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  • I remember reading this novel at school in the UK and was curious to see what it would give on film ! The result was globally very positive. A careful look at the credits will show that it was actually made in one of the Welsh National Parks ... it did look far too mountainous to be Exmoor ! Although he film clocks in at about 2hrs and 22 mins, I didn't find it long at all, indeed another hour or so wouldn't have done any harm. There's never a dull moment ... between the beautiful countryside ..... the suspense of the plot ........the physical beauty of the actors, and especially Lorna Doone herself ..... the beautiful music score .... the whole thing is a very interestingly packaged product.

    This is an English film, from the BBC. Why it can only be found in the USA God alone knows. Sold in Other European Countries, with appropriate subtitles, I'm sure it would have larger than reasonable success. People just don't know about it. The picture quality of the DVD is excellent. The DVD does not have subtitles but indicates something called 'closed captions' ( which I took to be subtitles but which obviously aren't ). What they are, I have no idea as they don't appear on my TV !!!!

    I would therefore recommend this to all who like good old English novels of the THomas Hardy kind etc etc. Although the DVD cannot be found in Europe, I think it may exist on VHS and is definitely screened from time to time on UK television.
  • "The year is 1675. England is threatened by religious and political rivalries. King Charles II's Catholic brother, James, is next in line for the throne, but many Protestants put their faith in Charles' Illegitimate son, The Duke of Monmouth. On the king's death, conflict is inevitable...

    Over seven days journey from London, Exmoor is a primitive and lawless area. Here, farmer Jack Ridd lives with his wife Sarah, son John, and two daughters. The only shadow over their simple life is cast by the notorious outlaw family the Doones. The aristocratic Doones were banished from their ancestral lands and now live through looting, theft, and murder. Their brutality is legendary..."

    Set against the lavish and lonely expanse of the moors, this epic of "star-crossed lovers, unbridled greed, dark secrets, and ruthless ambitions" is a stirring and intensely romantic story for both classes... those who enjoy the action and intensity of war and revenge, and the lovers of period drama with wholesome messages and uplifting truths.

    The story is set in a time of uncertainty in England, while the King lies on his deathbed, and the future of the country is left in the hands of divided politicians. Some believe that the rightful heir, a Catholic, should resume the throne, while others fight for the king's illegitimate son, who is a confirmed Protestant.

    Enter John Ridd, a young farmer's boy determined to avenge his father's death, at the hands of the notorious outlaw family, the Doones. Spurned by the Doones, who continue to torment the west country, John must take a backseat for his revenge. But as time passes, he becomes aquatinted by a beautiful young stranger, Lorna... and finds himself falling under her dark spell.

    Part Romeo & Juliet, part revenge, and part just plain romance, Lorna Doone very swiftly became an all-time favorite of mine. Gorgeous countryside, an equally haunting soundtrack, and stirring lines are only the backdrop for the acting itself. Amelia Warner glows as Lorna, as she finds true love, and flees from the terrors of her vengeful cousin, Carver (Adian Gillen, who is a true villain - seductive, charming, and deadly). Richard Coyle rounds out the threesome with his marvelous portrayal of the shy and yet passionate John Ridd.

    Rent it - buy it - see it. I would have gladly spent $7.50 time and time again to see this in the theaters, but alas, this magnificent drama was banished to A&E. Thank heavens for video & DVD - you can't just see it once. This is another classic just waiting to happen... and a must-see for all lovers of period romance in general.
  • Read the novel many years ago. John Ridd was a huge man!! What a disappointment to see a medium sized man play the part, because much of the romance of the story (especially from a woman's perspective) was based on the 'size' of John Ridd. Also, Lorna was 'very' beautiful. The actress was lovely, but not what I would call 'unforgettably' beautiful. The story lost its appeal the minute I saw John Ridd the size of any other man. Also, he just did not sell me on the part he played. This is not the first time I have been disappointed to see a movie after I read the novel, and saw the movie industry take great liberties with some of the basic story line.
  • Not having television means I miss out on many of the gorgeous adaptations that the BBC features. Thank goodness I have a public library that is well-stocked in DVD classics. Lorna Doone is one such classic I have yet to read, but fully intend to do so after watching this stunning romantic adventure film. I had not realized the film was over two hours long, and I remained rooted to my laptop screen the entire time. I did not expect such a magnificent film. What could have been a predictable Romeo and Juliet tale had enough twists to make it plausible and more than satisfactory.

