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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Swooning Romantic Masterpiece!
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...
Published on April 2 2006 by Noirdame

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Predictability...
A & E's production of R.D. Blackmore's novel of forbidden love between two hostile families is lushly filmed, action-filled, and surprisingly dull. Yes, there are a few surprises here and there; however, the story runs into predictable territory come the last hour and a half, and the characters become too melodramatic to be considered real.
The star-crossed lovers...
Published on May 25 2002 by Ophelia- Lady of the River


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Swooning Romantic Masterpiece!, April 2 2006
This review is from: Lorna Doone (DVD)
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!!!!!
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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 review is from: Lorna Doone (DVD)
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
By 
This review is from: Lorna Doone (DVD)
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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2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing departure from A&E's high standards., June 21 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Lorna Doone (DVD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A Promise to Keep, June 1 2002
This review is from: Lorna Doone (VHS Tape)
Fortunately I was able to catch this originally when it ran on A&E and was so captivated I pre-ordered both the video and DVD. The video version differs only slightly from the DVD; the color is not as good. That's it. Overall it's a very good purchase at a reasonable price for such an excellent film.
Fans of A&E's lush romances like Pride & Prejudice, Victoria & Albert, and Emma will enjoy Lorna Doone. It's a blend of romance, adventure, mystery, and something of the sinister, with a Romeo & Julietish twist. The acting is stellar, particularly in the casting of Aidan Gillen as Carver Doone. He completely overpowers the screne whenever present and makes a loathable and yet empathetic villain. Richard Coyle is doubly good as the heroic John Ridd, and Amelia Warner proves she can play leads effortly as the spirited but puzzling Lorna.
It's a film my entire family enjoyed... there was enough romance for the girls, some action scenes for the guys, and enough lush English countryside and magnificent costuming for one and all. Rent it, buy it, borrow it -- see it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Promise to Keep, June 1 2002
This review is from: Lorna Doone (VHS Tape)
Fortunately I was able to catch this originally when it ran on A&E and was so captivated I pre-ordered both the video and DVD. The video version differs only slightly from the DVD; the color is not as good. That's it. Overall it's a very good purchase at a reasonable price for such an excellent film.
Fans of A&E's lush romances like Pride & Prejudice, Victoria & Albert, and Emma will enjoy Lorna Doone. It's a blend of romance, adventure, mystery, and something of the sinister, with a Romeo & Julietish twist. The acting is stellar, particularly in the casting of Aidan Gillen as Carver Doone. He completely overpowers the screne whenever present and makes a loathable and yet empathetic villain. Richard Coyle is doubly good as the heroic John Ridd, and Amelia Warner proves she can play leads effortly as the spirited but puzzling Lorna.
It's a film my entire family enjoyed... there was enough romance for the girls, some action scenes for the guys, and enough lush English countryside and magnificent costuming for one and all. Rent it, buy it, borrow it -- see it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Predictability..., May 25 2002
This review is from: Lorna Doone (DVD)
A & E's production of R.D. Blackmore's novel of forbidden love between two hostile families is lushly filmed, action-filled, and surprisingly dull. Yes, there are a few surprises here and there; however, the story runs into predictable territory come the last hour and a half, and the characters become too melodramatic to be considered real.
The star-crossed lovers do play off each other well, embracing the invisible struggle surrounding their union. Amelia Warner (Lorna Doone) gives the right amount of innocence against ambition, creating a lovely, yearning picture of a woman finding her way into the world. Her love (John Ridd), played by the ravishing Richard Coyle, battles endlessly for her deliverance from a power-hungry family. Scenes of swordplay, gun fighting, and warring words dominate the film, along with the green and black tones of the Doone's aura. Their home and demeanor is cold and dark, in stark contrast to that of the Ridd's. Yet despite these dynamic action and aesthetic backdrops, I found myself jumping ahead at various points simply because I was already ahead of the film itself. The characters, though well played, were standard stock-acting fare. Aidan Gillen's performance of Lorna's rejected suitor was extremely cartoonish. Each time he was told he should give up his pursuit of Lorna, he would restate his devotion to her then stomp away like a child. I kept expecting him to grab a skateboard along the way, riding off to his pouting place.
