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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
This movie was purchased twice, both movies did not play past scene 8. Still waiting on reimbursement on both purchases. marsaliPublished on June 30 2012 by marsali
The DVD stopped half way through this movie. The sound continued but the visual was stuck.
So was unable to view the end.
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
some very good performance (micheal kitchen,martin clunes)but overall too predictable.It felt like a bad copy of romeo and juliet. Read morePublished on July 18 2010 by claudette lafontaine
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
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 morePublished on June 29 2004
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 morePublished on April 13 2004 by The Unknown
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