JANE AUSTEN MOVIE CLUB: Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Welcome to the November meeting of Risky Regencies’ JANE AUSTEN MOVIE CLUB!

Because we at Risky Regencies aim to please, today we’ll be talking about the 1995 BBC/A&E miniseries of Pride and Prejudice.

Yes. That one.

The one with Colin Firth.

In a wet shirt.

(Not that I noticed or anything.)

So, whether you’ve seen this recently or a long time ago, tell us what you think!

Who did you like? Dislike?

How did you feel about the script? Costumes? Direction? Historical accuracy?

How true to the book did you find it?

To aid the discussion, here are the names of some of the folks who worked on or acted in this adaptation:

DIRECTOR: Simon Langton

SCREENPLAY: Andrew Davies

CAST:

Elizabeth Bennet: Jennifer Ehle

Jane Bennet: Susannah Harker

Mary Bennet: Lucy Briers

Kitty Bennet: Polly Maberly

Lydia Bennet: Julia Sawalha

Mrs. Bennet: Alison Steadman

Mr. Bennet: Benjamin Whitrow

Darcy: Colin Firth

Bingley: Crispin Bonham-Carter

Caroline Bingley: Anna Chancellor

Mrs. Hurst: Lucy Robinson

Mr. Collins: David Bamber

Lady Catherine de Bourgh: Barbara Leigh-Hunt

Wickham: Adrian Lukis

Charlotte Lucas: Lucy Scott

Maria Lucas: Lucy Davis

Col. Fitzwilliam: Anthony Calf

Georgiana Darcy: Emilia Fox

Mr. Gardiner: Tim Wylton

Mrs. Gardiner: Joanna David

Anne de Bourgh: Nadia Chambers

Mr. Hurst: Rupert Vansittart

Ooh, look at that jealous glare…

Elizabeth Bennet got everything that Miss Bingley wanted…

Now…let the debate begin!

All comments welcome!

Cara
Cara King, great admirer of whoever made the stays for this production

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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Tumperkin
14 years ago

For my money they got almost everything right – in particular, Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle are the perfect Darcy and Elizabeth. Jennifer Ehle has a lovely merry face and is fantastic at only just showing her amusement at the social comedy going on beneath her nose. And Colin Firth. Well. He’s just such a great actor. Even when Darcy’s at his most obnoxious, he makes him seem very human. And they have great chemistry.

There is one problem for me and I’m afraid it’s Alison Steadman as Mrs Bennett (who I generally love in anything she is in). But for me, her performance as Mr Bennett was over-the-top and screechy. One bad note in an otherwise perfect ensemble.

Mary Blayney
14 years ago

I agree with you completely regarding Ehle and Firth. Ehle has a pleasing appearance but it is not close to beautiful until that merriment (good word)lights up her face. That joy is what Darcy needed most and how great that we/he could see it and not just hear it.

How can Mrs. Bennett not be over the top? That was how she was written. Who do you think has done a better job.

Megan Frampton
14 years ago

The only problem I have with this version–and with most others, also–is that Jane is not more beautiful than Elizabeth, as she is supposed to be.
This Jane has a somewhat horsey face, too. Hard to see where she’s the beauty of the family.

Other than that, this is perfection.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
14 years ago

I have to disagree about Jane not being more beautiful than Elizabeth. For me, Susannah Harker who played Jane had the just the right amount of sweetness, and she was definitely the type of beauty that was popular during the Regency. I felt that Rosamund Pike in the movie, while technically more beautiful, was a bit dull. Loved this version of Pride and Prejudice. I thought that Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth were perfectly cast. I agree that JE has the most lovely mischievous smile, and was definitely pert. As for Colin Firth, he could read the phonebook and I’d be happy, but he had the Darcy smolder down pat, and like tumperkin said, he made Darcy very human. You felt for him when he was proposing to Elizabeth, even though Darcy’s proposal has to be the most obnoxious on record. And I agree that Alison Steadman screeched her way through this role. I didn’t care much for Julia Sawala either as Lydia, but you could see like mother, like daughter in this version.

