Not a lot of movie know the author Thomas Hardy. He is a British author from the 1800’s and his books are rural based. His books are very hard to get through due to the language used. The stories are very beautifully done and have been adapted into movies. I have only read one book of his but I have seen a number of adapted movies. Here is some of the adaptations made from his books.

  1. Mayor of Casterbridge 2003

This movie starred Ciaran Hinds and James Purefoy, two of my favorite British actors. This story is based around this man who was once poor decided to get drunk and gamble away his family to a sailor. He was so grief stricken and guilty he swore off booze and ended up become a successful Mayor. At that point his wife and child show up some years later and gives him the opportunity to make it right. He does not sugar coat the struggles and the temptations of man in his stories either.

“Yet her experience had consisted less in a series of pure disappointments than in a series of substitutions. Continually it had happened that what she had desired had not been granted her, and that what had been granted her she had not desired. So she viewed with an approach to equanimity the now cancelled days when Donald had been her undeclared lover, and wondered what unwished-for thing Heaven might send her in place of him.”
― Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge

2. Jude the Obscure “Jude” 1996

This movie stars Kate Winslet and Christopher Eccleston. This is a story of a man who had big dreams but ends up getting rejected by the social system. He marries a woman who ends up leaving him. Later in the story  he meets up with his cousin Sue and ends up falling in love with her. Since Jude was already married he could not marry Sue but they continued their love affair. This however made them outcasts, Jude lost his job and they spiraled into poverty. The book was very controversial for its time and due to that Thomas Hardy retired from novel writing.

“People go on marrying because they can’t resist natural forces, although many of them may know perfectly well that they are possibly buying a month’s pleasure with a life’s discomfort.”
― Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure

3. Far From the Madding Crowd 2015

I have to admit I have not actually watched the movie yet. I have read the book and thought the book was great. The story behind this one is that the main characters were Bathsheba Everdene and Gabriel Oak. Bathsheba in the book is pursued by three men, Gabriel Oak, Frank Troy and William Boldwood. Gabriel Oak was the first to ask for Bathsheba’s hand and was turned down. After he was turned down he went off and bought a farm but ends up losing it. Later in the story he ends up on Bathsheba’s farm which she inherited from her uncle. This is where He witnesses Bathsheba’s misfortunes with the other two suitors.

“Well, what I mean is that I shouldn’t mind being a bride at a wedding, if I could be one without having a husband.”
― Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd

4. Under the Greenwood tree 2005

This is one of Hardy’s more lighter tales. It is based around church musicians. This movie is not that well known due to the fact that it was released on television. Like ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’, this story revolves around a woman, Fancy Day, and her suitors.

“If we be doomed to marry, we marry; if we be doomed to remain single we do.”
― Thomas Hardy, Under the Greenwood Tree

5. Woodlanders 1997

After awhile you start to see a theme  of tragedy in Hardy’s stories. The main characters revolve around Grace Melbury and Giles Winterbourne. These two were childhood friends who had the dream of becoming married to each other when they came of age. Of course Grace’s father had other plans. once again the story brings the reader or the watcher to a place where unwanted marriages were conducted and divorces was very difficult to get.  This video stars one of my favorite actors, Rufus Sewell.

“Such miserable creatures of circumstance are we all!”
― Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders


Here are two other Hardy adaptations that I have neither watched or read.

Return of the Native 1994

Tess of the d’Urbervilles 2008