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Pride & Prejudice: your favorite version?

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

  1. zippy

    zippy Active Member

    I just can't get behind the BBC version because I constantly want to smack Ehle. She just rubbed me the wrong way; smug is a good word for it (or simpering?). If only Colin Firth had thrown her into the lake I'd have liked it better. Keira Knightley fits my vision of Lizzy better, since she's described in the book as lively and having a light frame from all her walking. I know the BBC version is supposed to be closer to getting in each minute plot point from the book and purists like it better for that reason, but if I want something as close to the book as possible, I just... read the book. I like film adaptations to bring the pretty and the drama. I think the 2005 version does well with both of those things, great scenery, and the tension in that scene in the rain!
  2. AYS

    AYS I'd rather have a pug for my president

    No contest whatsover, the BBC/A&E Firth/Ehle version, so many fabulous touches. It is one of the great adaptations of all time and just a great production. There were many aspects of the Knightly version that really missed the Austen mark, although I will admit, viewed independently, it was a lush and beautiful production.

    Agree with the above "as told by the Brontes" for the Knightly version. Austen was "classical"; the Brontes were "romantic".
  3. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

    I'm going to get :lynch: for this, but whichever one is shortest. P&P is the most boring, overrated book ever written. :eek:

    That said I'm a sucker for period movies and costumes and love me some Colin Firth, so I did enjoy both the Kiera Knightly and BBC versions for that aspect.
    Matryeshka and (deleted member) like this.
  4. znachki

    znachki Active Member

    Artemis - GET OUTTA MY HEAD!!! :lol: I'm reading down this thread and I get to your post. You said everything about why the 1980 version is my favorite too!
  5. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

    Persuasion is the most perfect adaptation of an Austen novel to my feeling. I'm not sure if they were older, though. This is the one book where the characters are older - isn't Anne supposed to be 29? In order for Captain Wentworth to be a captain, he might be quite a bit older as well.

    Back to Pride and Prejudice - I come back to my favorite scenes in each.

    1995 - The first proposal scene by Darcy is about as perfect as you can get. I also love the scene where Elizabeth receives the letters from home.

    2005 - The scenes with Elizabeth out on the rocks in her travels with her uncle and aunt are wonderfully evocative.

    1940 - There is a scene when Darcy comes to propose (at the end) where Olivier sort of tosses his gloves into his hat. It's a wonderful snippet. The whole film has such a lightness to it that is very fun.

    1980 - I especially like the scenes at Pemberly. Rintoul, as Darcy, softens - but just a touch. The half-smile is nice.

    Several posters have mentioned the manner of living in the 2005 version. Mr. Bennett would most likely have been a sort of gentleman farmer. The mud and and lack of landscaping are probably accurate - as would be the housekeeping. Movies have given us an idea of those times that is not really accurate. The Bennetts were higher class but not that high class and Darcy was wealthy, but not titled.
  6. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    (... quietly tip-toes out of znachki's head ...)
  7. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Past Prancer's Corridor

    Keira Knightley P&P: Pride & Prejudice ... & Purple Passion. :lol: Those who describe it is P&P as written by Charlotte Bronte are right on the money. My niece (who is another Austen fan) and I were both :yikes: and :lol: at some of the scenes. Do I remember a rain storm? Do I remember a late night tryst? I don't know -- I have manged to expunge much from my memory. :p

    The 1995 BBC version :swoon: is my favorite by far, although the 1980 one with David Rintoul and Elizabeth Garvie does have its merits (and is much, much better than the 2005 KK one). The only think lacking from the 1995 P&P is one of my favorite scenes from the book, when Elizabeth breaks the news of her engagement to her mother. (I can't believe so many people dislike/detest Jennifer Ehle's Elizabeth, much less that they prefer KK's interpretation!)

    Those of you who have not seen the most recent (2009) S&S, I can recommend it to you very highly. I can't guarantee that you will like/love it, but I prefer it to the Emma Thompson/Ang Lee version. I keep wanting to get it on DVD -- a friend of mine was taping all the Austen fest broadcasts on PBS and managed to only record one of the two parts of S&S -- although she captured all of the others.