Susan/DC
Susan/DC
14 years ago

I adored this version and thought almost everyone in it was perfect for the role. The one exception was Wickham, who I didn’t think was nearly good-looking enough to have all the young women swooning. That was the one role where the recent movie did better, as Rupert Friend (I think that’s his name) is far more handsome than Adrian Lukis IMHO. OTOH, I do think Lukis acted exactly as I imagined Wickham, with a sort of smarmy charm that was attractive at first until you understood the true character underneath.

Cara King
14 years ago

Jennifer Ehle has a lovely merry face and is fantastic at only just showing her amusement at the social comedy going on beneath her nose.

I never thought of it that way, Tumperkin, but now that you mention it, I see that it’s totally true! She has a very mobile face, and can show a great range of emotions and shades of emotion — so you know exactly what she’s thinking.

And she does seem a very laughing Elizabeth, which I like. I think Ehle’s probably my ideal Elizabeth.

I love Firth, too, of course! I think I agree pretty much with everyone here so far — this production was almost perfect.

I did like Alison Steadman as Mrs Bennet, I confess, and I adore Benjamin Whitrow as Mr. B.

I wasn’t sure that Adrian Lukis quite worked for me as Wickham. I think Wickham should be more handsome, more charming, less obviously weaselly…and maybe taller, too. πŸ™‚

I’m torn on the “is Jane pretty enough” question. I used to think she wasn’t: I’ve seen pictures of her as herself, and I think part of the problem is that the Regency hairstyle is totally unflattering to her face.

But as Elizabeth Kerri M points out (and as Elena also pointed out a while ago, IIRC), Susannah Harker has a very period face. So now I’m torn between thinking it’s right for the period, and thinking that it doesn’t really matter if it is, because it has to work for modern folk.

And I’m mixed on Anna Chancellor’s performance as Miss Bingley. I do love her, and think she looks perfect, and is wonderfully funny and nasty…but I have the same problem with her that I believe I’ve had with every Miss Bingley: she seems too obvious and vulgar for someone who Mr. Darcy initially seems to like in any way, and not intelligent or subtle enough to be a real threat to Elizabeth.

But, as I said, I still really enjoy her performance. Not much to fault here! It’s all so fab. Love the costumes. Love the script. Just love it in general.

Cara

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

I think everyone in this version is perfectly cast. From our standards it is hard to see why everyone would not think Lizzie more beautiful than Jane, but Susannah Harker epitomizes a Regency beauty and Jennifer Ehle does not.

If I were forced to find fault with this version, it would be that it was almost too pretty. I thought the movie Persuasion hit the most right balance in making me believe I was really in Jane Austen’s world.

But this is a fault that can almost masquerade as an asset, because it is a gorgeous film to watch!

Lois
14 years ago

Well, I dare say my comments aren’t all that helpful today. . . but I just loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, and of course, loved it! πŸ™‚

But something a tiny bit more productive though. . . (LOL) here I do think Jane is prettier than Lizzie, even though I still think she was pretty too. . . Jane looks more classical, which is the idea of the period and all that stuff.

But simply, oh yeah, sigh, love him. I mean it, the movie. Yeah. πŸ™‚

Lois

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
14 years ago

Not really relevant to the discussion but Susannah Harker’s mother also played Jane in the 1967 BBC version of P&P. Also, Susannah’s family has a long theatrical tradition. Her great-great-grandfather Joseph Harker (1856-1927) was a well-known scene painter in the London theatre. Joseph was a close friend and colleague at the Lyceum Theatre of the writer Bram Stoker, who is said to have named the hero of Dracula (Jonathan Harker) after his friend Joseph.

Susan Wilbanks
14 years ago

This version of P&P is so right in my mind that I always imagine Firth, Ehle, etc. when I re-read the book…and I almost never do that, not even in cases where I saw the movie before I read the book. I mean, I don’t even imagine Sean Bean when I’m reading Sharpe, which given how I feel about SB kinda amazes me!

