Trollope adaptations - what do you think?

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Trollope adaptations - what do you think?

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huhtikuu 10, 2007, 2:21 am

Well I have to say that in the past years I've come to love the (mainly BBC) adaptations of my favourite classics nearly as much as the books themselves.

Regarding Trollope, I've watched The way we live now so far, which I found excellent given the time limitations and The Barchester Chronicles which I thought were a bit dated visually but had some great acting - especially Alan Rickman. Really great stuff.

I am very much looking forward to watching He knew he was right after finishing the book and the Pallisers after having done with the series (I am about half way through) and I hope the BBC will do a bit more of Trollope in the next years.

huhtikuu 10, 2007, 2:52 am

I thought WWLN was brilliant! Mrs. Hurtle was my favorite character, although the squeaky-voiced daughter was great, too.
Haven't seen Barchester Chronicles yet. I'm a huge Geraldine MacEwan fan, so I'm certain she made a perfect Mrs. Proudie!

huhtikuu 10, 2007, 3:03 am

What else has been adapted, besides the four works you've mentioned?

Agree about the BT adaptation - and the acting was a tad mannered, but overall well worth watching. I've adored Alan Rickman for years - and he's aged well, I think! Yes, G. MacEwan was perfect as Mrs. Proudie.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 10, 2007, 4:05 am

Yes I agree, G. MacEwan is great! Actually I thought Mr. Grant was a bit over the top, but hey, overall it is really a wonderful production.

By the way, I think there are no more than the 4 adaptations already mentioned in this thread. But wouldn't it be fun if the BBC decided to resume their work where they let off with the Barsetshire novels 30 years ago - and did the rest from Dr. Thorne to The last chronicles of Barchester? Well, You can always dream ;-)

huhtikuu 16, 2007, 11:50 pm

lesezeichen - When you say Mr. Grantly was over the top, do you mean the character himself or Nigel Hawthorne's interpretation?

huhtikuu 17, 2007, 2:59 am

No sorry I should have been more precise, I was talking about the actor. But to be honest, my memories are a bit vague so I'd better rewatch the DVD ;-)

huhtikuu 19, 2007, 2:46 am

Well, Nigel WAS chewing the scenery a bit. Archdeacon Grantly is my favorite character in the entire Barsetshire series (narrowly edging out Martha Dunstable, the marvelously self-assured Ointment Heiress). As a rich and worldly clergyman, he is a welcome counterpoint to his saintly (almost annoyingly so) father-in-law, Mr. Harding. He's a control freak, it's true, but without malice. Indeed, his rages are usually triggered by his overriding need to protect his family. Despite his insistence on precedence and deference, his excellent wife wraps him around her finger and his children prevail on his underlying good nature to eventually gain them forgiveness for not bending to his will. He is a man without malice amid the bluster and indignation. From Barchester Towers and The Kellys and the O'Kellys, it seems that Trollope paints indignation extremely well. There were some exchanges in the latter, especially the scene where Mrs. Kelly gives the blackguard Lynch a good going over, that had me howling. Maybe it's my Boston background - we tend to enjoy a helluva fight, especially if there's a quick Irish tongue in it.

huhtikuu 20, 2007, 3:55 pm

Thanks for reviving memories of the tv adaptation of Barchester Chronicles - Geraldine McEwan's Mrs Proudie made such an impression on me that I had to read the book - not sure when I saw it, but it made me a Trollope fan and I read all the books in this series and some other novels too - but I never got into the Palliser novels though I do remember my mother loved the TV series. Reading all the messages makes me want to re-read the Chronicles and maybe try some others as well - and maybe get hold of the dvd too. Thanks!

huhtikuu 24, 2007, 2:27 am

Apparently there is a DVD box set available now which includes Barchester Chronicles, The Way We Live Now and He Knew He Was Right.

toukokuu 24, 2007, 1:54 am

I just finished watching the 'Barchester Chronicles' series from the BBC. Fantastic stuff, albeit a little dated. Mrs Proudie and Mr Slope were brilliant! The chap that played Mr Arrabin kinda 'creeped me out', however - the way he was following Eleanor through the garden at Ullathorne like some type of stalker :P

toukokuu 24, 2007, 3:21 pm

I agree about Arabin - thoroughly distasteful. There was nothing in his face, figure or manner that would make Eleanor's falling for him remotely believable.

Mr. Slope was Alan Rickman's breakthrough role. He's a very underrated actor.

I have The Way We Live Now in my Netflix queue - I keep missing it when PBS reruns it. I'm curious to see how they compress 800 pages into 4 hours.

