Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Directed by Simon Langton
Starring: Jennifer Ehle, and Colin Firth
Based 0n the book: Pride and Prejudice
For the Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word
Description: Jane Austen's classic novel of 1813, Pride and Prejudice, still wins the hearts of countless schoolgirls with its romantic story of Elizabeth Bennet and her Mr. Darcy. Now, the 1996 BBC miniseries is winning over adults, with its faithful adaptation, gorgeous scenery, and superb acting.
The essence of the story is the antagonism between Mr. Darcy, a wealthy single man who believes Elizabeth to be beneath him, and Elizabeth, who upon being insulted at a dance by the aloof Darcy refuses to associate with him in any manner. Austen evokes incredible tension with the wit and flirtation of the two characters, and director Simon Langton (who also directed Upstairs Downstairs) successfully translates the repartee and conflict in this six-hour miniseries. Dialogue, for the most part, is painstakingly replicated, except when fleshing out and smoothing for modern sensibilities was necessary. Darcy, for instance, is drawn out, giving his personality significantly more depth. The acting sweeps you away to Regency England: Jennifer Ehle (of Wilde) is convincing as the obstinate Elizabeth, who, despite her mother's attempts to marry her off, spurs the attentions of Darcy. And Colin Firth (of The English Patient) will have women everywhere longing for a Mr. Darcy of their own.Can I express my love of this mini-series in words? Well, I can try. I absolutely adored the book, and I've read it at least ten times. So, when I rented the DVD version of this movie, I wasn't really sure what to expect. Yes, I'd heard that everyone loved Colin Firth, but I wasn't sure what to expect otherwise. Well, I thought it did the book justice. Of course, it's around five hours long, so there wouldn't have been an excuse to cut a lot of the story out.
Now, it's hard for me to imagine the characters being played by anyone other than this cast (which is why I haven't been able to watch the Keira Knightly version). Aside from the main cast, I thought that Alison Steadman, who played Mrs. Bennet, was amazing. Here's a clip of her:
Meet the Bennets
I also thought I'd include the scene that everyone talks about...
If you haven't seen this version of Pride and Prejudice, I suggest you pick it up. Yes, I know it's a long series, but it's well worth it!