That said, I think I’m the only one on the planet who’s immune to Colin Firth’s physical appeal. He’s note-perfect as Darcy, but he just doesn’t make me swoon. So y’all can keep Firth, and I’ll just be over here playing with Sean Bean and Ioan Gruffudd (and Alexis Denisof, and Nathan Fillion, and that guy who played Eomer in LOTR, and…)

Tracy Grant
14 years ago

Not much to add in the way of critical commentary–I love this version of P&P—great acting, lovely period look (I never thought of it as too “pretty”, though I did like the grittiness in the 2005 movie), and enough time to tell the story in leisurely detail and include most of the scenes in the book. Jennifer Ehle captures Elizabeth’s irony as well as her sparkle, and Colin Firth has Darcy’s reserve and the emotion underneath. Great chemistry! I liked Susannah Harker as Jane. I’ve liked her in other things and always thought she was very pretty and she certainly captures Jane’s sweetness as has been mentioned. I did think Wickham was played as a bit too smarmy (the direction more than the actor, I think). I had a hard time imagining Lizzy being taken in him. I thought Emilia Fox made a great Georgiana. Lots of wonderful casting.

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

Jennifer Ehle is so lovely, and her face simply comes alive when she smiles. However, I would’ve liked to have seen a little tartness there, especially when she has to deliver those one-liners. Ehle’s a little too sweet (sorry, Todd!).

Elizabeth: I loved reading that tidbit about the Harkers and their theatre history. Thanks.

Mary: I felt that Brenda Blethyn played a pitch perfect Mrs. Bennet.

Better 2005: Mr. Collins, Mr. Wickham, Lydia, Mrs. Bennet

Better A&E: Mr. Bingley (superb!!), Mr. Bennet, Mary, Jane

The A&E version of costumes were far more realistic to me, than the beggarly looks in the 2005 movie. Conversely, the movie showed a more realistic country life setting than the miniseries, though that pig in the house was a bit much.

Regarding yummy Darcys, I’m going to disagree with everyone here and say that I loved Matthew MacFadyen the best.

Keira-yanks-Ioan-Gruffudd-away-from-SusanW-with-one-hand-while-holding-on-to-Richard-Armitage-with-the-other

Lindsey
14 years ago

I love this version! I used to watch the whole thing whenever I was feeling low or stressed out.

I’m always a little sorry that they rushed the end though – they skipped a few scenes I would have really enjoyed seeing. And though I think it’s wonderfully cast, when I go back to the book I’m always surprised how differently I see the characters. I love love LOVE Colin Firth as Dacry, of course, but he always seems a little harsher in the film than I envision Darcy – but then I somehow always feel that way about heroes in adaptations written by Andrew Davies. They always seem so angry!

janegeorge
14 years ago

I liked Andrew Davies’ script.

I loved Longbourne, with Benjamin Whitrow as Mr. Bennet in his study. I could really see the special regard he had for Elizabeth.

I liked Susannah Harker because she has that “Grecian beauty.” I often prefer beauty that’s so far past pretty it’s just a click or two away from ugly on the beauty-meter, like Uma Thurman.

I loved Joanna David as Mrs. Gardiner. That’s just how I pictured her.

Colin Firth is good in his letter-writing despair, but he doesn’t really “do it” for me as a “heartthrob.” Matthew MacFadyn did, but I know most people feel the opposite.

I also adored this Mr. Collins. He WAS perfect.

But my favorite visual is that great gray horse Darcy gallops towards Elizabeth on!

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Hey, Keira, I do think this P&P was perfection but I also loved the movie P&P and LOVED MacFadyen. But I wasn’t comparing!

Todd
14 years ago

Just for variety, I am tempted to try to pick fault with this production…but unfortunately, I am so very honest by nature that I can’t! I loved it, just like everyone else. πŸ™‚

I think a tremendous advantage it had was that, as a miniseries, it was much more free to stick close to the book than any of theatrical versions. So a great deal of the humor could be included in its original form, and there was time for the romance to develop, for Elizabeth to be fooled by Wickham and then learn his true nature, for her to meet Darcy’s sister (the scene with the two of them at the piano is just beautiful), for Lydia’s disgrace, etc., etc. It’s really a very full novel, and this production had the time to do it justice.

Todd-who-must-join-the-chorus-of-praise

Todd
14 years ago

Mary Blayney wrote:

Ehle has a pleasing appearance but it is not close to beautiful until that merriment (good word)lights up her face.

Heresy! Jennifer Ehle not beautiful?! Never!!