I wish Masterpiece Theatre would film more adaptations of some of Trollope's other novels. I'd like to see The Kellys and the O'Kellys. Actually, I'd like to see the entire Barchester series filmed as a series, as The Forsyte Saga was treated in the '60s (and it's still riveting!). Failing that, a new adaptation of the first two novels is due.

kesäkuu 2, 2007, 1:32 am

I adore the BBC adaptation of He Knew He Was Right -- although I find myself skipping through the sturm und drang of the main couple, bleah. But David Tennant made a hilarious Mr. Gibson, and Anna Massey was so sweet and dear as Miss Stansbury. This was one where the secondary characters were the best parts, I thought.

kesäkuu 2, 2007, 4:58 am

I heartily agree with you missfiddyment about David Tennant and especially Anna Massey stealing the show ;-) (even if I liked the rest of the cast well enough)...

heinäkuu 24, 2007, 8:23 pm

Have finally started watching THe Way We Live Now. Netflix sends only one disc at a time, so I've seen the first two episodes which take us through the elopement planning and Roger discovering Paul and Mrs. Hurtle on the beach. I think Melmotte is perfect, and his daughter is decidedly more assertive (time constraints?) than she was in the earlier part of the book. The actress also played "Moaning Myrtle" in the Harry Potter movies, and I keep seeing her with pigtails and glasses. Very odd voice, indeed. Hetta also is played more assertively than in the book. She gets in more digs. Mrs. Melmotte is being played a bit too much for laughs. She was a desperately unhappy creature, but she been turned into something of a clown.

I'm disappointed in Felix - the actor is no way near handsome enough. He's okay, but no Adonis, as the book tells us. He looks sort of like a young Stephen Fry (minus the broken nose).

Also due to time constraints they had to delete that whole thing about Melmotte renting the Longstaffe's house and the ransacked desk. So I'm wondering how much of the grand dinner for the emperor will make it into the back half.

heinäkuu 27, 2007, 9:11 am

>14 stringcat3: Interesting.... OK, so you'd recommend I read The Way We Live Now before or after watching the DVD series? Both the book and DVD are in my cupboard (unopened/unread) :)

heinäkuu 27, 2007, 12:25 pm

> 15 This is one of the few instances where one can start with either the book or the DVD, but I'd read the book first because you get so much more backstory, especially on Lady Carbury. The DVD severely prunes the tale, of course, but is a compelling drama in its own right. Even my husband stayed awake through the entire thing (a remarkable occurrence). We watched the second and last disc last night. There were more liberties taken with the story, but they weren't serious and helped to simplify the resolution. Some of the wimpier characters in the book, Hetta and Paul Montague, are much more assertive in the third and fourth episodes than Trollope had written them.

I think the success of the DVD rested heavily on its superb casting, especially for Melmotte, who is perfect. And Mrs. Hurtle is played by Miranda Otto, who looks and sounds exactly like a young Jodie Foster - had us checking the credits.

joulukuu 30, 2007, 5:14 pm

While reading RACHEL RAY I kept thinking, what a perfect novel for Masterpiece Theater to film. I was thinking specifically of their wonderful adaptation of Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, of which AT's novel did strongly remind me. Unlike many of AT's works, RR has a very strong central plot, which filmmakers adore. Neither the Dorothea/Mr. Prong sidebar nor the election is treated extensively enough to be considered a parallel or sub-plot. We have love difficulties, the ball scene, local gentry, kindly yeomanry, the comic relief of Tappitt and his lady, a dithering mother (albeit not silly like Mrs. Bennett of P&P), the "raven" Dorothea and her Dorcas Society, creepy Mr. Pront and icky Miss Pucker - plenty of juicy stuff. Overall, I'd say Trollope as been sadly neglected as a source for films or mini-series.

SO: which AT works seem the most adaptable for the screen (large or small) and why?

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 30, 2007, 6:10 pm

My hope is that one day the BBC will re-do the Barchester series to include all the books from The Warden right through to The Last Chronicle of Barset. The parts of the story which are less clergy-oriented such as Doctor Thorne and The Small House would appeal to a wider audience. There is much more to Barsetshire than just the archdeacons, bishops & curates :)

tammikuu 2, 2008, 3:35 pm

"My hope is that one day the BBC will re-do the Barchester series to include all the books from The Warden right through to The Last Chronicle of Barset."

Amen :)

tammikuu 2, 2008, 6:40 pm

I like the archbishop and the dean and etc.

But Doctor Thorne & Framley Parsonage were pretty fun, too. Don't get me started on Lily Dale. I am so. sick. of. her. Would be a juicy part for some young ingenue, tho.

tammikuu 3, 2008, 3:06 am

Okay, but the question is, BEYOND the Barchester series and the two other novels that have already been adapted, what are the best candidates for film adaptations?

tammikuu 3, 2008, 3:09 am

>21 stringcat3: Dr Wortle's School as a one-off telemovie. I want to see the scenes with Mr Peacocke & Lefroy in Chicago :)

tammikuu 4, 2008, 12:14 am

The Claverings is also a good candidate. I think seeing Sophy Gourdeloup in action would be priceless. Might be too "talky" though.

