29 August 2004 | drysdale22
A treat for Cold Comfort Farm aficionados!
I was astonished and delighted to discover, quite by chance, that the BBC's 1971 production of Cold Comfort Farm was available on tape. Ironic that it should only be available in American format!The dramatisation of a favourite novel is seldom received with unreserved pleasure by aficionados, but I well remember my own wholehearted delight in this particular instance.
Comparisons are odious, of course, but I felt John Schlesinger's more recent film lacked the rawness and anarchy of Peter Hammond's production I found it altogether too picturesque. I also sorely missed Joan Bakewell's narration, which so successfully incorporated, in the earlier version, the wonderful purple passages of Stella Gibbons prose. For me nothing could equal Alastair Sim's extraordinary performance as the tortured Amos, nor surpass Rosalie Crutchley's interpretation of the bereft and despairing Cousin Judith. Definitive too, is the imperturbable normalcy of Sarah Badel's Flora Post, especially in the chaotic and violent scene of Ada Doom's Counting! I originally saw the production in black and white, which I think might have been a plus I found the colour insipid rather than atmospheric but I highly recommend this production to any Cold Comfort Farm enthusiast!