Open main menu

Cold Comfort Farm is a 1995 British comedy film directed by John Schlesinger and produced by the BBC and Thames Television, an adaptation of Stella Gibbons' 1932 book of the same name, the film stars Kate Beckinsale, Joanna Lumley, Ian McKellen and Rufus Sewell. Originally broadcast on 1 January 1995 on the BBC, it was Schlesinger's final film shot in his home country of Britain, and was picked up for theatrical release in North America through Gramercy Pictures, where it was a small success.

Cold Comfort Farm
Cold Comfort Farm film.jpg
US theatrical release poster
Directed by John Schlesinger
Produced by Alison Gilby
Richard Broke
Screenplay by Malcolm Bradbury
Based on Cold Comfort Farm
by Stella Gibbons
Music by Robert Lockhart
Cinematography Chris Seager
Edited by Mark Day
Distributed by BBC (UK)
Gramercy Pictures (US)
Release date
  • 1 January 1995 (1995-01-01) (United Kingdom TV)
  • 10 May 1996 (1996-05-10) (United States theatrical)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $5,682,429[1]



After the death of her estranged parents, young Flora Poste, who aspires to be a writer, decides that the only way for her to live whilst researching her writing is to stay with relatives. Her city-based relatives show no interest, so she sends letters to her country relatives. There are a few responses, most of them unsuitable, but one is intriguing. Flora decides to stay for a while with the Starkadder family on their rundown farm. The Starkadders are an assortment of rustic, uncouth, and truly eccentric characters, each of whom has a hurdle (be it physical, emotional, or spiritual) to overcome before reaching his or her potential. Flora quickly realises that, as a modern twentieth-century woman, she can resolve these situations once she has assessed and solved each character's problems. Whilst she is doing so, she is pursued by an unsuitable suitor, a most obnoxious character, whom she has difficulty avoiding. Can Flora achieve happiness for herself as well as healing the lives of her eccentric family?


Filming locationsEdit

The production visited Kent where they filmed at Kent & East Sussex Railway which provided the trains for Flora’s journey from London to her relatives at Cold Comfort Farm and Northiam station in East Sussex which is the fictional railway station of Beershorne.

The Royal Military Canal was also used for scenes where Flora and Amos walk and chat.[2]


Cold Comfort Farm received generally positive reviews; it currently holds an 84% 'fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[3] During its theatrical release in North America, the film grossed $5,682,429.[1]

Schlesinger was the only one who thought it would work in North America cinemas and so had to put up the money himself to blow up the print from 16mm to 35mm; he took the new format to the Toronto Film Festival, where its success led to a North American release.[4]


  1. ^ a b Cold Comfort Farm at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Cold Comfort Farm Article". 
  3. ^ Cold Comfort Farm at Rotten Tomatoes
  4. ^ McKellen, Ian (June 2000). "Cold Comfort Farm: Words". Retrieved 2 December 2017. 

External linksEdit