    While the other reviews speak to the plot and applaud the fine acting, I would like to address the authenticity and rapport. There was trueness to the actors, as if they had become the characters. The Ridd family truly seemed to care for another, and displayed genuine family dynamics. The only actors I recognized were Martin Clune who did such an unforgettable portrayal as Mr. Chips, and then there was the soldier who was Mr. Tumnus from Narnia. The principal actors were unknowns to me. Lorna did carry a regal air about her, even when she was thought to be a Doone and not a Lady. John Ridd had the earthy, honest nature of a farmer who had the soul of a poet. The mother was excellent in her ability to see past opinion and look into her children's hearts. I properly loathed the villainous Carver. Slimy and psychopathic, and terribly pathetic, right up to the end.

    I can't wait to read the book, because it's rare to find that a movie is better than its written counterpart. This might be the exception...
  • This is an enjoyable adaptation of the period novel set in late 17th century England. It is well cast with excellent performances from many of the lead actors. Martin Clunes as Captain Sickles steals many of the scenes and Amelia Warner makes a beautiful Lorna.

    The action scenes are well done and fast paced, and the characterisations are very good.

    As with many period pieces, what does let it down a little is the costuming, which owes more to Hollywood's idea of historical clothing than what was actually worn (although the soldiers uniforms are very good) and the fact that the Doone's clothing and hairstyles seem to owe more to Braveheart than history!!

    Despite the clothing inaccuracies, over-all it is a very entertaining adaptation, well worth watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Lorna Doone is a BBC film of the novel by Richard Blackmore. It shows the beautiful relations between two young lovers in the middle of a feud. It takes place in the 1600s when there was much fighting between the catholics and protestants in England. The Doones were murderers and thieves and attacked and killed John's father. He decides to get revenge. John meets a girl that he saw in his childhood. She is a Doone hiding from a man named Carver who wants to make her his wife. He was the man that killed John's father. Despite the dirty tricks of the Doones and the temporary bewilderment of the divided royal authorities, the two sweethearts live happily together in the end.
  • I started watching Lorna Doone simply by coming across it on cable television. It had some beautiful scenery, and some good acting, especially the lead character of John Ridd (Richard Coyle)and Lorna Doone (Amelia Warner). Amelia Warner was exceptionally beautiful as Lorna Doone, and John Ridd played out his character of the handsome and honest farm boy who let nothing stand between him and his long love of Lorna Doone. These kind of movies I enjoy, as it places more emphasis on acting and development of the characters coming to life, then a movie with a bunch of special effects. There was plenty of action, to help frame the time period and create the havoc that possibly represented the time period. Costume department did a fair job, at least with the soldiers and lead characters. This movie hit my pleasure receptors in a subtle and unexpected way. Maybe it was looking at beautiful Amelia Warner, that kept me from changing channels. It is a beautiful setting and gave me the same sort of feeling that a movie like "My Secret Garden" did. I liked it quite a bit, and yet, can not explain why--precisely.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I can't stop raving about this movie. When it aired on A&E I was glued to my television set for three hours. I have rarely found a TV movie that watchable and fascinating. I instantly loved the story, and not long after bought a copy of the R.D. Blackmore classic novel. The actors became the characters, so much so that you forgot they were just acting.

