BLOG PARTY DAILY CONTEST! Comment on this post for the chance to win a copy of Elena Greene’s September release, LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE. (Comments may be posted through Saturday, January 14.)
I’m feeling very self-indulgent today. My New Year’s resolutions don’t allow me to pig out on chocolate, so I’ll treat myself and everyone to some eye-candy instead.
So here they are. As many cinematic Mr. Darcys as I could find. Enjoy!
Laurence Olivier (above left), playing Darcy opposite Greer Garson in the 1940’s version. Elegance and arrogance—almost (but not quite) good enough to distract me from the ridiculous leftover “Gone with the Wind” costumes worn by the actresses!
David Rintoul (right), playing opposite Elizabeth Garvie in the 1985 BBC production. I have to admit, he looked good but his acting was so very stiff, so haughty (not even softening much at the end) that I felt they could have substituted one of those lifesize cardboard figures (the sort you often see of Lord of the Rings characters, etc…)
Colin Firth (left), playing opposite Jennifer Ehle in the 1995 A&E version. The first Darcy to really work for me—kind of like my first love. What a gorgeous man, with such speaking eyes and such a sexy voice….
Ahem, moving along.
Orlando Seale (right), playing opposite Kam Heskin in “Pride & Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy” (2003). I once caught a few minutes of this Mormon reinterpretation, couldn’t watch it all, but it looked cute. As does he. If anyone has seen the whole movie, I’d love to hear your opinions!
Martin Henderson (left), starring with Aishwarya Rai in the Bollywood production “Bride & Prejudice” (2004). Intriguing, definitely on my “must rent sometime” list. Has anyone seen this? What did you think?
Matthew McFadyen (right), opposite Keira Knightley in the recent Working Title Films adaptation. Not a pretty boy, and a new interpretation of Darcy, showing a shyness and a vulnerability that I found very appealing. His performance grew on me even more on the second viewing of the film. I don’t know, Colin may just have to move over…
So who is your favorite Darcy? And why? The guest with the most original and/or passionate answer will win a copy of LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE.
Don’t forget you can still comment on the earlier posts to win books by Janet Mullany and Cara King. And be sure to enter the Treasure Hunt for a grand prize including books by all the Riskies!
LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE, 2005 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee
What a delicious birthday present! I must contemplate all this masculine beauty for a little before my brain can formulate a rationale for choosing just one…
Arrgh – no, don’t make me decide! I remember Rintoul as being gorgeous (I was in Grade 10 at the time and each week the show aired, we’d get together and sigh over him), but I don’t remember him being stiff. Hmmm.
And Colin Firth, well, he’s just lovely – no matter what role, and a thoroughly convincing Darcy.
Still, Matthew McFadyen works for me too. I’ve been a fan of his since seeing him in MI5. He brings a vulnerability to Darcy that makes me root for him, even when he’s being an idiot to Lizzy.
Hated the 1940 film and don’t think Olivier was right in the part and haven’t seen the others.
Hmmmm – my gut is telling me to go with McFadyen – mostly because he put such a unique twist on Darcy.
Happy birthday Amanda! Looking at gorgeous men makes me feel like it’s mine. 🙂
And Tess, I have trouble deciding too!
Dear Mr. McFadyen:
It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been selected as a Grand Prize Winner in the first ever Favorite Mr. Darcy contest, sponsored by me, the person or entity known as Mandacoll.
In years past, there has been little competition for this award, due in part to the overall excellence of previous winner, Mr. Colin Firth, whose performance in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice met with such delight and approval as to eclipse any and all other attempts at the role.
But in the spirit of open competition, and in an effort to broaden my Darcying horizons, I condescended to view your performance, Mr. McFadyen, and I am happy to inform you, I was favorably impresed. From your artfully-tousled hair, to your rain-soaked, open-collared shirts, I found your exterior to be as entrancing as your brooding, haunted interior.
Yes, perhaps it was a bit Bronte-esque for you to spend so much time charging across the darkening landscape, cape flying, delicious vee of skin at the neck exposed for all too see. And no, you did not say aloud the “fine eyes” line that has so enchanted readers and audiences since the first publication of Pride and Prejudice. But, Mr. McFadyen, it is you whose fine eyes radiate in this performance.
As the reigning Mr. Darcy, Colin Firth has fulfilled his role admirably. He has survived viewing after viewing without so much as a hint of fatigue, has continued to delight and thrill with his famous wet shirt scene, and in short has been everything one could want in a Mr. Darcy.
