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  • Wulfstan107 March 2005
    This version of Pride and Prejudice is simply outstanding and excels in essentially every aspect. It is faithful to the book, particularly capturing the spirit of the book and the energy and constant tension of the story. It excellently portrays the world of the book as it relates to the story, with keen attention to the details of costume, the furniture, etc. Moreover, the actors were on the whole outstanding. I fail to see how anyone could have portray Darcy better than did Colin Firth, who perfectly captured the character's aristocratic refinedness, his shyness and sense of decorum that come across as apparent stuffiness and disdain, and his underlying passion, all at the same time. He perfectly blends all these different traits and is utterly convincing in portraying the outward stiffness as a simple facade for the strong emotions and character underneath, rather than simply being stiff and wooden. His looks, and especially his eyes, say so much of the complexity of his character and his feelings with subtle expressions. Similarly Jennifer Ehle excellently portrays Lizzie, showing her to be tender, witty, thoughtful, occasionally prone to strong judgments without all the information, yet trying to grapple with different feelings as her involvement with Darcy, et al., progresses. David Bamber is great as Mr. Collins and perfectly conveys his mix of traits. Alison Steadman's histrionics and fickle opinions are wonderful as the mom, and remind me very much of an actual relative of mine, while Benjamin Whitrow is a great counterpart as the father who is outwardly usually calm and peaceful, yet always able to rile up his wife. The others are great, too, but there is no point in listing them all. The bottom line is that I find it hard to beat this production, which is utterly gripping and keeps anyone interested in these stories completely entranced the whole way through.
  • Watching this is a celebration of how Jane Austen should be interpreted.

    This version is true to the novel and true to the characters and the wonderful tension between Elizabeth and Darcy is beautifully depicted.

    Not for a moment do you think that these two are not meant to be together.

    The Austen wit of both the main characters and the minor roles are strongly projected and the costumes and sets are faithful to the era of Austen's writing.

    There is an incredible scene where Elizabeth is playing the piano and her eyes meet and hold on Darcy's who is at the other end of the room. Now, for me, that is one of the most sexy and sensual scenes I have ever seen. Everything is flawless about this production.

    Superlative, satisfying and stunning.

    Do not miss it. 10 out of 10.
  • This is a drama to rave about. I've not seen its like on television before; nor do I expect to see its like again. It was superb. It was almost perfect - though not quite.

    It is rare to find a Jane Austen dramatisation that comes so near to being perfect on every level and that stays so true to the original novel. The greater part of the dialogue in the series is Jane Austen's own and every scene is included and follows the same chronological order. The drama departs from the novel in only two instances. In order to extend our knowledge of the characters of Darcy(Colin Firth), and Mr Collins(David Bamber), two scenes are added; to demonstrate that Darcy is not just an effete aristocrat but a real man worthy of Elizabeth's love we are shown him indulging in manly pursuits; fencing, and swimming in his private lake (it puzzles me why so many women seem to drool over his wet-shirt scene); and to demonstrate that Mr Collins is an idiotic, narrow- minded prude we are shown him trembling with embarrassment and horror when he happens to come across Lydia (Julia Sawalha) in a state of dishabille. David Bamber makes Mr Collins deliciously toadying and obsequious. A remarkable piece of acting.

    It is its faithfulness to the original that makes this drama so good. No one has ever written a more tightly plotted novel. Its series of climaxes make the novel difficult to put down; just as one plot-line reaches its climactic conclusion, another is building. And the duel of wits and sharp dialogue between Darcy and Elizabeth (Jennifer Ehle) as they get to know each other is entrancing. And then comes that moment. She is at the piano befriending Darcy's sister, Georgiana (Emilia Fox), when he holds her gaze with a silent declaration of his love and admiration. This involved a fine piece of editor-timing; a split second either way, either too long or too short, and the poignancy of that moment would have been lost. It is interesting to compare Colin Firth's Darcy with that of Lawrence Olivier's Darcy in the Hollywood film. Olivier falsely portraits him as appealingly shy and self-conscious. But Darcy was in no way shy, he was just proud, with every reason to have a good opinion of himself. He found it impossible to imagine that anyone in a lower strata of society, living in a small provincial town, could be his equal - until he met Elizabeth!

