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Synopsis: Far from the Madding Crowd is a 2015 British-American romantic drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg and starring Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge and Juno Temple. It is an adaptation of the 1874 novel of the same name by Thomas Hardy, the fourth time this novel has been filmed.

FADE IN:

1 EXT. TOLL GATE, NORCOMBE HILL - DAY 1

A day in LATE AUGUST. A FIGURE on a hill top; the unpopulated

landscape - lush in summer, barren and bleak in winter -

curving down to high chalk cliffs with the ocean beyond.

GABRIEL OAK sits watching over his flock with his two DOGS,

his face handsome if somewhat weather-beaten beneath a low-

crowned felt hat. He has a quality of contentment, calm and

stillness. Idly, he plays with a stone in his hand. No sound

but the sounds of nature.

Which is why his eye is drawn towards the horizon, the sound

of wheels. A CART is approaching. Curious GABRIEL rises and

walks closer, as the CART stops at a toll gate and the OLD

WAGGONER gets down.

2 EXT. TOLL GATE, NORCOMBE HILL - DAY 2

From GABRIEL’s p.o.v, an argument has broken out with the

TURNPIKE KEEPER.

WAGGONER:

Misses says she won’t pay more.

TURNPIKE KEEPER:

Then Misses’d best turn back. Price

is thrupence.

The WAGGONER sighs, and goes to negotiate with his PASSENGER,

as yet unseen. GABRIEL steps closer.

WAGGONER:

Perhaps best to pay him. Be dark

soon.

She replies - barely heard. The WAGGONER returns.

WAGGONER (CONT’D)

She says she’s paid you quite

enough.

TURNPIKE KEEPER:

Three pence.

A stand-off. Until GABRIEL arrives. He knows the GATEKEEPER.

A local.

GABRIEL:

Let her through. It’s a woman on

her own.

FFMC Shooting Script Sept 2013

2

Going through the gate, BATHSHEBA EVERDENE very briefly turns

to GABRIEL. If she feels gratitude, she can’t quite bring

herself to express it. Pride wins out. The cart moves on.

CUT TO BLACK:

3 TITLES - ‘FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD.’ 3

Under TITLES, a series of Wessex landscapes.

-CARROW COVE on a brisk autumn day, the low sun glinting on

the sea.

-the CLIFFS of NORCOMBE HILL facing out into the sea in the

grip of a winter storm.

-the RIVER AXE in full flow with the melting snows of

spring.

- bleak EGDON HEATH in the rain, the road seeming to stretch

on forever.

-the gloom of the GREAT FOREST, dark in its depths even on

the brightest summer day.

-the mud and stone of ploughed fields in the VALE of

BLACKMORE, awaiting planting in March.

This is the stage for our story, quite remote from the rest

of the world. A grand landscape, sometimes beautiful,

sometimes harsh -

-and finally, the slope of NORCOMBE HILL on a day in LATE

SEPTEMBER.

CUT TO BLACK:

4 INT. STABLE, MRS HURST FARM, NORCOMBE HILL - DAWN 4

LATE SEPTEMBER. A chink of light opens out as the stable door

is pulled open. BATHSHEBA is silhouetted against the bright

light.

5 EXT. MRS HURST’S COTTAGE - DAWN 5

BATHSHEBA leads the horse into the yard of MRS HURST’s farm;

small, subsistence-level but tidy and well-kept, clinging to

the side of the remote hill.

We see her face as she greets the horse; a startlingly vivid

face, full of spirit and determination. She rides off.

FFMC Shooting Script Sept 2013

3

6 EXT. NORCOMBE HILL - DAWN 6

-heading down to the forest that borders the hill.

7 EXT. COUNTRY LANE - DAY 7

BATHSHEBA finds herself in a hollow-way, a path covered by a

canopy of trees, too low for rider and horse to pass beneath.

She looks one way, then the other, to ensure that she’s alone

then, in a single dextrous movement, then switches from sidesaddle

to cross-saddle, tucking her dress up - some sort of

trousers or breaches revealed beneath. Comfortable now, she

lies backwards along the horse so that her head is near its

tail, her feet near its shoulders, her eyes to the sky. It’s

an impressive performance, almost a circus trick, and she

smiles in satisfaction to herself as the horse trots forward,

the sky showing between the low boughs.

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David Nicholls

David Nicholls was born in 1966 in Hampshire, England. He is a writer and actor, known for One Day (2011), Starter for 10 (2006) and Far from the Madding Crowd (2015). He is married to Hanna. They have two children. more…

All David Nicholls scripts | David Nicholls Books

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"Far from the Madding Crowd" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 21 Aug. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/far_from_the_madding_crowd_571>.

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