    ETA: Agree with those who feel that the 1995 Persuasion is just about a perfect adaptation. I love that film!
  8. cailuj365

    cailuj365 Well-Known Member

    I thought the Knightley version was a good Hollywood movie, but to me, it really relies much too heavily on evocative visuals, including the pretty casting. One thing I really detested about it was the first proposal scene in the pouring rain. Ugh, how cliche. Let it storm and thunder to make it seem all the more dramatic and emotional. Then, there was that final proposal scene with the sunlight romantically coming through behind them...seriously? Give me a break.

    In contrast, the first proposal scene in the 1995 version was done in a small sitting room flooded with sunlight with birds chirping happily in the background. The acting had to be top notch, and it was. The stark silence when he asks her to be his wife was louder than any thunderstorm, IMO.
  9. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Past Prancer's Corridor

    So there WAS a rain storm. :lol: That scene was straight out of Wuthering Heights, so perhaps it was Emily and not Charlotte Bronte's screenplay.
  10. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    I like the slightly more favorable view of Lizzy's mother and friend in the movie. One of the best lines in a movie ever was Mrs Bennet turning to Elizabeth and saying: " Tell me Elizabeth my dear, when you have five daughters of your own, what else will occupy your thoughts, and then perhaps you'll understand".
  11. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    I just remember the godawful leer that Donald Sutherland gives Brenda Blethyn at the end. The Bennet parents enjoying conjugal bliss - not! Austen makes that quite clear in the book.

    Another wholehearted vote for Persuasion - the most perfect little jewel box of a movie.
  12. KHenry14

    KHenry14 Well-Known Member

    BTW, I can't think of another book/movie comparison that evokes such emotion in people. FSU is a good example of how people line up on all sides and hold their opinion so dearly. And in a way, that's a good thing.

    I also forgot to mention that the 1940 version always bothered me because the costumes are just so wrong. Didn't anyone looks a pictures from that era before they filmed the movie?
  13. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member


    That really bothers me too. I saw one of the actresses talking about it on TCM. She said that the director or producer or someone, I forget who, loved the visual of Mrs. Bennet billowing along like a ship in full sail with all her daughters following, and couldn't get the same effect with those nightgown-like dresses that would have been truer to the period. But the costumes always yank me right out of that film whenever I try to watch it.
  14. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Past Prancer's Corridor

    Yes, but I think that the costumes were chosen because the crinoline era look was so much more extravagant (what with enormous skirts and sleeves) than the restrained muslin empire-waisted dresses of the earlier era.
  15. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    My all-time favorite Austen film! I don't think Amanda Root was TOO much older (Anne is 27 in the book). Ciaran Hinds might be a trace old for Wentworth, though since he's a Captain he can't be TOO young. Everything worked, costumes/sets/casting/pacing, the whole deal. I really didn't like the new version, which felt like it was just constantly trying too hard.

    And I'll take the BBC version of P&P. The sloppy house and clothes and hair isn't period for a family of the Bennets' class, and the story (by necessity) is compressed but not well.

    No, the costumes were chosen because the studio had them left over (from Gone With the Wind in most cases) and had zero money to make new ones, so they went with what they had.
  16. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    Definitely Ehle/Firth version.

    I hated the Keira Knightly version. The modernization of the story did not fit well. P&P is a classic, and should not be tampered with, JMO.

    I liked Jennifer Ehle's Elizabeth. She came across as proud, intelligent, and vulnerable at the same time.

    I did not like Knightly's pouting Elizabeth. I could not believe she got an Oscar nomination for that role. She is not a bad actress; she has some good performances in other movies, just not in this one.

    Colin Firth is the best Mr. Darcy ever.
  17. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    Another thing I couldn't get past in the Keira K. version is just how bad her posture is; for a strong independent Lizzie she sure slumps over and sticks her head and neck forward a lot - just ugh. Sit up straight, girl; your posture is worse than mine and that is saying something.
    mag and (deleted member) like this.
  18. Tesla

    Tesla Whippet Good

    Here's another vote for the 1995 version of Persuasion. I love that movie. I wanted to like the new version but they ruined it with the running scene in Bath.

