires to be a writer, decides that the only way for her to live whilst researching her writing is to stay with relatives. Her city-based relatives show no interest, so she sends letters to her country relatives. There are a few responses, most of them unsuitable, but one is intriguing. Flora decides to stay for a while with the Starkadder family on their rundown farm. The Starkadders are an assortment of rustic, uncouth, and truly eccentric characters, each of whom has a hurdle (be it physical, emotional, or spiritual) to overcome before reaching his or her potential. Flora quickly realises that, as a modern twentieth-century woman, she can resolve these situations once she has assessed and solved each character's problems. Whilst she is doing so, she is pursued by an unsuitable suitor, a most obnoxious character, whom she has difficulty avoiding. Can Flora achieve happiness for herself as well as healing the lives of her eccentric family?
- Kate Beckinsale as Flora Poste
- Joanna Lumley as Mrs. Mary Smiling
- Ian McKellen as Amos Starkadder
- Rufus Sewell as Seth Starkadder
- Eileen Atkins as Judith Starkadder
- Sheila Burrell as Ada Doom
- Stephen Fry as Mybug
- Freddie Jones as Adam Lambsbreath
- Miriam Margolyes as Mrs. Beetle
- Ivan Kaye as Reuben Starkadder
- Jeremy Peters as Urk
- Maria Miles as Elfine Starkadder
- Christopher Bowen as Charles Fairford
- Louise Rea as Meriam Beetle
- Sophie Revell as Rennet
- Rupert Penry-Jones as Dick Hawk-Monitor
- Angela Thorne as Mrs. Hawk-Monitor
- Harry Ditson as Earl P. Neck
The production visited Kent where they filmed at Kent & East Sussex Railway which provided the trains for Flora’s journey from London to her relatives at Cold Comfort Farm and Northiam station in East Sussex which is the fictional railway station of Beershorne.
The Royal Military Canal was also used for scenes where Flora and Amos walk and chat.
Schlesinger was the only one who thought it would work in North America cinemas and so had to put up the money himself to blow up the print from 16mm to 35mm; he took the new format to the Toronto Film Festival, where its success led to a North American release.