Appropriately brooding adaptation of Thomas Hardy's dark novel of regret. Farm worker Michael Henchard (Hinds) gets drunk and sells his wife Susan (Aubrey) and their baby daughter at a country fair. Since her husband is an abusive drunk and the buyer (Russell) is a good-natured sailor, Susan decides to take her chances. Suffering from a drunkard's remorse, Henchard searches fruitlessly for his family. He eventually settles in Casterbridge where, through sobriety and hard work, Henchard becomes the town's mayor. Then his past returns to haunt him when Susan and his now-grown daughter, Elizabeth-Jane (May), seek him out. But when young rival Farfrae (Purefoy) romances his daughter, Henchard's darker nature resurfaces.