Ed's Definitive Word on "Pride and Prejudice" adaptations


On Adaptations
The 1940 version, with Greer Garson      Colour pics!
The 1980 version, with Elizabeth Garvie
The 1995 version, with Colin Firth
The 2005 version, with Keira Knightley
Versions we'll never see
Ed's thoughts on the various Lizzys
Ed's thoughts on the various Darcys
Ed's thoughts on the other actors

On Adaptations

"Heavens! Those costumes are all wrong."

"That's not where Lizzy speaks that line."

"What happened to my favourite scene?"

"She's much too old to play Elizabeth."

Well, what if there were a completely faithful adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice"? Would you enjoy it as much as you do the book? Would the actors look just as you imagined them? Would Longbourn and Netherfield appear as you had pictured them in your mind?

Would you enjoy a movie in which you already know every single thing that's going to happen and every single line of dialogue?

No adaptation will take Jane Austen's wonderful book away from us. But a good adaptation will provide us with new memories, new insights, new daydreams, and perhaps a few laughs.

Why is faithfulness so important to your enjoyment of a production? After all, the reason you love the Colin Firth version so much is not because of its faithfulness. The 1980 version with Elizabeth Garvie is much more true to Jane Austen.

The reason you watch Colin Firth is because of his animal magnetism, just as I watch the 1980 version for Garvie's gentle loveliness and the 1940 version to revel in the splendour of Greer Garson.

So enjoy the adaptations for what they are, new works of art, some better than the others, and all of them with something new to offer.

If you're really so interested in faithfulness then why not just stay home and reread the novel?

Some of Ed's favourite moments from the 1940 version of "Pride and Prejudice":

Some of Ed's favourite moments from the 1980 version of "Pride and Prejudice":

Some of Ed's favourite moments from the 1995 version of "Pride and Prejudice":

Some of Ed's favourite moments from the 2005 version of "Pride & Prejudice":

Versions we'll never see:

There have been many early television productions of Jane's works, most of them live broadcasts and therefore only available to those creatures on other planets who are closely monitoring our electromagnetic activities.

I just want to mention here that Sue Parrill has an "AUSTEN POWER" site which lists the cast members for possibly all known Jane Austen adaptations. That site has a picture of Lizzy and Darcy from a BBC mini-series that was broadcast in early 1958, starring Jane Downs and Alan Badel.

Apparently this production was not well received.

But I just want to say that Jane Downs is the cutest Lizzy that I've ever seen. (Don't tell Greer I said that.)

Ed's thoughts on the various Lizzys:

Ed's thoughts on the various Darcys:

Ed's thoughts on the other actors:

You're probably a big fan of Colin Firth, so tell Ed how much you disagree with him:

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