    Everything about this film is superb. The story of a young man, John Ridd, from a farming family in the southwest England in the 1600s who watches as his beloved father is murdered in cold blood by the infamous aristocratic Doone clan, who terrorize the countryside. He grows into manhood determined to seek revenge, only to fall in love with the lovely Lorna Doone, and to come to blows with the violent and controlling Carver Doone who is betrothed to Lorna and will stop at nothing to possess her. The feud between the two families leads to consequences, as does the political intrigue gripping Britain at that time. The opposition towards the Catholic James II inheriting the throne and the illegitimate Duke Of Monmouth's attempts to have the title of King for himself whips the country into a frenzy.

    The costumes, locations, hairstyles, production design, dialogue and music are all top-notch, and the performers are all outstanding. It's not just a beautifully shot love story, but it is also full of fast-paced action, humor, intrigue, and drama. Amelia Warner fits the bill as Lorna, her exquisite beauty, fantastic presence, vulnerability and strength embodying her character wonderfully. Richard Coyle, rugged and handsome, is right on in his portrayal of John, a young man torn between his loyalty to his family and the memory of his father, and his love for this young beauty whom he knows is nothing like her vicious family. And the gorgeously roguish Aidan Gillen (I have a thing for Irish guys) is magnetic, strangely seductive and hypnotic as the obsessive, power-hungry Carver, who claims Lorna as his, and who wants all the power, all the while possessing a degree of vulnerability. When the story takes a twist regarding Lorna's true parentage, the film becomes even more engrossing as the viewer becomes more and more invested. What will happen? Will love conquer all? The smaller characters, from the Doones to the Ridds and the neighboring folk, to the nobility, King's army, royalty and the very real historical figure Judge Jeffreys, give the film a scope and adds authenticity to the story. All the people I have shared this movie with have enjoyed it, and have complimented the music, a lovely mixture of folk and Celtic melodies, and the wonderfully lush, green landscape and the design of the houses, cottages, and castles. In short, you feel like you are there, not that you are watching a movie. It all seems so real, making it a marvellous experience. It is a masterpiece! Romantics, take note.
  • vgs189529 December 2003
    Lush scenery, great acting, and a good adaptation of the classic book all combine to make this movie a real 'sleeper.' I'd never heard of it before, but was glad to have discovered it by accident. Somewhat predictable, it is still thoroughly enjoyable. The musical score, while not available separately, is really beautiful. Even my husband enjoyed the movie (of course, the leading actress may have been the reason for that!).
  • Sorry folks, but I must concur with "httpmom" from SF above - - this was pretty weak by BBC standards and I've seen very, very many BBC productions. The acting wasn't terrible, but it wasn't up to BBC standards (with the exception of the fabulous Michael Kitchen, who made Judge Jefferys totally believable like he does with every role he undertakes!) The accents were all over the map - - literally. Some of the actors sounded American, others sounded English, some Welsh, Irish, etc. It had an almost Hollywood-shallow ("Hollyschlock") feeling to it. The actors were all beautiful to be sure but the dialogue didn't ring true (sounded more like 19th century dialogue than 17th century, but maybe that's what the book's like?). Everyone had perfect teeth and skin and the sister who was wearing glasses - - HELLO?? This was supposed to have taken place in 1675. It wasn't until 1730 that a London optician named Edward Scarlett devised the rigid sidepieces that rest atop the ears and turned the spectacles that had been used for the previous 500 years into eyeglasses. Before that, people used spectacles that had to be held in place or mounted on a holding device to be held up to the face. So why was the older sister wearing regular glasses? Oh, maybe she stopped at LensCrafters after getting her blonde highlights put in at Super Cuts. (Looks like somebody didn't do their research on this one.) At least they weren't all cosmetically made up to the hilt. Anyway, I bought the Romance Collections I and II and this is the stinker of the first collection, in my opinion. Watching this version of Lorna Doone is not a waste of time but the previous gushing reviews about it have me puzzled.
  • I thought Lorna Doone was great for the christmas holidays. it was different than the 1990 version,. this version added more to it you saw more of doone valley and the evilness of carver doone some of the scenes were the same, but a lot longer. 170 mins put into two parts. Richard Coyle did a great john ridd. a lot of fighting in it and romance so if you haven't seen it do.
  • Great costumes, wonderful scenery, great art direction. Unfortunately, this movie suffers from uneven acting and a lack of attention to period detail. The actor playing Carver is creepy, but he is lacking charisma and screen presence - he's kind of a sad little bully and there's no way Lorna would be unwillingly attracted to him (as she was in the book). The actress playing Lorna is sweet, lovely, and appealing but she too, doesn't draw me in.

