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Lorna Doone

Neil Finnighan , Jack Baverstock , Mike Barker    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 94.79
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Star-crossed lovers, feuding family, royal plots, noble destinies, and salt-of-the-earth heroes. No wonder R.D. Blackmore's romantic classic has been a perennial favorite. Amelia Warner (Michael Caine's innocent child bride in Quills) is Lorna, the beautiful young brunette "queen" of the feral Doone clan in this latest adaptation, a handsome 2.5-hour co-production between the BBC and A&E. The once noble line now lives out of a swamp fortress and preys off the local farmers and tradesmen, but the family patriarch (Peter Vaughan) has hatched a plot to win back his title and his land. Handsome John Ridd (Richard Coyle) swears vengeance against the Doones when they murder his father, but he falls for Lorna, and the rakish, ruthless Doone scion (Aiden Gillen, who swaggers through the drama with a perpetual sneer) refuses to give up his claim on the girl without a fight.

This is the kind of British romantic adventure that decries the tradition of nobility and privilege while rewarding its heroes with those very privileges, all within a grand framework of melodramatic twists, thrilling battles, and chivalrous heroics. Director Mike Barker creates an appropriately larger-than-life world at once pastoral and savage for his little epic--shot in the verdant British countryside, where a lush forest green permeates every outdoor scene, while the dusky interiors glow with candlelight--giving in completely to the sweeping emotional melodrama at the core of the story. --Sean Axmaker

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Swooning Romantic Masterpiece! April 2 2006
By Noirdame TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Production by A & E Jan. 4 2004
This superb BBC/A & E production filmed in the English and Welsh countryside, is a haunting adventure and touching love story. The story line is quite a complex one and although it turns out happily, it keeps you on the edge of your seat right up to the very end. In fact you might want to keep a box of kleenexes handy! John Ridd's father was killed by the outlaw Doones when John was a boy, and his life complicates further when he falls in love with the Lorna, a member of this this evil family. The journey to find some way to be together is a theme throughout the movie. I did have to watch the movie for a second time before I completely grasped the many background details that motivated the characters. The romantic chemistry between handsome Richard Coyle and classic beauty Amelia Warner took my breath away. It's the best love story I've seen in a while and it contains so many beautiful scenes that I will want to watch over and over again. The movie has many contrasts such as the beautiful English/Welsh countryside - the dark and forboding scenes with the Doones, the ruthless and evilness of Carver - the extreme goodness of John Ridd. During the darker scenes there is a fair amount of killing and violence and so in my opinion the movie is most appropriate for mature pre-teens to adults. It is just over 2 hours and 20 minutes in length and so I was somewhat disappointed to find that the DVD contains only 14 chapters. The soundtrack is beautiful as well, but I believe that at this time it is not available to purchase. In closing, I would just like to say that I think this is a gripping story and I would highly recommend this movie. It really has something for everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting the whole way through May 14 2004
John Ridd's father was killed by the Doones-a band of ruthless outlaws who had threatened and stolen from the townspeople. John (Richard Coyle) watched his father die, and vowed he would get revenge for their evil deeds. He falls in love with a sweet and beautiful maiden, only to learn that she's a Doone. Lorna (Amelia Warner) is a granddaughter of the Doone's leader, and she is expected to marry the future leader of the Doones-her cousin Carver Doone (Aiden Gillen). John finds himself in a difficult situation-he not only loves a girl that his family will hate, but he must fight Carver, who is just as determined to marry Lorna. The characters find themselves battling with issues of loyalty. This is a great story based off R.D. Blackmore's classic novel. I would highly recommend it.
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By A Customer
We are fans of period films and have enjoyed many A&E and BBC productions. Instead of getting swept up in the drama of Lorna Doone, however, we spent our time mocking the film. I think that poor directing is to blame. Why were we forced to see the same cheesy "vertigo" shot of water in the canyon below every time a character walked on the narrow ledge by the waterfall? Why were all scenes shot in the Doone valley incredibly dark and hard to see, even when the action was taking place in the middle of the day? Why were the Doones and the people of the adjacent town so unfamiliar with one another when it seemed to take approximately 15 minutes to walk from one settlement to the other? Why was Lorna always clean and neatly-dressed, while every other resident of the Doone Valley appeared to have minimal acquaintance with bathing facilities? Why did John and Lorna fall madly in love after exactly two encounters twelve years apart?
The film tried valiantly to fit many of the book's plot points into a two hour movie, but the gaps in character development made for awkward leaps. The actors did a fairly good job with tough material, but even good actors can't overcome strange sequencing of events and cheesy, predictable dialogue.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Lorna Doone
This movie was purchased twice, both movies did not play past scene 8. Still waiting on reimbursement on both purchases. marsali
Published on June 30 2012 by marsali
1.0 out of 5 stars carsic
The DVD stopped half way through this movie. The sound continued but the visual was stuck.
So was unable to view the end.
Published on March 18 2012 by Carla Krens
1.0 out of 5 stars Lorna Doone
Movie started out great but the DVD ended up being defective so I was unable to finish watching the movie. Terribly disappointing.
Published on March 3 2012 by nomer
2.0 out of 5 stars romantic drama
some very good performance (micheal kitchen,martin clunes)but overall too predictable.It felt like a bad copy of romeo and juliet. Read more
Published on July 18 2010 by claudette lafontaine
4.0 out of 5 stars True to the novel, well as tiem would allow
I felt like it was quite true to the novel and recommended it to friends. The acting is not Hollywood, but the story is very entertaining and "fresh" for an old story anyway :)
Published on June 4 2010 by Tera Rift
2.0 out of 5 stars A Weak Link
I got this DVD as part of the A&E Literary Classics Romance Collection, and it's one of the few weak links in that otherwise superb box set (a must for lovers of period films... Read more
Published on June 29 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Great !
If you like romance, you will like this one! All I can say is Richard Coyle is a HOTTIE!!! The plot was good, but I was left with wanting more. I would have made it longer. Read more
Published on April 13 2004 by The Unknown
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
It's just a great movie to watch. Great casts in a classic tale. It's a feel good movie.
Published on March 21 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainment!
This dvd was worth the purchase and worth the viewing time! Truly enjoyable entertainment!
Published on Oct. 5 2003
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