Todd-who-is-fired-with-righteous-indignation

Megan Frampton
14 years ago

I thought Matthew McFaydn (sp? can never get that right) was pretty freaking hot.

Elena Greene
14 years ago

OK, I’m one who loved both Colin Firth and Matthew McFadyen in the role. Ther interpretations were different but that’s the art of acting and why it’s cool to have more than one production.

Elena who could be accused of a sad want of particularity in her fantasy men

Santa
14 years ago

I adore the 1995 version of P&P! Saw it before I read the book. (hanging head in shame) and I have to say, I adore all things Firth!! MacFayden was okay. And Jane, in that version, was more beautiful than Elizabeth. Wickham in the 2005 version was non-existant and I couldn’t figure out why.

I still get a thrill from the fact that I bought my CD set (in perfect condition) at a neighbor’s garage sale for $5.00!!!!! Um, is that wrong?

Cara King
14 years ago

I still get a thrill from the fact that I bought my CD set (in perfect condition) at a neighbor’s garage sale for $5.00!!!!! Um, is that wrong?

Heavens no, Santa! You rescued it from neglect, and gave it a home where it will be valued. What a noble act! πŸ™‚

Cara

Santa
14 years ago

And the best part is that my daughter wants to watch with me. It’s a legacy I’m creating I tell ya!

Michelle
14 years ago

I love this version too. I’m one of those folks who sees nothing redeeming in the recent movie version of P&P, so I still compare the ’95 version to the ’86 BBC version. I tend to think of the ’86 version as just a bit more “authentic” in its portrayal of the time visually – and I also prefer the secondary characters – on the whole – in the 86 version. The one big drawback to the ’86 version – for me – is that the guy playing Darcy is way too stiff and has no appeal for me. πŸ™‚

-Michelle

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

I’ll just add my bit…I loved the final chapter of wrapping up the series where Mr B. warns Lizzie against marrying a man she doesn’t love/respect. It was such a small little piece but vital in that Lizzie gets to express how she feels adamantly and passionately. It was these little inclusions that made this particular series so good in my opinion. They kept parts of the novel that could easily have been dismissed as unneccessary, but in reality quite important to the ‘truth’ of the story.

Cara King
14 years ago

They kept parts of the novel that could easily have been dismissed as unneccessary, but in reality quite important to the ‘truth’ of the story.

Good point! It’s these things that also add depth and texture to an adaptation, I think…

Cara

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

I love all things Austen. I adore both Ehle and Firth in their respective roles. I am addicted to both P&P, S&S and Persuasion in that I cannot get enough.

I must admit that I am astonished that no one commented about the “foundations” used by the characters Lizzie and Lydia. Were their bosoms on a shelf? The majority of actresses looked fine, but these two looked ridiculous at times.

Cara King
14 years ago

Thanks for sharing your opinion, Anonymous!

As to Elizabeth and Lydia’s stays — I may not have mentioned them here, but they were certainly noticed in my household. Ever since, we use the term “Jennifer Ehle cleavage” to describe such an effect. πŸ™‚

It never looked ridiculous to me, but I guess I was assuming they were using styles circa 1815 or so, at which time contemporary commenters complained about women’s breasts being shelf-like, and shoved up right under their chins. Perhaps I’ve seen enough Regency prints that the look almost seems normal for me…or might it be all the Renaissance Fairs I’ve attended??? πŸ™‚

Cara

Ritu
14 years ago

I have been a Jane Austen fan since I was a little girl. I had a theory that none of the adaptations for cinema could ever do justice to a good book. I watched the movie before coming across this mini-series and it only went to strengthen my bias against adaptations (prejudice? πŸ™‚ ). This version of P&P, however, has pleasantly surprised me. The magic of the period has been unfolded to the viewer with so much care. The actors were perfectly cast. I agree with all of you on that. I would just like to add – Kudos to the director for having done justice to the book – not a mean feat!

Cara King
14 years ago

This version of P&P, however, has pleasantly surprised me.