    I agree with other reviewers about the variety of accents - I wish they had spent more time getting the accents of the time and place correct and consistent.

    Also, its really, really silly and takes away from the believability of the whole thing that one of the 17th century female villagers is wearing glasses. Some of the dialogue is way too obviously modern too: "All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy." "I'm not marrying some ignorant farmer," says his sister. "Not if he sees you first." Sounds like a conversation at the local high school. The sad,dramatic music is played way too much and too loudly and distracts from the scenes - overpowering music is a pet-peeve of mine. Honestly, while the movie was playing, I spent more time reading reviews here - it simply wasn't that compelling.

    Its almost like this movie was made for teenagers (who like romance). This is too bad because even teenagers like period detail and can understand quality movie making. They appear to have made some parts of this movie too quickly and had to skim over some elements - or some of the people working on it had experience and others were still very green. Somehow this one just misses the mark.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Lorna Doone still reads well. Yes, it is very much a product of the era it was written in, but the story still works well - the central romance beset by the problem of Lorna's situation within the Doones, enhanced by the texturing of the main plot interlacing with the many subplots.

    But if you read it, you get a very strong picture of John Ridd as the archetypical gentle giant. With all due respect to Richard Coyle, he doesn't have the physical presence I expect from John Ridd. This piece of central casting is then compounded further by the casting of Aiden Gillen as Carver Doone. Carver Doone is big and dark, in every sense of both words. Gillen is effete and peevish. Evil, certainly, but without ever making me think he was physically Carver. Both men act well, albeit Carver should be more brooding and less hissy: I suspect that this is direction, though.

    The child actors playing young John and young Lorna aren't very good. America turns up fabulous child actors all over the place, England can't find them anywhere.

    The rest of the cast is fine: Amelia Warner as Lorna is gorgeous and does the best she can with a character which is underwritten in the novel, and Martin Clunes is a surprising but effective Jeremy Stickles.

    The piece looks gorgeous, although I was surprised to find the climactic bog in a forest instead of on the moors.

    Addendum: I have just rewatched this, and boy is Aidan Gillen miscast. Yes, he is evil, but his Carver is petulant, peevish and bad tempered, not thunderous and malevolent.
  • There are times when a story should contain more than just the plot,and the facts.There are things such as mood,tone,and symbolism that add up to make a story more than just a rousing tale.And,due to the lack of an appropriate villain,that's what this adaptation is missing.

    "Lorna Doone"is moe than just a story about valorous English rurals fighting an oppressive gang of outlaws.It's also a nostalgic look,seen from the perspective of the Industrial Revolution,at a rustic way of life which has vanished.It's also a positive affirmation of what was referred to,during the Victorian period,as"muscular Christianity."And,it's also the sotry of a gallant,but inarticulate and lonely man's struggle,to find love,and romance with an attractive woman,consumating in a sharing sexual union.

    John Ridd,the hero of this work,is a bright,physically strong,but unguided and silent man,whose struggle is at least as much within himself as it is with others.And to symbolize this arduous and difficult journey,her requires a worthy opponent. Carver Doone,therefore,is John's alter-ego,and must provide a dark,Satanic antagonist,of formidable nature and significant evil.John MUST conquer his own shadow personality,as personified by Carver.And,on a more realistic level,Carver must be strong,virile,and physically attractive,as a worthy contender for Lorna's love.