    However, I felt there was one weak link in the chain of superb acting; Alison steadman. Many will disagree but I think she over-acted, turning her Mrs Bennet into a nerve- grating, neurasthenic caricature. But apart from that, I heartily recommend this video. Don't miss it. You'll not see its like again. I must just mention the charming piano music by Carl Davis, so beautifully evocative of a beautiful period in history (for the rich).
  • A female journalist once wrote that no actress could ever portray Elizabeth Bennet to the satisfaction of a woman viewer for one very simple reason: every woman really visualizes herself in that role. Jennifer Ehle has done the impossible - she is, and in my mind, forever will be, Elizabeth. The beauty, wit, and sparkling liveliness of the character are perfectly captured in her performance. And Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy is an exact match for her. His smoldering good looks are wonderful, and he can portray reserve without descending into woodenness and blankness. The scene where he and Elizabeth dance a long and stately dance together in the midst of a crowd is both controlled and exciting - with very little change of tone, and while preserving the most correct decorum, their conversation reveals dangerous undercurrents of emotion, and meanwhile the steps of the dance keep pulling them together and apart again. The rest of the characters are equally fine - David Bamber's obsequious Mr. Collins is especially unforgettable.
  • This adaptation of the Jane Austen novel is really incredible. Set design and costumes are very believable and the acting is practically perfect for most of characters.

    A few comments on costume: one of the most believable aspects of the details put into this miniseries has to do with the costumes. Elizabeth and Jane are both adorned simple enough to convey a Christian background and some decor and modesty, as they would have properly been dressed during this time, yet the costumers could have expanded their wardrobe as you see many times in American films (the 1999 version of Emma comes to mind here, particularly) and yet at the time, the women would *not* have had 10 different ensembles to wear at special events. I honestly admired the holding back of their wardrobes to a few gowns rather than having gone overboard as you often see! The women who were of higher stature were properly attired in their jewels and every costume fit the character and situation beautifully. This and the musical score are two of the biggest highlights, I felt.

    I would also like to give props to Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth who were cast wonderfully. Jennifer was able to convey a sort of devilish satire and quick wit which I thought suited her exceedingly well and accentuated the wit Austen was trying to get across in the novel. Firth held back and it suited his character. He shows a quiet power, a feeling of disdain and complexity in his acting that worked well for the first half of the miniseries and then turned this into admiration and openness later as the story develops. By the time he declares his undying love to Elizabeth you get the impression he is ready to burst open and you breathe a huge sigh of relief for him, yet the energy continues to pulse. Its a great thing to watch..

    I would recommend this miniseries to anyone, especially those not yet familiar with Austen. This specific miniseries is so well done many people I have watched it with have sparked incredible interests in the intrigues of Austen's works. Good job BBC!
  • taloolah14 November 2005
    this will be very biased - I love this series and practically know it by heart. When my video tape was wrecked from rewinding, I finally got myself the DVD... and still love to watch it.

    This is the most complete adaption of the novel, and there are so many lovable details in it that just make it a very unique movie experience. There are however minor changes, due to the fact that each episode of the series had to be leaving the audience wanting more... but nothing that really differs from the original.

    The actors are awesome - Colin Firth is and will be the one and only Darcy, and Jennifer Ehle was a wonderful Elizabeth - spirited, lively, yet still always within decorum ( only that her skirts were " 6 inches deep in mud, I assure you"). Jane is, although maybe not for our standards pretty, a very classic beauty, and very much in character.The Bingley sisters are wonderfully arrogant, and Bingley is such a nice guy - not the insipid undecided, but rather too much trusting those he holds dear. Mrs Bennet, though annoying, is wonderful, and Mr. Bennet, witty and sarcastic, a perfect short, the complete cast has so decidedly imprinted upon my image of the characters that I find it hard to imagine anyone else playing that particular role.

