Cold Comfort Farm

Cold Comfort Farm Information

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.


Flora Poste (Kate Beckinsale), a young orphan in the 1920s, moves in with her eccentric and backward relatives, the Starkadders. The Starkadders live in a run-down farm off the beaten track in Sussex. Flora decides to rehabilitate and modernise them.

She first removes the head of the family (Ian McKellen), an amateur preacher with his own entourage of timid followers, by encouraging him to go on a preaching tour. This leaves the farm in the far more capable hands of his elder son. She introduces the very lusty and handsome younger son to an American film producer, and so gets rid of him as well. She marries off the poetry-addicted gypsy daughter after coaching her in manners, deportment and fashion. She connects the chronically-depressed mother (Eileen Atkins) with a famed psychiatrist, who takes a great interest in her. The greatest challenge is her domineering Aunt Ada Doom, whom she eventually convinces to go on a tour of Europe.


  • Kate Beckinsale as Flora Poste
  • Joanna Lumley as Mrs. Mary Smiling
  • Ian McKellen as Amos Starkadder
  • Rufus Sewell as Seth Starkadder
  • Eileen Atkins as Judith Starkadder
  • Sheila Burrell as Ada Doom
  • Stephen Fry as Mybug
  • Freddie Jones as Adam Lambsbreath
  • Miriam Margolyes as Mrs. Beetle
  • Ivan Kaye as Reuben Starkadder
  • Jeremy Peters as Urk
  • Maria Miles as Elfine Starkadder
  • Christopher Bowen as Charles Fairford
  • Louise Rea as Meriam Beetle
  • Sophie Revell as Rennet
  • Rupert Penry-Jones as Dick Hawk-Monitor
  • Angela Thorne as Mrs. Hawk-Monitor
  • Harry Ditson as Earl P. Neck


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

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