    I like the Emma Thompson version of S&S, but the new version just feels more authentic and open. It seems to have all the details of the book. Plus, the actress who portrays Elinor is so expressive with her face.
  19. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    I vastly prefer the Amanda Root version of Persuasion as well. So nice to find fellow fans! Sometimes people talk like the newer version is the only one out there.
  20. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    1995 BBC version of "Pride and Prejudice" for me, hands down. I actually envision Elizabeth EXACTLY like Jennifer Ehle played her. That combination of brains, reserve and humor. I like everybody in 1995 version, Jane, Bingley, Mr. Collins etc. included ( and young Firth... no contest).
    I generally like Keira Knightly, but I don't see her as Lizzie Bennett.
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  21. cailuj365

    cailuj365 Well-Known Member

    As well as with the rather unattractive climactic kiss. :yikes: There's a moment where a little Hollywood touch would not have been unwanted. Haven't seen the 1995 version of Persuasion yet, but now it's on my to-see list!

    Has anyone seen the newer BBC adaptation of Emma starring Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller? I thought it was really charming and splendid, but I haven't watched the Gwyneth Paltrow movie to compare.
  22. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

    Persuasion was originally a movie in the theater - I saw it there. Later it was shown on Masterpiece Theater. Here is a promo for it - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4T5dl1isp8

    The person who uploaded the promo also has links to a 12 part, 1971, version of Persuasion that I have not seen.
  23. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member


    And I just do not like Keira Knightley in anything. She also didn't seem to have the slightest understanding of the book. I recall an article at the time where she described the Bennets as a happy and loving family. No way. There was all sorts of dysfunction going on there starting with the parents' miserable marriage and their blatant favoritism with their daughters.
  24. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

    I don't think this is true. In 1940 MGM was the #1 studio in Hollywood. Pride and Prejudice was an A movie with a big budget. The costumes Walter Plunkett designed for Gone with the Wind were based on styles from the 1860s/70s. The costumes Adrian designed for Pride and Prejudice were based on styles from the 1830s. I don't remember whose decision it was - producer Hunt Stromburg, director Robert Z. Leonard, Adrian, or some combination of the three - but it was felt that the styles of the 1810s lacked the flamboyant feeling they wanted for the movie. Which to me sounds far more believable given Hollywood's general disregard for historical accuracy when it came to costumes for period pieces.
  25. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    I think this is what bugged me the most (next to her posture!) She just didn't seem to become Lizzie, where Jennifer E was exactly they way I expected Lizzie to be. Colin Firth as Darcy, well what can I say? :swoon:
  26. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

    I love and watch and watch again the BBC version. BUT, my most fave adaptation is Bride & Prejudice. It's so silly; it is quite wonderful.
  27. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

    Great recap!

    I am more comfortable (for some reason) with BBC/1995 version but like the 2005 as well.

    Both versions have various pluses and minuses. 1995 seems to stay closer to Victorian times. In the 2005 film Keira Knightly is a transplant from another time. She should be playing the leading role in “Lost in Austen”…

    The last scene in the US release (which is different from the UK release) “What endearments am I allowed, Mrs. Darcy” is completely out of place and “out of time”.
    ELIZABETH: Well, let me think. ‘Lizzy’ for every day. ‘My pearl’ for Sundays, and ‘Goddess Divine,’ but only on very special occasions.

    UK version of the 2005 film ends with Mr. Bennet giving his approval to the marriage and ends the film with:

    MR BENNET: If any young men come for Mary or Kitty then for Heaven’s sake send them in. I am quite at my leisure.
    The best ending of all is in the 1980 version..

    But I'll take ANY P&P existing versions, starting 1940’s over other shows/movies we are stuck with on TV...
  28. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  29. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    Me too! I love it, have it on my iPod. This would be such a typical Csizny program.

    Does anyone know how to get a hold of the music score for Dawn for piano?
  30. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    I've seen it, but my favorite adaptation is the A&E version with Kate Beckinsale as Emma. That version really brings in the Frank Churchill/Jane Fairfax story strongly. I don't like Mark Strong's Knightly, though - waaay too angry/preachy! Jeremy Northam is my favorite Mr. Knightly. :)