But, after ten years, it is time for Mr. Firth to pass the torch. And though my love for Mr. Firth will, to parapharase Celine Dion, go on and on, I must now announce the transfer of my affections from Mr. Firth, to, you.
Should you, Mr. McFadyen, for any reason be unable to fulfill your duties, Mr. Firth will as first runner up in this competition, resume the role of FMD.
Congratulations, Mr. McFadyen! I look forward to many happy hours giggling with my friends over you.
Mandacoll, lone judge of the 2006 Mandacoll’s Favorite Mr. Darcy Competition
I just saw two typos in my letter to McFadyen…hope he isn’t a stickler for detail…But who am I kidding, he’s Mr. Darcy. Of course he’s a stickler…oh well…maybe he’ll forgive me cause it’s my birthday…
Sadly…although I even took a Jane Austen in Film class in college, I’ve only seen the one with Colin Firth!
How come my college never offered a Jane Austen in Film class???? Sub-par institute, definitely. 🙂
I would have to vote for Mr. McFadyen, as well. Oh, that’s right, I don’t get a vote, but I’m making my voice heard anyway. And Bride and Prejudice is an adorable movie, Elena, you have to check it out!
Can I have them all in my stocking? Pretty please?
If I had to choose, I’d probably pick Colin Firth — though it’s been so long since I saw the Rintoul version that I don’t remember him very well at all! But Colin Firth has that restrained passion, that intelligence — oh yum. And he’s so lovely when embarrassed. 🙂
BTW, Elena, I saw “Bride and Prejudice” — and loved it! Great fun. And the guy who plays Sayid on the TV show “Lost” is the Bingley character (though his Bingley is a pleasingly intelligent Bingley!) I highly recommend it.
My choice is Matthew McFadyen. Look at those eyes and that pouty face. I think he wants Lady Kimberly to rescue him and make him smile. I have no doubt he would fulfil all of his duties.
I haven’t seen Mr. McFayden as Mr. Darcy, so I can only say that he’s seriously cute. However, I cast my vote for Colin Firth.
You know, I never thought anyone could top Firth . . . but right now, I’d vote for McFayden. Dish, dish, dish.
Mr. MacFayden, you know I voted for you as Grand Prize Winner, with those soulful eyes you portray vulnerability so well.
Sorry Lady Kimberly, dream on, I met Mr. MacFayden from his days at MI-5, and he’s been quite content to spend his days with Lady Pamela ever since.
But, does anyone remember him from Enigma with Kate Winslet and Dougray Scott and my boyfriend Jeremy Northam? He wore an eye patch…But he was hotter in MI5 and P&P…Mr. McF, I mean.
(Okay, Jeremy N. isn’t my bf but I did see him on stage once so we breathed the same air–it’s practically the same thing as being engaged, though by that same rationale Newt Gingrich is my boyfriend because I saw him in the airport once…eewww…stream of consciousness can lead to danger.)
Ingredients for an Ideal Mr. Darcy
* A touch of Lawrence Olivier’s aloofness. Oh, and I did love that pose in the confrontation scene with Elizabeth (otherwise known as the first marriage proposal) when he leans one arm against a column and puts the other hand behind his back. Sighs.
* A dash of David Rintoul’s dignity. So much of that attitude is classic Mr. Darcy. Nods in approval.
* A look of longing from Colin Firth. Come on, if you’ve seen the miniseries, you know which look I mean. Yes, it’s the one as he watches Elizabeth play the piano. Yes, that look. Heart goes pitter-pat.
* A walk through the mist by Matthew McFadyen. That walk is so amazing that I’m thinking of buying a mist-making machine. And of finding a man to reinact the walk. Frequently. Swoons.
Mandacoll — I must say, my dear boyfriend Jeremy Northam has never mentioned you…how very odd. 🙂 (BTW, don’t tell my husband about Jeremy! Husbands are so very odd about these things!)
Tut, tut, Lady Pamela! Laying claim to Mr. McFadyen so selfishly.
But I am worried. I have not seen or heard from our dear Bertie in several days…not since Lady Pamela so shamelessly invited him over.
No, no, my suspicions can’t be true. I won’t believe it! Bertie would never do anything that would muss the exquisite arrangement of his cravat.
He has probably just gone to the shops to search for some tolerable tea, or a better polish for his boots. Yes, that must be it.
Your secret is safe with me, Cara.
Jeremy probably didn’t tell you about me because he esteems me in very special ways…
Elena, I’d wondered about Bertie too. Hope he hasn’t gone on a repairing lease…
I am a Colin Firth fan. He is the essence of the Regency gentleman to me. What arrogance and grace, what beautiful soulful eyes. Sigh
I have watched this particular version of P&P so much I have lost count.