    The movie works very efficiently and elegantly with flashbacks to tell the various sub-plots, yet remains focused on the main actions. The scenery is well made, and the costumes are beautiful. I liked the fact that each actor had a wardrobe just as they would have had had they lived in the time, and not a new dress for each new scene.

    For us, it may be hard to acquaint oneself with the language of Jane Austen, the rules of decorum of her time, and the social standards and sets of rules. In watching the movie, a lot of these things come clear - visualization as a means of understanding the regency period.

    On a last note - the music is awesome. I have the opening melody as my cellphone ring ever since my Cellphone was able too...;)

    There are so many little details, over which discussions can be lead for hours and hours, or pages and pages, and this s one of the best parts about the movie - although it gives an interpretation, it is not finite. A perfect movie to visualize the novel,and a must-see.
  • Much had I heard of Jane Austen's legendary classic, "Pride and Prejudice", and so to kick off my summer I set about reading it. It was possibly the greatest book I'd ever read. I looked up the different screen adaptations of it, and found that Colin Firth had starred in one (I previously enjoyed him in "Bridget Jones's Diary" - which is, in fact, a semi-remake of Austen's tale - and "Love Actually"). So I traveled to my handy-dandy Borders store and picked up a DVD copy. As I walked out of the store, I hoped that I hadn't wasted $40 for this thing. And you know what?

    It was worth every last penny.

    "Pride and Prejudice" is quite simply the most flawless thing I've ever seen. The story involves Elizabeth Bennet (Jennifer Ehle), who's opinion changes greatly of a seemingly very proud, rude man that moves into town. To sum up the whole story would be impossible, as there isn't really a simple lot.

    First of all, let's examine the overall look of the thing. Simon Langton's direction is excellent, and he succeeds in getting the most breathtaking views of everything and anything. The production design and costuming is perfect, capturing the time without error, and the locations are simply gorgeous. Carl Davis' score is terrific and fitting (also to the times). Andrew Davies' script brings every last scene from the book and then pops in some new, being as absolutely faithful to the book as anyone could hope to be.

    But now on to the casting. The cast is outstanding, although the film's one problem (albeit a very slight one) is the role of Mrs. Bennet, who - although wacky in the book - is completely over-the-top here and quite frequently even annoying. But the stars of the film couldn't be better. Jennifer Ehle is absolutely wonderful as Lizzy Bennet, and her eyes are so dazzling that they mesmerized me throughout the whole 300 minutes!

    The show is completely stolen, however, by Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Colin Firth is not just playing Mr. Darcy; Colin Firth IS Mr. Darcy. He was born to play this role, and plays it so flawlessly, that it deserves to be considered one of the best performances any actor has ever given. Words cannot describe Firth's perfection as Darcy.

    All in all, "Pride and Prejudice" is the greatest thing ever to air on television, and were it a film, it would be the greatest film of all-time. Those of you who have read the book shouldn't worry a bit about the long running time of the mini-series; as impossible as it seems, you shan't even notice. When I finished the series, I had such a feeling of satisfaction as no entertainment has ever before granted me.

