Welcome to the Risky Regencies JANE AUSTEN MOVIE CLUB!

Here we dish, dissect, debate, deride, and drool over various dramatic adaptations of Jane Austen’s works.

Today: the ITV/A&E version of EMMA from 1996. (You may have noticed there were actually two Emmas in 1996 — this is the Kate Beckinsale version.)

To aid the discussion, here are the major credits (with trivia in green):

DIRECTOR: Diarmuid Lawrence

Lawrence directed the 1987 BBC miniseries of VANITY FAIR.

SCREENPLAY: Andrew Davies

The much-celebrated Davies wrote the screenplays for the 2008 SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, the 2007 NORTHANGER ABBEY, the 1998 miniseries of VANITY FAIR, and (most famously) the 1995 PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.


Kate Beckinsale — Emma Woodhouse

Mark Strong — Mr. Knightley

Bernard Hepton — Mr. Woodhouse

Hepton played Sir Thomas Bertram in the 1983 miniseries of MANSFIELD PARK.

Samantha Bond — Mrs. Weston

Bond is another veteran of the 1983 MANSFIELD PARK; she played Maria.

James Hazeldine — Mr. Weston

Samantha Morton — Harriet Smith

Morton played Sara Coleridge in the movie Pandaemonium (2000); Sophie in the 1997 television miniseries of TOM JONES; and Jane in the 1997 JANE EYRE.

Olivia Williams — Jane Fairfax

Williams recently played Jane Austen in the television movie MISS AUSTEN REGRETS.

Prunella Scales — Miss Bates

Here’s one I haven’t seen, but wish I could! Prunella Scales played Lydia in the 1952 BBC miniseries of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. (Has anyone ever seen this version? It starred Peter Cushing as Darcy!)

Sylvia Barter — Mrs. Bates

Raymond Coulthard — Frank Churchill

Dominic Rowan — Mr. Elton

Lucy Robinson — Mrs. Elton

Robinson appeared in another Davies-scripted Austen: she was Mrs. Hurst in the 1995 miniseries of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

Guy Henry — John Knightley

Dido Miles — Isabella Knightley

Peter Howell — Mr. Perry

Judith Coke — Mrs. Goddard

Alistair Petrie — Robert Martin

So….what did you think??? How did the script work for you? The casting? Or anything else?

All opinions welcome!

And join us next Tuesday, when we discuss the new adaptation of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY!

Cara King, who rarely scolds puppies, and never talks about her caro sposo in public