Oh, that’s interesting, Ritu! And good to know. It sort of confirms my feeling that this is one of the adaptations most likely to please those who find most such adaptations unsatisfying…

Cara

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

I have to say that I have fallen in love with Jane Austen’s novels all over again. I first read Pride & Prejudice as a young girl; and have seen the original movie with Greer Garson many times. But the 1995 adaptation is, in my opinion, the best of them all. The actors are perfect; it seems as if the roles were tailored made for them. I have the DVD and enjoy watching it. I cannot say enough about it!!

Cara King
14 years ago

it seems as if the roles were tailored made for them

So true, so true. It’s hard for me to imagine a better Lizzy & Darcy than Ehle & Firth!

Cara

Gloria Ortiz
Gloria Ortiz
14 years ago

My excitement continues as I re-read Pride and Prejudice. As I said in earlier comment: “I have to say that I have fallen in love with Jane Austen’s novels all over again. I first read Pride & Prejudice as a young girl; and have seen the original movie with Greer Garson many times. But the 1995 adaptation is, in my opinion, the best of them all. The actors are perfect; it seems as if the roles were tailored made for them. I have the DVD and enjoy watching it. I cannot say enough about it!!”

3/30/2008 7:53 PM

I find myself comparing notes with the 1995 adaptation and must say that the movie was true to the Novel; I am sure that Jane Austen would be proud!

I see Jennifer Ehle’s face when I read certain passages; I believe that I will always see the faces of these actors as I re-read Pride and Prejudice, for I can never become bored with it.

Cara King
14 years ago

I know what you mean about seeing certain actors’ faces, Gloria… Though for me, it’s Colin Firth, rather than Jennifer Ehle!

And when I re-read Persuasion, I now see Ciaran Hinds as Wentworth, too.

Hmm… Not sure why I do it for just the guys! πŸ™‚

Cara

Susan
14 years ago

Can anyone tell me why any or all of the movies entitled, Jane Eyre are listed with Jane Austen (b&n, amazon, etc.) It makes me crazy!

Cara King
14 years ago

Can anyone tell me why any or all of the movies entitled, Jane Eyre are listed with Jane Austen (b&n, amazon, etc.)

Hi, Susan! Sorry I didn’t reply right away — I was flying about the country sampling airport food. (Okay, that wasn’t my intent, but it sort of felt that way.) πŸ™‚

As to your question…do you mean, when you search on “Jane Eyre” at Amazon, why do Jane Austen works turn up?

If that’s the question, I think it’s due to Amazon’s software which tracks what people actually buy…I suspect they find that folks who search on Jane Eyre, often buy Jane Austen novels or movies… (I do think Amazon has an often bizarre system…as mysterious as a new religion, sometimes…) πŸ™‚

Cara

Tia
Tia
14 years ago

i love this version! it’s heaps better than the new one! my fav characters would have to be Lizzy or Darcy. my least fav would have to be Caroline, Louisa, Wickam and Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

Cara King
14 years ago

I agree, Tia! Definitely my favorite too.

Not that I dislike the recent one. But…this one is just a lot better! πŸ˜‰

Cara

Vieno Orvokki
Vieno Orvokki
14 years ago

I think the Pride and Prejudice of 1995 with Colin Firth was the best film of those I have seen since. I also think that Colin was excellant in the other films he has appeared in. He fits beautifully into the image that reading the Jane Austen and some of the other books from that timeless period in England.

Susan
14 years ago

Yes, Colin Firth does pull off the look of Pride and the act of prejudice quite well. He’s a very versatile actor, but I would love him if he stood still and read a phone book,Ah-ummmmmm!

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

I see no one’s commented since May. I hope it’s not too late for me.

I’d never read Jane Austen before I saw the 2005 movie on Showtime about 3 months ago, but it caught me and wouldn’t let me go. Then they hit me with Emma and Mansfield Park, and I was completely helpless. I downloaded the Gutenberg copies of the whole series and read them all, and went online to find the 2005 version for myself.

The reviews lauded the 2005 version, but said the 1995 series was even better, so I bought it from the A&E website. I’m in the middle of my 5th viewing :-). I’ve also just finished my 4th reading of the book (P&P). Is this heaven or prison :-)?

One big bone to pick with the 2005 version. I could put up with the cuts — you have to fit it into a reasonable one-sitting time, and I can accept that they would disagree with me on what to cut.