    This is perfection.
  • After so many years of seeing adaptations of Pride and Prejudice on stage, screen and television, I had long given up hope of an entertaining and faithful adaptation. Then a miracle! Class, style, humor and intelligence is alive and well! Direction, script and cinematography are all exceptional in A&E's production. Imagine watching a six-hour program over and over and over. It has to be done. Jennifer Ehle gives Elisabeth all the archness, tenderness, and homey wit that Austen could desire. Each individual cast member gives a memorable performance that makes the character real. Simon Langton, as director, has a real ear for dialogue and silence. Indeed, it is often the silences in conversation that are the most hilarious. The most serious fault in most previous productions was the casting of Darcy. A stiff actor in a stiff part gives you only a stiff character (even, God bless him, Olivier). If Darcy fails, the entire production is a waste. The inspired casting of Colin Firth in this production was defining. Putting Firth, a naturally lively chap, in the role was like harnessing energy. You can often feel that intensity of containment, which is just perfect for Darcy. This is a must-see for any loyal Austen reader or anyone else who likes romance, wit and social commentary all rolled into one. And pity Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility, which opened in the U.S. shortly after Pride and Prejudice debuted. Comparisons were inevitable and did not favor S&S.
  • I found this to be the best all around movie I ever had the pleasure of viewing ... and I'm 78. We knew the story was excellent but to make it so realistic as to not be aware at all that the actors are acting in a way so perfectly executed that one can easily get the impression that this was a live performance of the real characters in the Jane Austen novel and era as she herself intended, or at least perceived them. I can't think of one scene, actor, or dialogue that I would change that could improve this picture and story.
  • engxladso13 November 1999
    I'm a typical guy I guess. I like football, sci-fi, action movies, but definitely not period romances! I ended up watching it because my wife had it on. I was quickly hooked, much to my surprise. When it came on again (thankyou, thankyou A&E) I was glued to it all from the start to the wonderful climax. But that wasn't enough! Now we have the tapes and watch them over and over again and I have read the book four times! I don't understand why I don't get bored, but I don't. I just totally love it. I'm not really sure why. Maybe its because it is so much more than just a romance.

    It is so interesting to have a window into the thinking, social mores and lifestyles of early 19th century, rural, genteel England, and to see how very, very different society's attitudes are today. The specific examples of Mr Wickham's disgraceful conduct would not be considered unusual today, but what makes him such a blackguard is how far he stepped beyond the bounds of acceptable behaviour at that time.

    The central message of the story which I found personally educational is the moment when Elizabeth, having thought herself an excellent judge of human character, while reading Darcy's letter realizes that she has entirely deceived herself with regards to the character of both Wickham and Darcy and that this self deception has resulted from vanity, because Wickham flattered her whereas Darcy insulted her with his "She is tolerable I suppose, though not handsome enough to tempt me."

    All this is all very well and good but this is not why I love P&P. All the characters come across as real people and they are successful at transmitting all the emotional tension that gradually builds up throughout the six hours. One can really identify with the characters. I would love it if Darcy was my best mate. I mean what a great guy. What a hero. (And an Arsenal supporter too! (in another movie called Fever Pitch)) I love the following scenes:

    "You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you";

    "and when sanctioned by your excellent parents..." dab dab collapsing sweatily against the doorpost while Lizzie rapidly retreats, finishing his speech to himself "I am sure that my proposals will not fail in being... acceptable";

    "the Look" as my wife calls it between Darcy and Elizabeth at Pemberley;

    the party at Netherfield where most of the Bennets disgrace themselves;

    Lady Catherine 'refuses her consent';

    Mr Collins' visit to 'condole' with the Bennets;

    "for it has been many months since that I have considered her the most handsome woman of my aquaintance" so there!;

    and absolutely the best, "my feelings are so different, in fact... they are the opposite". Joy, joy, joy.

    There are so many others too...

    I hope this doesn't give too much away to those who haven't seen it. If you haven't seen it, get it. It will be the best money you spend on entertainment all year!

    To all those who were involved in making this production: Bravo. This was the best ever. It produces the same feelings in me as when Arsenal win the League!
  • There are a great many movies out there that I love and that have inspired me. However, I have never found another film that I love to watch as many times as I can watch Pride and Prejudice, and it still moves me the same each time. This adaption of Jane Austen's novel was done to such perfection I would not change a thing about. The characters are all so lively and so convincing. Each character makes you feel so strongly about them, whether for ill or well. The characters of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett are nailed by Colin Firth and Jennifer Euhle. This would have to be my favorite movie ever!
  • nycritic12 April 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    At 300 minutes, it might seem a bit steep to sit through -- after all, the novel is barely under 400 pages and its plot is concise enough to garner a shorter transition from book form to images. But, when you sit and read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, widely considered to be Jane Austen's magnum opus, and savor its miniaturist style, its sharp language, the treatment of even its minor characters as a huge tapestry, there is no other way to create a complete vision of the novel but to do a televised re-working of her novel. (The advent of Emma Thompson and the 2005 movie now proves otherwise.)

