Welcome to the Jane Austen Movie Club!
We here at Risky Regencies love to talk about movie and TV adaptations of Regency-era novels…and today we’re talking about the 1980 BBC version of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE! (Also known as “the one with David Rintoul.”)
I watched this adaptation first when I was a teenager, and then again a decade later. The first time, I had already read the novel (at least once), but no other Austen. I recall liking it all right, but not being thrilled with it.
The second time, I had read all of Austen’s novels at least twice, but not seen many adaptations of her works. My housemate (the oft-mentioned book-goddess Heather) and I started putting on Regency “teas” — casual affairs where we would watch Austen adaptations and try out period recipes (I had a little trouble with the orange fool, but the syllabub was delicious.)
I recall our friend Jack (a Jane Austen Ball veteran — when he dances a Trip to Paris, all the kittens run and hide so they don’t get stepped on!) recommended this adaptation when we had our Pride and Prejudice tea — if I recall correctly, he particularly liked David Rintoul’s interpretation of Darcy.
I know I did like this version better that time than I had when I’d first seen it. Was it my greater knowledge of Austen, or of the period? Or was it the wine in the syllabub? Only Jane Austen knows!
I have now watched this adaptation a third time, so let the discussion begin!
To aid the discussion, I’ve listed the major credits below; tidbits about where else you may have seen the actor are in italics.
DIRECTOR: Cyril Coke
SCREENPLAY: Fay Weldon
Sabina Franklyn: Jane Bennet
Elizabeth Garvie: Elizabeth Bennet
Garvie appeared as Diana Rivers in the 1997 version of JANE EYRE (the one with Ciaran Hinds.)
Tessa Peake-Jones: Mary Bennet
Peake-Jones played Bridget Allworthy in the 1997 TOM JONES.
Clare Higgins: Kitty Bennet
Natalie Ogle: Lydia Bennet
Moray Watson: Mr. Bennet
David Rintoul: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy
Regency fans will also have seen Rintoul as Dr. Clive, ship’s surgeon on two episodes of the recent HORNBLOWER series.
Osmund Bullock: Mr. Bingley
Marsha Fitzalan: Caroline Bingley
Jennifer Granville: Mrs. Hurst
Edward Arthur: Mr. Hurst
Irene Richard: Charlotte Lucas
Richard played Elinor in the 1981 SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, and Mrs. Fitzherbert in the 1996 A ROYAL SCANDAL.
Peter Howell: Sir William Lucas
Peter Settelen: Mr. Wickham
Andrew Johns: Capt. Denny
Michael Lees: Mr. Gardiner
Barbara Shelley: Mrs. Gardiner
Moir Leslie: Anne de Bourgh
Judy Parfitt: Lady Catherine de Bourgh
Emma Jacobs: Georgiana Darcy
Elizabeth Stewart: Lady Lucas
Desmond Adams: Col. Fitzwilliam
So…what did you think? And if you haven’t seen it recently, how well did you like it when you last saw it?
All answers welcome!
And come back the first Tuesday of next month, when we’ll be discussing the film MASTER AND COMMANDER!
Cara King, who can’t think of anything clever to put in her sig line