The Land Girls

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The Land Girls
The Land Girls.jpg
UK DVD cover
Directed byDavid Leland
Written byKeith Dewhurst
David Leland
Based onLand Girls
by Angela Huth
Produced byRuth Jackson
Simon Relph
Andrew Warren
Starring
CinematographyHenry Braham
Edited byNick Moore
Music byBrian Lock
Production
companies
Intermedia Films
Channel Four Films
Greenpoint Films
Caméra One
West Eleven Films
Arena Films
Canal+
Sofineurope
Distributed byFilmFour Distributors (UK)
Gramercy Pictures (US)
Release dates
  • 20 January 1998 (1998-01-20) (Sundance)
  • 12 June 1998 (1998-06-12) (US)
  • 4 September 1998 (1998-09-04) (UK)
Running time
111 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom
France
LanguageEnglish
Budget£6 million[1]
Box office$3.2 million[2]

The Land Girls is a 1998 film directed by David Leland and starring Catherine McCormack, Rachel Weisz, Anna Friel, Steven Mackintosh and Ann Bell. It is based on the 1995 novel Land Girls by Angela Huth.

The title refers to the real-life British women who were called upon to assist rural Englanders when men left their farms to fight in the First and Second World Wars.

Plot[edit]

During both the First and Second World Wars, the Women's Land Army was set up in the United Kingdom to recruit women to work at farms where men had left to go to war. Women in the WLA were nicknamed "land girls".

Set in 1941 in the Dorset countryside, three "land girls" arrive on a remote farm. They are an unlikely trio: hairdresser Prue is vivacious and sexy, Cambridge University graduate Ag is quiet and more reserved, and dreamy Stella is in love with Philip, a dashing Royal Navy officer. Despite the women's differences, they soon become close friends. The film follows their relationships with each other and the men in their lives in the face of war.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Filming locations included the scenic Exmoor National Park, Crowcombe Heathfield station on the West Somerset Railway and Dulverton.[3]

The film cost £6 million.[1]

Reception[edit]

The film holds a 61% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 18 reviews.[4]

In a review for The New York Times, Stephen Holden wrote, "The movie is ultimately more passionate about its characters' place in history than about their individual lives, which take fairly predictable if not always happy turns. In the end, all three women blend together as an idealized everywoman lightly sketched on a larger historical canvas."[5]

Holden concluded, "The film's most evocative historical set piece shows a parade and air show at which a newly built Spitfire makes its maiden flight. The movie is unequivocal about the nobility of this moment. The shared sacrifice and hard labor have all been worth it. As the aircraft soars and dips across the rural English landscape, it is the very embodiment of a glorious winged victory soon to come."[5]

Roger Ebert praised the cinematography in particular, stating "What I liked about the movie--what I preferred to the romances and relationships--was its look, its sensual evocation of the British countryside in winter."[6] Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "Wistful but not precious, 'The Land Girls' takes a bit of acclimatizing, but Leland ('Wish You Were Here') makes his leisurely pacing an attribute. The film sinks into the green, serene countryside, a place where emotions echo big."[7]

Box office[edit]

After 11 weeks on release the film had grossed £1.3 million ($2.2 million) in the United Kingdom.[8] It grossed $1 million internationally for a worldwide total of $3.2 million.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Alexander Walker, Icons in the Fire: The Rise and Fall of Practically Everyone in the British Film Industry 1984-2000, Orion Books, 2005 p270
  2. ^ a b Peter Cowie, ed. (1999). The Variety Almanac 1999. Boxtree Ltd. p. 170. ISBN 0-7522-2454-9.
  3. ^ "THE LAND GIRLS | British Railway Movie Database". Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  4. ^ "The Land Girls". Rotten Tomatoes.
  5. ^ a b Holden, Stephen (12 June 1998). "'The Land Girls': Romance and Grit on a Wartime English Farm". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (26 June 1998). "The Land Girls movie review & film summary (1998)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  7. ^ Stack, Peter (12 June 1998). "War Is Not Quite Hell / `Land Girls' find love in unlikely spot". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  8. ^ "British biz at the box office". Variety. 14 December 1998. p. 72 – via The Free Library.

External links[edit]