Pride & Prejudice: your favorite version?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by manleywoman, May 23, 2012.

  1. Tesla

    Tesla Whippet Good

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    I own the 2005 version. I originally watched it borrowed from the library and just didn't like it but then I bought it cheaply from Wal*Mart. I don't watch it very often though. Certainly no where near as often as the 1995 version. I just don't think it works as an adaptation of the novel. I have to watch it as something unrelated, otherwise, I get annoyed with it. :p

    I own both versions of Sense and Sensibility. The Emma Thompson version has some very good performances. I love the way she cuts down Lucy, and Kate Winlet's Marianne was quite the selfish brat! She did a good job. I just like how the BBC version is a bit more faithful, plus the setting is simply gorgeous. I love love love the images of the sea. :swoon:
  2. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

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    I think that this is a more recent definition. In Jane Austen's world, Emma does not consider Robert Martin, who is explicitly called "a gentleman farmer", a good enough match for her friend Harriet who is the illegitimate child of unknown parents and she tells Harriet that she couldn't visit her if she married him. In Persuasion, Mary prefers to wait outside in the damp rather than step into the home of the Hayter family, even though they are her husband's cousins.


    I don't know who those people are but I don't agree with their opinion.

    Speaking of Persuasion, I simply adore the 1996 BBC movie. IMO it is one of the best novel adaptations in terms of translating the spirit of the novel. The acting, the script, the music - it was all perfect.

    Also, the way that the actors did not wear make-up was very refreshing. In adaptations such as the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, of course the characters are not supposed to wear make-up, so they can't use eyeliners or mascara, but they make heavy use of foundation, blush and lipstick. In Persuasion I enjoyed seeing the real skins of the characters, the beautiful differences in their complexions. They looked like real people! I wish this were the case in more movies.
  3. AYS

    AYS Cruder than you thought

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    Robert Martin is the only character Austen ever describes as a gentleman farmer. Mr. Bennet is landed gentry, albeit owner of an estate that is very small and not lucrative by Pemberley standards. The reason Elizabeth is considered really an inappropriate match for Darcy, aside from being much less wealthy, was because her mother did not come from the landed gentry (ie, Mrs. Bennet's father wasn't a gentleman).

    Mr. Bennet's estate would have been farmed, but definitely not by him, by his tenants, whom he theoretically oversaw - but he was probably fairly negligent in that respect, just as he was with his family - in contrast to Darcy or Knightley, for example, who are portrayed as conscientious landowners. Particularly Knightley was very involved in the operations of his estate (meeting with William Larkins all the time to discuss crops, etc), but he was definitely not a gentleman farmer. Bennet, Darcy, Knightley, etc were all, in fact, squires, which is defined simply as the chief landowner in a district. They didn't do the physical work, they owned the land that was worked.
  4. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    In that fabulous scene between Lady Catherine DeBerg (sp?) and Elizabeth in the 1995 Colin Firth version, Elizabeth states very clearly that she considers herself to come from the same sphere as Darcy. She says something to the effect that he is a gentleman and she is a gentleman's daughter therefore they are equal. Now, quite clearly, from a monetary standpoint they were not. Also, Darcy's mother was a Lady and Elizabeth's was nothing close. That said, I think that supports the idea the Mr. Bennet was landed gentry, albeit not very wealthy. He also, as they say, made a very unfortunate match.
  5. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe Mr. Bennet farmed, so while he was a gentleman, I don't think he was a gentleman farmer.

    Is Mr. Bennet the chief landowner, though? Or is it Sir William Lucas? I'm not sure it's specifically mentioned.

    Did Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Darcy's mother make (relatively) poor matches? Their titles indicate that they were at least the daughters of an Earl, but Lady Catherine married a Sir (so at most a baronet) and her sister married a Mister.

    The main objection to Elizabeth would have been that she had family members who were in trade, and yes, they were all from Mrs. Bennet's side of the family tree. The description that comes to mind re Mr. Bennet is that his blood was a rather rural shade of pale blue.
  6. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Lady Catherine's main objection to Elizabeth was that she, Lady Catherine, had an unmarried daughter of marriageable age. ;)
  7. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and she considered her daughter to be engaged to Mr. Darcy, even though it more of a hope shared by two mothers when their children were very young. Interesting how marriage to a first cousin was considered quite acceptable. Nowadays that would be considered quite odd.