    The interesting aspect of the miniseries is that it never feels like it's moving at a crawl. The story of Austen's micro-society develops at its own pace, much like the novel: it's as if the novel had literally come alive and were being acted by the people from FAHRENHEIT 451, complete with costumes and settings. We meet the Bennets right at the beginning when they discuss how Netherfield is to be let at last, and that its owner is none other than an eligible bachelor. Elizabeth, the second eldest Bennet herself is the one who utters the opening line of Austen's book -- and it's appropriate that she be the one who does so: listen to how she says it, not to when she does or who she does to.

    The arrival of such a man causes an uproar it the small community. Charles Bingley is a congenial man, personable, but has some odious sisters, Caroline and Louisa Hurst. His friend, Mr. Darcy, is also eligible and ten times richer than Bingley, but is soon to be revealed to be someone disagreeable. At the ball, Jane Bennet becomes close with Charles (much to her mother's delight) and Elizabeth seen to be a little taken with the imposing nature of Darcy, but his aloof nature and continuous rebuffs, plus a harsh commentary he makes of her within earshot hurts her deeply: her pride has been hurt; hence, from now on, she will have nothing to do with him.

    But fate has her meet him again when Jane falls ill after she gets called to spend an evening with Bingley and his sisters. While Darcy seems to be taking a repressed liking to Elizabeth, she is unaware of it, and grows increasingly hostile towards him, particularly after learning from George Wickham that he behaved quite badly towards him. In the middle of this, and because the Bennets have no son, the girls stand no chance of inheriting. Their property has been entailed to a male heir. Reverend Collins comes looking for a wife, proposes to Elizabeth, gets rebuffed, and winds up marrying Charlotte Lucas -- Elizabeth's best friend. On top of this, the Bingleys leave Netherfield, and Jane's future is left up in the air.

    Eventually the plot reaches a head, and like the novel, it occurs midway. Jane Austen must have been aware at an empiric form that editing can balance out a work and enhance its effect, because in putting the crisis of the action halfway she establishes that Elizabeth and Darcy will have to shift towards each other in a realistic way, the same way other events will allow Jane and Bingley to consummate their union. This is what makes this story so enduring -- everything in it is realistic as possible, adhering to what society's attitude towards woman and men of their time was, where marriage was taken as serious as a retirement plan or having medical benefits.

    The miniseries captures the slow breakdown of Austen's plot in a way that could have been stagy but is not. Not one thread is left untold, unlike the 1940 version (despite the presences of Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson) where the story looked a little more like farce and characters in the book behaved much differently in that film version. Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth are perfect in their renditions of Elizabeth and Darcy. She resembles an earthier version of Meryl Streep down to her voice and mannerisms; he is as aloof as alluring. Who wouldn't believe they didn't have what it took to merge together? Both have to do much acting without expressing much if at all, yet Ehle brings a nice iconoclastic attitude towards her character, the same way Firth embodies masculine arrogance.

    Now, with the 2005 film version having got the praise it did, there will be people who prefer this version to the movie version and vice versa. There may be Olivier purists who will balk at such a long version. Having read the novel several times, I can relate to this one best because it retains pages of dialog intact without making it too talky and that's a tricky thing to do. Minus Alison Steadman's character, everyone is at a uniform level, but Steadman is a shade too shrill. While Mrs. Bennet wasn't the most agreeable person in the world, I believe that she has been represented better in the movie version because while still being a hyperactive, over-emotional woman, she was aware her daughters would be left destitute if they did not marry well. Even so, she does have a delicate tightrope to walk and I found myself liking Mrs. Bennet in the end and understood she was also a part of this enormous tapestry that Austen herself had woven so lovingly.
  • k-king212 July 2004
    First let me state that I am a 30 something male who generally does not like chick flicks. I have not seen any other version nor read the book.

