Country Life (film)

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Country Life
DVD cover
Directed by Michael Blakemore
Produced by Robin Dalton
Written by Michael Blakemore
Anton Chekhov
Starring Sam Neill
Greta Scacchi
John Hargreaves
Kerry Fox
Patricia Kennedy
Music by Peter Best
CinematographyStephen F. Windon
Edited byNicholas Beauman
Distributed by Miramax
Umbrella Entertainment
Release date
  • 27 October 1994 (1994-10-27)
Running time
118 minutes
Box office$360,957 (Australia)
$350,354 (USA)

Country Life is a 1994 Australian drama film, adapted from the 1899 play Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov. The film was directed by Michael Blakemore. The cast included Sam Neill, Greta Scacchi and Googie Withers. It was entered into the 19th Moscow International Film Festival. [1]



The film is set in Australia 1919, just a year after World War I. Australia begins to question the value of continuing as an outpost to the British Empire. Since his sister's death years ago, Jack Dickens has raised his niece Sally, aided by his sharp-tongued maid Hannah. Sally’s father, Alexander Voysey, abandoned her after her mother's death and took off for the bright lights of the city, ostensibly making a name for himself as a literary critic and writer in London. Jack and Sally have sacrificed their own hopes and dreams to run the farm while Voysey disports himself in the city. Despite the claims of success, Voysey is a self-centered, self-aggrandizing, pompous windbag with no visible means of support beyond leeching off his brother-in-law's labor on the farm.

Voysey has remarried a younger woman, Deborah, who has come to regret her marriage. Voysey subjects Deborah to cruel behavior from him, such as fetching things he's dropped at his whim and making advances to other women right in front of her. Deborah is deeply unhappy, and feels that she has wasted her youth and squandered her life in marrying Voysey. Both Jack and the town doctor are soon smitten by Deborah, while Sally pines for the town doctor herself. The true natures, characters, and hopes and dreams within the family are revealed as things fall apart.


Box office

Country Life grossed $360,957 at the box office in Australia. [2]

Home media

Country Life was released on DVD by Umbrella Entertainment in May 2012. The DVD is compatible with all region codes and includes a behind-the-scenes special feature. [3]

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  1. "19th Moscow International Film Festival (1995)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 22 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  2. "Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  3. "Umbrella Entertainment" . Retrieved 10 May 2013.