But the book clearly says the Longbourne estate generated L2000 a year! They were not poor! They were not personally involved in the estate business! There was no basis at all for the shabby atmosphere the 2005 producers invented.

Cara King
13 years ago

I see no one’s commented since May. I hope it’s not too late for me.

No, it’s never too late! πŸ™‚ We see all the new comments on any of our posts, which means all our discussions are always still open…

So…wow! In three months, you went from total Austen novice to having read all the novels and seen a bunch of the adaptations (including the A&E P&P five times)? That’s very impressive!

Is this heaven or prison :-)?

As long as Colin Firth’s Darcy is there, who cares??? πŸ˜‰

And I agree with you about the Bennets being portrayed as too poor in the 2005 version! I mean, exaggerating and simplifying to make it clear to a modern audience is all very well, but IMHO they went quite a bit too far!

Cara

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

Is this heaven or prison :-)?

As long as Colin Firth’s Darcy is there, who cares??? πŸ˜‰

Well, I’ve liked Firth since What a Girl Wants and (the one about the PhD au pair?), but, being male, I can enjoy him without the fluttering. I reserve that for Ehle and Harker :-).

And I agree with you about the Bennets being portrayed as too poor in the 2005 version!

Apparently I have to disagree even with you. They were not at all poor. They were quite well off, as long as Mr. Bennet lived; upon his death, they all became poor because of the entail. BBC/A&E got it exactly right.

Austen was a very subtle, but very tart, commentator on the situation women of her day faced.

John

Cara King
13 years ago

Well, I’ve liked Firth since What a Girl Wants and (the one about the PhD au pair?), but, being male, I can enjoy him without the fluttering. I reserve that for Ehle and Harker :-).

Ah…now that I see you’re named John, it makes sense!

Yes, my husband has a bit of a thing for Jennifer Ehle. And her corset. Which I can fully understand. πŸ™‚

So interesting to know you like Susannah Harker! We’ve had so many discussions here back and forth about whether or not she’s pretty enough for Jane Bennet…always useful to have a greater sampling of guy opinions!

Apparently I have to disagree even with you. They were not at all poor.

Ah, well, I guess my words weren’t chosen carefully enough… I was using “too poor” in the following sense:

(bizarre anecdote time):

When I was in 7th grade, my science teacher had us break into groups and judge how funny a list of jokes were on a scale of 1 to 5.

These jokes were so extremely unfunny, that we all knew he had written them. One student got up the courage to ask how to rate the funniness level if none of them were funny.

He told us that, in that case, “1” would be even more extremely unfunny than “2”…

And it is in that sense that the movie made the Bennets “too poor”…defined in this case as “not having as much wealth as they should have had”… πŸ™‚

Okay, yes, I’m reaching… πŸ˜‰

Cara

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

So interesting to know you like Susannah Harker! We’ve had so many discussions here back and forth about whether or not she’s pretty enough for Jane Bennet…always useful to have a greater sampling of guy opinions!

Well, I suppose mine is an idiosyncratic viewpoint, but so it was for Katharina and Bianca, too. Conventions change — especially fashion conventions — and a spectacular beauty in one age is a rather ordinary beauty in another.

Bear in mind that everyone also called Lizzy beautiful — just not up to Jane’s standard. Our conventions are a bit different.

But how does one understand “quite five times as beautiful” in any context? Jane was a fashionable beauty; Lizzy was an unfashionable beauty.

Ehle is a beautiful woman; Harker is a beautiful woman. Would anyone dispute that?

Harker is “quite five times as beautiful” as Ehle. Would anyone dispute that? I certainly would. So what? Is Lizzy’s playful statement meant to be definitive? It’s my reading that Darcy was of my opinion, too :-).

So I really can dispute only trying to specify levels of beauty, especially across a two hundred year difference in fashion.

Ah, well, I guess my words weren’t chosen carefully enough… I was using “too poor” in the following sense…

That explains it, then. I was wondering how your name could be so prominent in a couple of the sites that discuss the Regency standard of living, if you really meant what you said. I figured it must be that someone else also had your name, even though the possibility seemed vanishingly small.

