South Riding (1974)

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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Previously filmed in 1937, Winifred Holtby's "Northern" novel South Riding was adapted into a 13-episode miniseries by Yorkshire Television in 1974. Set in the Depression era, the story concerned schoolteacher Sarah Burton (Dorothy Tutin), who secured a position near the Yorkshire estate owned by dictatorial country squire Robert Carne (Nigel Davenport). In the tradition of Jane Eyre, Carne was saddled with an insane wife and a neurotic daughter, but his principal concern was the noisy activism of a young socialist who wanted to divvy up Carnes' estate and establish low-cost housing for the poor. Eventually, Carnes ended up joining forces with the headstrong Sarah to rescue the local townsfolk from a band of crooked real estate dealers who hoped to exploit the socialist movement for their own greedy ends.