Though the other “Mr Darcys” are dreamy, it is Colin Firth who shall always be “my” Mr Darcy.
Oh, how delightful! I am missed when I am away! How that does soothe a man’s pride.
All these references to Miss Jane Austen, and her novel Pride and Prejudice, intrigued me…and so I have been off reading the work.
Delicious…but frightening. Do you know, I have an Aunt who is exactly like Lady Catherine de Bourgh? Always at me, too. “Bertram, stop lolling about! Bertram, do not Dare eat the Last Biscuit! Bertram, you are Too Old to fritter away your time like this. I insist you join the Army and get your clothes dirty. Bertram, what is that Thing you have about your neck? Bertram, sit up straight. Bertram, stop studying your reflection–you are insufferably vain.”
So whoever might be the best Mr. Darcy, I have pity for them all. Aunts like that are not to be sneezed at. (They invariably lecture you for hours if you do so.)
Hmm. I observe that Mr. Northam seems to have a woman in every port. One might confuse him with Ioan Gruffudd. And yet neither of them, to my knowledge, has ever played Mr. Darcy.
Very fond of the new P&P with Keira Knightley and Matthew McFayden, as well as the one with Colin Firth and my girlfriend Jennifer Ehle–I once saw her on the stage, we breathed the same air, hence she is my girlfriend, though by that standard Jesse Jackson is also my girlfriend, my God you’re right, Mandacoll, this stream of consciousness thing is for the birds–and I also quite liked Bride and Prejudice, with its singing and dancing Mr. Bingley–so sad about him being lost in that plane crash.
I see the beginnings of a fantastic reality show: “Who Wants to Marry Mr. Darcy.” Pardon me while I run off and secure the television rights.
I like this new rule! I guess the breathing-the-same-air thing makes Ralph Fiennes my boyfriend too! Yum!
Bertie, come visit again anytime you need another respite from all that lecturing…we had such an enjoyable time.
Welcome back, Bertie! You were truly missed.
Despite the fact that you have not told us where you were (and indeed, I do not wish to pry), and despite the insinuations of a Person Who Shall Not be Named, I continue to hold with the belief that you were shopping for tea.
Tough choice. I would have to vote for M. MacFadyen for Mr. Darcy. He won me over with his passionate proposal in the rain, which is not very Austen-like, but it was terribly hot. My boyfriend Ralph Fiennes (we once did the do-si-do on our way to the bathroom at the Royal Court which makes him my boyfriend, although that would make Donald Trump my boyfriend as well since we also breathed the same air at one point)
Talk about cliffhangers! Your boyfriend Ralph Fiennes what? (Or, I should say, MY boyfriend Ralph Fiennes what???) 🙂
Who knew the boyfriend game would become such a smash hit? But don’t get me started on Ioan Gruffudd. Though we’ve never breathed the same air, I do greatly esteem him…
Love the reality show idea, Todd. I’d watch…
Like Cara, I am on the edge of my keyboard to know what happened between Elizabeth and Ralph…
Bertie, what exactly does “away” mean?
Sorry, Mandacoll, but as a gentleman, I couldn’t possibly tell you where (or with whom) “away” was… Though I am delighted that you care enough to ask.
Of course, you must keep your little gentlemanly pursuits to yourself, Bertie. You wouldn’t want to scandalize the ladies…
Certainly not. That might lead to being rapped with fans, which can leave unfortunate marks on one’s coat-sleeve.
My favorite Darcy is Colin Firth. He is just as I imagined Mr.Darcy should be. He seems proud and distant, but in the inside he is full of passion and feels things intensively. I really love how he can put so much emotion in a single glance, without words. When he looks at Lizzy, his heart is in his eyes.
I haven’t seen the last P&P yet, so I can’t tell about Matthew McFayden. He looks cute in the pictures 🙂
I also liked Martin Henderson, but not as much as Colin. And I found Bride and Prejudice very enjoyable too. It’s funny and just “different”, but I like it a lot.
I’m going to pick Colin Firth. I think he is very handsome and a wonderful actor.
The official results of this very unofficial poll (as far as I can tally them, so many of us had trouble choosing):
The award for Overall Favorite Mr. Darcy goes to Mr. Matthew McFadyen of the Mist.
Honorable Mention goes to Mr. Colin Firth of the Wet Shirt.
I’ve used this simile before, but for me, this has been like choosing between chocolate with hazelnuts and chocolate with raspberries. In either case the operative word is “yum.”