By the way, I agree with maryblaney that Steadman did a fantastic job. You can’t trash her interpretation without trashing Austen’s text. πŸ™‚

John

Hermione Granger
13 years ago

When I think of pride and prejudice films,only 2 come to mind-the 1995 one and the 1940 one.I am one of those few who like the 1940 one v much.Austen was a comedic writer too,not many appreciated it and certainly no where was this comedic effect more illustrated than in the 1940 version,the movie was short and unlike the book in many ways but I laughed a good deal in the film.

the 1995 version is certainly my favourite-the cast was superb-from jennifer as lizzy to bamber as collins to julia as lydia.I really liked the whole plot smoothness too.I couldnt’ help noticing how accurate the men’s clothes were despite some of the women’s clothes that were not.
Overall the 1995 version had some new twists like the lake scene-grins* but the acting was so good,the script was good and the whole thing was faithful to Austen’s literary masterpiece.

Cara King
13 years ago

Thanks for sharing your take on it, Hermione! Oh, and I liked the 1940 one, too — especially Olivier’s performance!

I was wondering — which women’s costumes in the 1995 version did you find inaccurate?

Oh, and by the way, Hermione & John, I thought I’d mention that we’ve also independently discussed the 1940 P&P movie and the 2005 P&P movie — if you look at the main post for this discussion, you’ll see that right under my signature it says:

Labels: Austen, Jane Austen Movie Club, movies

If you click on “Jane Austen Movie Club,” then it will show you ALL our Jane Austen movie/TV discussions (plus discussions of a few non-Austen adaptations), include the 1940 P&P and the 2005 P&P. (Though you’ll have to scroll down a little — we’ve discussed a lot of movies!)

Cara

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

Oh, and by the way, Hermione & John, I thought I’d mention that we’ve also independently discussed …

Well, my views on the 1940 parody^h^h^h^h^h^h adaptation are probably not all that constructive, so I’ll pass on that. Thanks for the pointer, though; some of the others look interesting.

I wonder if anyone else was as upset as I with the 1995 series’s grossly premature revelation of Darcy’s role in Lydia’s reclamation. I have to wince every time I come to this part; reading the book, I still enjoy the shock along with Lizzy when Lydia lets slip his presence at the marriage — even after my 5th reading of the book, 6th viewing of the 1995 series, and now having bought and viewed once the 1985 BBC/ABC adaptation.

John

Gloria Ortiz
Gloria Ortiz
13 years ago

I’ve seen Colin Firth in a few movies since last commenting and feel that he can do no wrong! The 1995 version of P&P is the most authentic version of Jane Austen’s story. The costumes were authentic to the period. Although I enjoyed the 1940 version and loved the costumes – I found out later that the studio decided not to use the period dress. But Olivier and cast were wonderful.

Cara King
13 years ago

Gloria, I agree about Firth being fabulous in anything (including Mamma Mia — who knew he could sing??), and about Olivier being lovely in the earlier P&P!

Cara

SigrΓΊn DΓ³ra
13 years ago

I LOVE this version! Just plain adore it. Have it in two copies – the BBC 6 50 min episodes and a Greek subtitled version where each disc is 3 episodes without the titles…mmmmmmm. Colin is just YUMMY. I’ve been a fan since it aired here in ’96 and I must say it can do no wrong, although I dislike Wickham – but I always dislike him (maybe with the exception of LiA).
A British friend of mine read somewhere in a magazine that MMF was like a celery stalk in the 2005 version and I agree, he showed no emotion. I’m NOT gonna go into why I dislike ’05 so much cause that would take up pages and pages of ranting – but I’ll say that only the British movie ending was somewhat ok (the US one – since when does Lizzie have a foot fetish???). I saw no affection between Mr. B and Lizzie except in the last few minutes of the film whereas the whole of the series is loaded with affection between them. I agree with what so many have said that the Bennetts were portrayed as being way too poor in ’05 – and what’s with the pig?
The chemistry between ’95 D+L and J+B is much more evident than in ’05 and ’95 Collins is just awesome in his sleaziness πŸ™‚
Love Colin and I would PAY to hear him read the phone book – it would actually be hilarious to hear him read my phone book because of all the strange letters and letter combination’s.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a P&P without CF must be severely WRONG!