    The actor playing Carver,in this production,is certainly evil,vicious,rodent like,and psychopathic.But he lacks grandeur,authority,presence,and that elemental quality to provide a characterization accurate with the book.Sean Bean did a much better job.
  • The movie was a bit predictable, however aside from that, I thought the acting was great. The movie created a feeling for the countryside and farming life, showing how close the family was bonded together. The story takes place in 17th century England, and is a typical love story, filled with revenge and jealousy. The actress who played Lorna is lovely. Lorna Doone also has an excellent soundtrack as well as pleasant scenery.
  • This particular version of Lorna Doone begins on a grand and exciting historical scale and quickly spirals downward into an average star crossed lovers tale in which a pretty boy...who can't speak or act...for reasons not be known in the script... falls in love with a pretty girl...who can't speak or act. They meet by accident and then in secret without any of the intensity that such a love would usually entail. They smile at each other a lot and run around a spectacular Whales country side while epic music plays in the background. There are a few good battle scenes...some rather beautiful but astonishing costuming...some off the wall wonderful but inaccurate hair styles for men...think Samurai warrior meets Middle Earth...some great acting from a few minor characters and Peter Vaughan...who unfortunately...for the viewer...but happily for him...dies about half way into the story. This movie won awards for photography and visual effects which is the reason I wanted to see it but the script lacked grit and believability. Not up to the usual BBC standards...did they collaborate with Touchstone or something?
  • jscrump-122 April 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    I first saw this movie one day at the library. I had never read the book. I knew next to nothing about it. When I watched it, I couldn't get enough of it. It felt like a roller coaster ride. I loved the love triangle and that you faced one thing after another. Amelia Warner was wonderful as Lorna. I was extremely thankful she played Lorna as a girl who could stand up for herself and as someone you're not always really sure you can trust. Aidan Warner (Carver) was extremely evil,but you can see how much he loves Lorna. However, I hated that Carver really didn't age from the beginning to when you see him all those years later. Richard Coyle was unbelievable as John. I loved how much he frought to keep Lorna. Still, I felt that John's and Lorna's courtship was much too rushed.
  • Wonderful romantic epic tale. Lorna Doone was written by Blackwell in 1869 and the story takes place in the mid-late 1600s. This 2000 version of Lorna Doone is more true to the novel and very enjoyable. Per Blackmore's novel Lorna Doone was a dark haired, dark eyed raven beauty. I was glad to see the actress chosen to play Lorna Doone reflects that image. The same goes for the actor chosen to play John Ridd. A strapping blonde cutie. This film flows nicely from beginning to end. How John Ridd's father crosses paths with the evil Doones and meets his fate. How John meets Lorna and she tell him her story. The hold the Doones have on Lorna. How John braves the evil Doones just to be with Lorna. How John and Lorna then struggle to be together when so many wish them apart. The costumes are lavish as well as the scenery. A must see.
  • Lorna Doone was the Victorians all time favourite novel, and it does contain everything a sentimental reader could ask for: love and treachery, revenge and sudden twists, all set against a colourful local and historical background... Today we can't help noticing that the plot contains more holes than a farmer's sieve, but this production covers them up by its drive and opulence, supported by convincing casting and some very good acting. The only discrepancy is Lorna's Estuary English, but as she's so pretty and acts well –
  • This is a wonderful story, with great history, action, adventure, and romance. It's so inspiring to see true love triumph between aristocratic, cast-off Lorna, and rugged, family-oriented John Ridd. The whole Ridd family is so warm and caring you can really see why Lorna is so happy to be with them, and away from the almost animal-like Doones, who were once aristocrats but are now sub-human savages.

    The only problem is, Lorna Doone herself is actually a fairly minor character in her own story. Nothing against the fetching and gifted Amelia Warner, but as a heroine Lorna tends to let others do most of her thinking for her. It's really John who encourages her to break away from the Doones, and stay snug and secure with his warm, loving family. Then when the truth of her aristocratic background sends her to London, Lorna doesn't do much to protest other than look a bit pained and sad.