    I always thought that Lady Catherine had married Mr. Darcy's uncle ie. Mr. Darcy's mother's brother, and that is how she became a Lady.
  8. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Austen explains that Sir William did well in trade, made a decent amount of wealth and became a town official thus getting his title which I believe it is noted was not one that would be passed down to his heirs. After being titled, he purchased an estate to live up to the title. It is therefore not likely that he is the principal landowner in the area.

    Mr. Bennet seems to own land, the farming of that land is specifically mentioned when Lizzy cannot have the carriage or a horse to go to Jane when she is ill at Bingley's residence. Mr. B says the horses are needed for the farming. His fortune is modest but does exist. The problem is the entailment which means that it cannot be used for dowries for his daughters or the support of his widow--it must be reserved for a male heir. Only the small dowry Mrs. B brought into her marriage is available for the girls. Thus, even though Mr. B has a profitable estate, the girls are technically poor in terms of what they can bring into a marriage. He notes late in the book that he has not managed the cash available to him well or he would have set aside money for them. He explains that he never bothered in the hope that there would be a son eventually.

    Lady Catherine is the sister of Darcy's mother. Her concern is not only marrying off her daughter, but with keeping the family fortunes in the form of the two estates firmly in the family.
  9. AYS

    AYS Cruder than you thought

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    William Lucas was in trade before being elevated to the knighthood, he is not a landowner. He left his business and bought "Lucas Lodge" after his knighthood (and "Lucas Lodge" was Austen being snarky about his pretensions). He has no estate.

    Lady Anne would have been considered as marrying "down" but Darcy (senior) was extremely wealthy and his fortune and land was generations old, which apparently makes up for the lack of title (as opposed to Bingley, whose father had just become extremely wealthy one generation ago, and who is trying to break into the landed gentry business).

    Lewis de Bourgh was of the nobility (he was Sir Lewis, which had to be his own title, he wouldn't have gotten Lady Catherine's).
  10. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    No, Lady Anne Darcy and Lady Catherine De Bourgh were sisters.

    Also, if she'd gotten the "lady" by marriage, she wouldn't have been known as Lady Catherine but as Lady [Husband's title/name] (depending on whether her husband had a title or not).

    Sir Lewis was not a peer; at most he was a baronet. If I'm not mistaken, this means that he was landed gentry.
  11. Peaches LaTour

    Peaches LaTour New Member

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    IMO there is only one version and that is the production with Firth/Ehle.
  12. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    This.
  13. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    On the subject of “Gentleman” and “Gentleman-Framer”. My compilation of information over a period of time lead me to believe that “Gentleman” in the early 19th century England (due to industrialization and following the French Revolution) the use of the term expanded from the original “a person of noble descent”. I found a good article to demonstrate it, instead of paraphrasing (alas, out of Wiki)… :D
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgian_society_in_Jane_Austen's_novels

    Gentleman-Framer, I thought, has two meanings in the 19th century Europe/England

    - A gentleman, with wealth and/or other sources of income, who lives in rural area by choice and farms or owns a farm for pleasure/hobby.

    - A gentleman, who derives most or all of his income from agricultural/farming activities, may or may not over-see or manage the work on the land, may or may not permanently reside on the land. Similar to plantation owner.
  14. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    I am so familiar with P&P (and some other classics) that I actually like it when the filmaker takes a new approach or changes the period. I thought it was great that the latest Jane Eyre started the tale at the Rivers house and told the story through flashback and dreams instead of the usual linear progression.

    I have the 1940's version of P&P, the 1995 miniseries, Bride and Prejudice, and the 2005 version. I like them all for different reasons.
    I've never seen the 1980 one.

    I bought the Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds "Persuasion" out of the bargain bin. I thought that one was actually better than the book. The actors made the characters more interesting.
  15. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    While I don't object to deliberate "changing the period" or setting for creative reasons, I do object to blatant historical inaccuracies or anacronysms that are obviously just errors or laziness.

    And of course changing the setting depends largely on the execution. Some re-settings of Shakespeare, or Gilbert & Sullivan, for example, are hugely successful; others fall completely flat or just feel wrong.