I will say that the romantic standard of hero/villain/heroine is not an easy foundation upon which to build an unpredictable storyline, especially when given a rather caricature-esque setting. Yet director Mike Barker does his best with Adrian Hodges screenplay, and makes a film for inspired romantics. Although it is predictable at most points, the tale does give the audience the desire to rise in hopeful bliss for two souls so like their own. Lorna and John may be of a different time, yet love burns deep in all of us, no matter the age or circumstances. If it is to be, there is no death for love. Lorna and John teach us this, as we rise.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Much More Than Your Average "Bodice Ripper", Aug. 9 2001
This review is from: Lorna Doone (DVD)
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. It's more than a romance; it's a clash of good and evil, a fight for a country, and a passionate story of courage and redemption that has gained it thousands of fans worldwide. The cast is excellent... Amelia Warner lives and breathes the essence of Lorna, her innocence, her compassion, her youth; Richard Coyle is a lovable and heroic man well worthy of her affections; and Adian Gillen strikes a chill down your backbone with one glance from those tantalizing pale blue eyes.
I went into it with low expectations, and it exceeded my highest regards and has well-earned the spot of honor on my shelf of movie classics. Compelling, romantic, haunting and with a shocking climax that will shatter your hopes and then restore them again in a breathtaking final sequence, it is a well-acted, well-produced, well-choreographed, well-directed, and well-scored masterpiece. In my opinion, the best A&E has to offer. My only complaint is the complete nonexistence of an accompanying soundtrack... I'd pay out fifteen bucks easily to own such a magnificent score, and more!
The DVD is a letdown other than that the color is vibrant and one can see more of what's going on around the main characters. The sound is excellent and the opening menu charming, but there's an absence of trailers, featurettes, even cast listings that would have made it an even better release. An excellent movie, sorely under-appreciated by A&E and the BBC who choose not to push it as well as they might have. I've recommended it to all my friends, even to the point of purchasing an additional VHS so they can enjoy it at home.
A beautiful story, and one that you can find worthy of your attentions and time. Lorna Doone is a refreshing change from the everyday romantic film, and what's more, offers you a breathtaking glance into a bygone era to boot. 5 stars, and a winner every time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid, enjoyable blend of action/romance!, April 3 2001
This review is from: Lorna Doone (VHS Tape)
Lorna Doone is based on the 17th century English novel by R.D. Blackmore. It tells the story of the feud between the once-noble, banished Doone family and the honest, peace-loving Ridds. John Ridd's father was murdered by the Doones when he was young but John's hatred of the Doones is tempered when he falls in love with the beautiful Doone "princess," Lorna. Lorna and John's love blossoms but Carver Doone - the future head of the family - vows to do everything in his power to make Lorna his wife. Trouble and fighting ensues and secrets about Lorna's birth surface which threaten to divide her from John forever.
This production is brought to us by the A&E/BBC team - the same creative minds behind the 1995 "Pride and Prejudice." Young newcomer Amelia Warner is luminous and enchanting as Lorna while the handsome leading men - Aidan Gillen ("Circle of Friends") and Richard Coyle ("Wives and Daughters") - turn in powerful performances as the blackhearted, obssessive Carver Doone and honest, kind John Ridd. Barbara Flynn ("Wives & Daughters," "Cracker") as Mrs. Ridd, Michael Kitchen ("The Buccaneers") as Judge Jefferys, Martin Clunes ("Shakespeare in Love") as Jeremy Stickles and Peter Vaughan ("Our Mutual Friend") as Sir Ensor Doone are excellent in their supporting roles. The film has a strong resemblance to the sweeping romance and powerful action scenes of "Braveheart" (without the gore). The story moves quickly and keeps the viewer engaged and interested. The costumes, acting, production values and music are all excellent. I was glued to my seat for the entire 2 hours and highly recommend this video to anyone who enjoys first-rate British drama.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Romance, Aug. 18 2001
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This review is from: Lorna Doone (VHS Tape)
This isn't a great epic, and it may have a few holes, but it's great fun! Funny and romantic, Lorna Doone is set in late 1600's England. John Ridd, who has a wonderful smile, hates the outlaws the Doones that plunder villiages and murder innocent people, including his father. As fate would have it, he meets a beautiful young Lorna, who also has a brilliant smile. They immediately fall in love. When John finds out she is a Doone, in fact, the QUEEN of them, it is too late for him. He is already too deep in her spell. He plans on rescuing her from the terrible home she has, but Carver Doone messes everything up. He has always been destined to be Lorna's husband, and he won't let some farmer's boy take his obsession away from him. He is personally my favorite character played by Aidan Gillen, even though it is a kind of corny part. The music and the scenery are breathtakingly beautiful in this classic swashbuckling romance.
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Lorna Doone
Lorna Doone by Mike Barker (DVD - 2002)
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