    Frankly, the story seems to leave out all of Lorna's real struggle, choosing between a life of luxurious comfort at the royal court versus the hard work and responsibility of a farm wife in rural Devon. It would have been nice to see a bit more of Lorna at court, sleeping late and having breakfast in bed, being tempted by handsome nobles, lovely gowns, music, lots of gossip and lazy pleasure and sumptuous luxury. There's no sense of what she's giving up to be with John!

    Another problem is with the villain of the story, Carver Doone. This man is meant to be dark, satanic, chilling, and in his own way devastatingly attractive to Lorna. Instead he's a laughable buffoon. The moment he becomes leader of the Doone clan he makes one stupid blunder after another, yet no one seems to notice. First he leads his men on a raid of the Ridd farm house, and about half of them get shot out of the saddle (by Lorna and John's sisters!) in about ten seconds. But nobody says, "great plan, chief!" Then he gambles everything on having the Doones support Monmouth's Rebellion, with no sense of what's at stake if he loses. Then at the end, his whole clan gets wiped out and all he does is mope and plot revenge against Lorna for jilting him!

    By the way, it's also very revealing that John Ridd at the end wins reward and pardon from the king for leading the "final assault" on the Doone stronghold in the swamps, yet lovely Lorna seems to have no particular interest in the outcome. Remember, these are the people she's lived with all her life. Even if Carver and his father and grandfather have been cruel to her, you'd think she'd say something to John, like, "please be merciful, darling." Or something!

    Maybe her mind was still on all the pleasures she passed up in London, or kissing all those handsome nobles of the court!
  • I absolutely loved this film! It had everything a great film should have: excellent cast, good script and amazing acting. The characters involved in the love triangle (John Ridd, Lorna Doone and Carver Doone) were brilliantly portrayed by these stunning actors, especially Aidan Gillen, who's portrayal of the murderous Carver was superb. Every time he sauntered into view, you really believed that he was Carver, he wanted Lorna for himself and he would do everything within his power to make her love him.

    This film also appealed to me because of the time and place in which it was set. It was a period of troubled times which came across well in the film. I thought the costumes and sets were great and it all made you feel like you were really there and part of the whole thing.

    Finally, as everybody knows, one of the main things that makes a film great is its soundtrack. Well, as soon as I heard the first notes being played, I knew this was a film I'd love. The composer (John Lunn) has done the film proud.

    Thank you very much to the BBC for airing this masterpiece. It really made last year's Christmas.
  • vgs18956 December 2002
    This is a beautiful story, intricately woven, and well worth watching. Of all the versions I have seen, this is by far the best one. The actors have a real chemistry, and the authenticity of the movie make it that much better. This is a movie worth watching several times (a year?). A & E has done it again.
  • BrightEyes968525 April 2001
    I thought this was a great adaption of RD Blackmore's novel. I, like i have done with Rebecca, Read the book first and then saw the movie. The book was very long, as this movie is also. But the highlights make it all worth while. I loved Richard Coyle and John Ridd, and I also thought the music, and scenery were beauitful highlights of this tv movie. I thought the acting was almost 100% top notch, so all in all i give it high regard, and recommend it.
  • Despite the many glowing reviews also appearing here, I cannot recommend this production of Lorna Doone, now being sold as part of an otherwise great boxed set of BBC/A&E productions that also includes Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Ivanhoe, and others. The scenery is great, but the characters are just not likeable.

    Even I, an American, can recognize that every actor seems to have a different and varying English accent - it's almost like watching an international cast. The actor portraying Carver, the chief villain, is not very convincing as a tough, and carries himself like a dandy. The scenes of the protagonist mugging for the camera are numerous. The direction is probably to blame for this film's uneven quality.
  • The scenery and photography are stunning.

    The casting and acting are both first-rate.

    Some elements of the book have been omitted from the film, but nothing essential has been left out.

    Very fast paced. There is a fair amount of violence, but no gratuitous violence.

    A few elements of the story are a bit unrealistic, e.g., it is hard to believe that Baron de Whithouse's son would risk his life for the Doones, but this seems rather minor.

    In summary, a first-rate piece of historical fiction.
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