Conversely, I don't think Castle Richmond would be high on the list. The love story isn't all that interesting, and its setting against the famine is incongruous.

helmikuu 11, 2008, 2:27 am

So browsing through Netflix tonight, I discovered The Pallisers series from the '70s, with Susan Hampshire as Lady Glencora! O frabjous day! And no one's mentioned it! I may watch it online, just so I don't have to wait for the discs (12 in all). I'll have to pace myself, though, so I don't get ahead of the books. I just finished Phineas Redux this afternoon and went right into The Prime Minister. I feel slightly ill from a surfeit of AT but am bravely turning pages. Ferdinand Lopez has the delightful whiff of a villain about him.

helmikuu 12, 2008, 1:06 pm

Tadadi Tadada! I'v got news for you!

Well my personal preference goes to Barchester but I am really really looking forward to that all the same!

helmikuu 12, 2008, 6:06 pm

>25 lesezeichen: That is really great news, lese! Thank you!

Hmmm... I might have to read the Palliser series soon.

helmikuu 13, 2008, 9:47 pm

> 25 WOO HOO! I'm SO stoked! Especially as I've discovered that Netflix doesn't have the Pallisers series available for online watching so I'll have to order the discs. But that will have to wait until we catch up on all Battlestar Galactica episodes before the 4th season starts in March (we've just started season 2 - way behind!)

helmikuu 13, 2008, 11:00 pm

I have not watched any film adaptations except TWWLN - that was very nicely done. You see, Trollope is a favorite and I love the texture and thickness of his novels and I don't want to be irritated at missed moments. But these posts are inspiring and I do have a Neflix account. I think I need to go read now.

helmikuu 17, 2009, 7:02 am

Does anyone know when the new Palliser series will be aired on the BBC? It was announced in Feb 2008 that the series was being developed but I cannot find any updated information on the internet as to when it will be ready...

helmikuu 17, 2009, 10:35 am

What babe magnet did they cast as Phineas?

maaliskuu 4, 2009, 7:28 pm

Littlegeek #20: I believe Trollope said he was tired of Lily Dale, by the time of the final draft, too!

This past weekend I watched "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" - when her nemesis, Edith, appeared I thought the actress seemed awfully familiar: Shirley Henderson played Marie Melmotte in "The Way We Live Now" (David Suchet playing Melmotte). If you liked her as Marie, you'll enjoy her as Edith!

syyskuu 30, 2009, 9:07 am

It is very disappointing to read that the BBC have axed the Pallisers remake...

syyskuu 30, 2009, 12:59 pm

very disappointing :(
Interesting article by the way, thanks!

lokakuu 2, 2009, 12:31 pm

What I find interesting about this is that complex serialized drama, complete with symbolism and all the other trappings, is all the rage in the states, what with Mad Med, et al. MM has been compared to a Victorian novel on many occasions. And it is absolutely worth your time. I love it.

lokakuu 4, 2009, 2:53 pm

34> Jon Hamm (Don Draper) is one of my former students. Never thought about the series as a Victorian novel, but I see the connection.

lokakuu 5, 2009, 7:49 pm

#35 Wow, is he as nice a guy as he seems in interviews? Because if so, he's one hell of an actor. Don Draper is a total tool.

lokakuu 5, 2009, 8:10 pm

Absolutely--totally without ego, despite those great looks. One of those people who makes time for everyone and about whom no one has a bad word.

lokakuu 6, 2009, 2:34 pm

That's good to know. I wonder if it bothers him to play a character who is basically so despicable? I mean, Don has a few good qualities, but he's not a nice guy at all. And so dour and grumpy all the time.

lokakuu 6, 2009, 5:16 pm

It's probably a lot of fun for him! Much more fine than playing a good guy, I imagine.

lokakuu 6, 2009, 5:59 pm

I think Roger or Pete would be fun to play, but not Don so much. Challenging, what with him being so repressed and controlled and secretive, but not fun. He really has to get a lot across very subtly, cause Don is always on and always circumspect. (Well, except when he's ripping Peggy a new one. Jeeze.) Now, Roger, that looks like fun. John Slattery has amazing timing.

Of the women, I love them all but Christina Hendricks makes me weep.

joulukuu 28, 2010, 7:50 pm

BBC Radio 4 will be airing a two-part adaptation of Miss Mackenzie starting Jan 9, 2011. Even if you're not in the UK you can listen to the programme via the BBC iPlayer during the following week.