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The Set of Far from the Madding Crowd

Julie Christie and Alan Bates entertain us as Hardy’s book is brought to life.

News 1967 10 mins

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Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Julie Christie and Alan Bates are on the set of Far from the Madding Crowd in Dorset. Julie Christie plays the role of Bathsheba Everdene as she fights to remain independent before her head is turned. Alan Bates plays the dependable Gabriel Oak in this story of love, honour and betrayal in Dorset’s farming community. Far From the Madding Crowd is Thomas Hardy’s fourth novel, set in the fictional county of Wessex. The novel has numerous adaptions for film and television.

The 2015 film version stars Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba and Matthias Schoenaerts as shepherd Gabriel Oak. Julie Christie studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama and began her career on stage in 1957. In 1961 Christie played her first television role as Christine in A for Andromeda. Her breakthrough role was the film Billy Liar (1963) and she also starred in Dr Zhivago (1966) opposite Omar Sharif in one of the highest grossing films of all time. Alan Bates won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and joined the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square. Bates was an overnight success when he appeared in John Osborne’s play Look Back In Anger in 1956.