    IKWYM about mixing up a familiar story for the sake of variety, too. I went to a recent production of The Importance of Being Earnest where the director decided to use a lot of (additional) humour -- inspired largely by the comic genius of the actor playing Jack. Many local critics (and audience members, no doubt), were outraged that the director would dare to think he could improve on Wilde's writing. But because I'd seen the play, and studied it, sooo many times, I thought it was completely brilliant.
  16. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    :respec: x100!
    I will also add after "laziness": "or any altering of any sort to please the current audience".
  17. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    I just looked up the running time of this version (226 minutes) vs. the 1995 BBC version (300 minutes). My impression is that the 1980 mini-series is the most faithful to the Austen book? I may be a wee bit biased when it comes to this adaptation because Rintoul sent me an autographed photo in response to a fan letter I wrote. :swoon: I enjoyed Elizabeth Garvie's spirited portrayal of Lizzie, too.
  18. Spiralgraph

    Spiralgraph Active Member

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    Oh this is a difficult choice for me, but by a whisker I prefer the 1995 Ehle/Firth version of P & P. Jennifer Ehle is terrific as Lizzie, and Colin Firth is very, very amiable.. :D

    I also love the 1980 version though and I prefer the Mrs Bennet of this one, because, as a previous poster said, Mrs Bennet from 1995 was too over the top for me.

    I own both versions and watch both often. :) I have seen the KK movie and it's okay but it doesn't excite me at all.
  19. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    Yes, another vote for 1980 P&P, low-budget camera work and all.

    Re: 2005 P&P: if you're looking for a faithful portrayal of the novel, you'll come away disappointed. The heroine is too pert, the hero too plain, the important scenes too short, and the ending too rushed. The last 30 minutes is a mad dash towards the finishing line -- where the hero and heroine kiss.

    But if you expect a slightly modern rendition of the tale, you'll enjoy it. Though some dialogues sound like a hasty cut and paste job by the sreenwriter, the cinematographer lets the scenes speak for themselves, and the pauses and glances between the dialogues captures a humor not conveyed in the other P&P versions. The dialogues are deliberately set in different settings to give the movie a different feel, thus saving the movie from unfavorable comparisons.

    Of all the four P&P's, Matthew MacFadyen is probably the least convincing Mr. Darcy. David Rintoul (1985 BBC version) is still unparalleled with his perfect display of reserved dignity. Haven't found a perfect Lizzy yet, though Eliz. Garvie is pretty close to what I have in mind

    I'm so jealous. :swoon:
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  20. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    Did not like the Willoughby in the newest S&S. He's kind of, well, froggy-looking. Just ewww.

    Okay, to stir the pot: Who else was REALLY annoyed by the 1999 film adaptation of Mansfield Park? They made Fanny into this confident person who was secretly a writer. And who DID get engaged to the cad/scumbag and even KISSED him! Instead of the shy, self-effacing character with enough intelligence to see that Henry Crawford is a louse--y'know, how the character was actually written by Austen. I got the idea that the movie writer didn't like Mansfield Park or the character of Fanny and just wrote the film she wanted to write instead of actually adapting the book.
  21. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    Very cool. Have your framed it?

    I agree. My biggest objection (if I'm thinking of the right version) is the bed scene. A BED SCENE? In a Jane Austen movie? I don't care if it wasn't the main character. My jaw dropped and I was disgusted with everything else.
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  22. cailuj365

    cailuj365 New Member

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    I confess that I really enjoyed the "Mansfield Park" 1999 adaptation when I saw it, but I hadn't read the book at the time. When I did read the book, I kept waiting for certain parts to happen, which of course never did. It's a nice movie, but "Mansfield Park" it is not. I tried to watch the 2007 ITV adaptation recently, but the actor who plays Edmund also plays Mr. Elton in the Romola Garai version of "Emma," and I just couldn't unsee him as Elton.
  23. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    Color me annoyed and then some. I HATED that adaptation. "Who thought THAT was a good idea?" must have popped into my head about twenty times while I watched it.
  24. AYS

    AYS Cruder than you thought

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    It really peeved me! I adore MP and actually love the character of Fanny (though it wouldn't surprise me if the person that did this screenplay didn't, apparently many don't).
  25. Latte

    Latte Well-Known Member

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    YES! Colin Firth was the perfect Darcy, and the rest of the cast were far above the newer one in being faithful to the book.
    But, I must say, Mrs. Bennitt was way over the top in that one.:rolleyes:
  26. JJH

    JJH Well-Known Member

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    The 1980 BBC production (video released 1985) is by far my favorite. I think one of the most difficult aspects of adapting a period novel is capturing the right tone and the voice of the author. If you haven't seen this production, but have Netflix, you can watch it tonight.
  27. iamawake2

    iamawake2 Member

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    Is there somewhere I can watch the 1995 version of PP? I'm not really interested in purchasing the dvd.
  28. JJH

    JJH Well-Known Member

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    Your local library might have it
  29. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    *raises hand* That was extremely annoying.

    I didn't know Romola Garai did "Emma". I should look for it on Netflix.
  30. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    Most of it is on Youtube. So is the 1980 version.
    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  31. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    The 1980 version starring David Rintoul and Elizabeth Garvie remains my favorite version as well. It is the first 'P & P' version I had ever seen and indeed it is through this production that I came to know and love Jane Austen and her great works. Rintoul and Garvie will forever remain my quintessential "Darcy and Elizabeth". :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADA4YTsu-kI

    OT but has anyone read any books based on Jane Austen's novels? I read "Mr. Darcy's Daughters" some years ago and I've been considering purchasing "Christmas at Pemberley" which has gotten some good reviews on Amazon. :cool:

    Back OT must admit I fell asleep in the theatre during the 2005 version. To be fair it was after a long day at work but I was eager to see yet another version of "P & P" on the big screen. I woke up towards the end and it still didn't hold much of my interest. I do like Donald Sutherland and have enjoyed his work but he seemed miscast as did frankly every one else. I didn't like that a respectable upper middle class family would look as if they were practically living in a barn with the animals. Their household had a decidely 'grubby' unwashed look. I think Jane Austen would have been appalled to have the Bennetts portrayed in such a manner.

    I did enjoy the 2005 version. Colin Firth was awesome as Mr. Darcy. Jennifer was miscast as Lizzie imo. First of all I didn't think she was pretty enough and I couldn't see anything of her 'eyes' that Mr. Darcy would have admired. Her portrayal was absolutely smug. Very annoying. I love this version IN SPITE of her.
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  32. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    My favorite P&P sequel is still Pemberley Shades
  33. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    Thank you-I must look that version up! :)
  34. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    Believe it or not, I first found Pemberley Shades years and years ago in the English section of a library in China. :eek: That was before it was reissued.
  35. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    An old maid with a thirteen-year-old sister (played by a twelve-year-old actress). :shuffle:

    I'm sure that such age differences between siblings were not unheard of during the Regency period, but I'm also sure that the filmmakers expected the audience to accept the casting without questioning it. The problem (for me) is that I do question it. But then, my reaction when watching the scene in the Venice Catacombs in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was "There aren't any catacombs in Venice, and there aren't for several reasons!" :p
  36. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Think about life expectancy at the time.
  37. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    (just for the record: in Venice there are no catacombs as in "burial chambers". But there are underground passages in several buildings, Doge's Palace underground prison, Dogana's basements which are now considered for exhibition space, and several other buildings and churches have passages and chambers below the water level. most of them lined with Istrian Stone which can hold water pressure).
  38. sleepypanda

    sleepypanda Member

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    BBC! But, I did enjoy watching the 2005 film too... the second time around haha. The first time I watched it, I feel asleep part way through... oops!

    For anyone interested in a vlog (video blog) style modern interpretation of Pride & Prejudice, I suggest checking out the Lizzie Bennet Diaries over on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/lizziebennet). I think it's pretty well done!

    Episode 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KisuGP2lcPs
  39. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    A woman in her mid-twenties might also have been considered on the shelf. But it's not that far-fetched for siblings to have a large age gap between them - for instance, in my family, my mom is 14 years older than her brother - especially in a time when many people married young and there was no reliable method of birth control. Remember that Darcy in P&P is 12 years older than his sister.

    Life expectancy in the early 19th century would have lower than today, but that's because of the relatively large number of deaths in infancy. For someone who survived childhood, life expectancy would have been closer (though of course lower) to today's. So I don't think it would have been related to expectations regarding marriage.

    Well, I read Bridget Jones's Diary and P&P and Zombies. Do those count?
  40. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    That's to illustrate what a silly snob Emma is, and how naive she is to think that everyone is as privileged as she is. Robert Martin is actually marrying up for Harriet.

    The BBC "Emma" is fantastic. Garai is wonderful (and I hated her in "Atonement") and Jonny Lee Miller :swoon: I never really liked the Paltrow Emma. Though the BBC Emma's Harriet is a total ripoff of the 1996 actress.

    I'm just watching Little Dorrit now (so far, very good). Matthew Macfayden :grope: He's why I prefer the 2005 P&P, though it certainly has its flaws. The cinematography and score are stunning. I always thought Ehle rather prim and smug.

    BBC's Tom Jones from the late 90s is a personal favorite. It was serialized on A&E when my family was on vacation in Florida and we watched it every night.
    Last edited: May 25, 2012