    The mini-series is just perfect. It is a fantastic love story that is witty, charming, and very funny. I am not sure how many times I have watched it now, at least 5, and it improves with each viewing. The story and characters are so rich and interesting and the acting is just superb. I have a Top Ten list of movies/shows based on the premise that you are stuck on an island and can only bring 10 movies with you to watch for the rest of your life. This version of Pride and Prejudice has a permanent spot on that list. I rarely give 9s when voting here and I give this a 10!

    If you like period pieces, good acting, or a great love story then this is a must see!
  • This timeless tale of hate that blossoms into love is as good as it gets. At least once a year my sisters and I watch it all the way through in one sitting. And that's no easy feat since it's so long!Ohhh but it's worth it:o) The casting is perfect with Colin Firth playing the impossible Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehll (sp. right?) as the heroine of the story, Ms. Elizabeth Bennet. The movie captures very well the society of the time,the difference in stations and the very laid-back easy-going life-style of an English gentleman and his family of five daughters. Though Mrs. Bennet gets to be a little much (she must have been a blast to play she's so obnoxious:o), it's worth watching. The movie covers about a year, I think, and it follows the life of the five Ms. Bennets: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia, and their ups and downs in life, love, and day to day life. Their are a few unexpected twists along the way, and many unforgettable characters: those who are great, and those who are great to make fun of! So... If you enjoy immersing yourself into the time of Jane Austen for an afternoon, and enjoy the simplicity of way back when, then you would really enjoy this movie.
  • purrme2 January 2006
    Jane Austin's novel "Pride and Prejudice" is without a doubt one of my favorite books. And now, finally, it has come to the screen!! I absolutely adored this mini series, and I would recommend it to anyone. All of the characters are played brilliantly, especially Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, and Jennifer Ehle as Lizzie Bennent. The film also has an outstanding supporting cast as well. And do not worry about it being boring, there is something exciting happening every second!!! All of the costumes, furniture, and especially scenery are beautiful, so, I encourage you, that if you have nothing to do on a rainy day, you watch this extraordinary piece of television. You will not be disappointed!!!! Enjoy!!!!!
  • sheldy27 February 2005
    At last, a work of Jane Austen's that is presented on film as faithfully as it was imagined in the theatre of my mind.

    One would be hard-pressed to find any fault, big or small, regarding this superlative production.

    The casting is flawless; could there be any other Darcy or Elizabeth aside from Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle? Austen herself would have approved of their inspired performances. Every actor - from the histrionic Mrs Bennet (Alison Steadman) to the devilishly caustic Miss Caroline Bingley (Anna Chancellor) was brilliantly selected. Salutations indeed to the casting team responsible for this project.

    The cinematography and locations are breathtaking enough to make me want to jump on the next plane and fly over the Bermuda Triangle in an attempt to transport myself to Austen's 19th century rural England.

    The script is extremely faithful to the book, with no chapter or element of importance left untold. The humour is carried throughout the film with great subtlety, yet one cannot help but burst out loud in laughter - triggered by no more than a well-timed piece of dialogue... or lack of it! My greatest praise indeed to all responsible for this vintage production of one of Austen's best known and most loved works.

    A must-see for all readers of Jane Austen and indeed all who wish enjoy one of the most brilliant pieces of film-making ever.
  • I am almost always opposed to the adaptation of books into movies because I have never seen a book-based-movie retain the complete delight of the book it was based upon. The very old version of "Scrooge" from the days of black and white and this version of "Pride and Prejudice" have thus far been the two book-based-movies in which I was able to find the same delights as in the book and, most importantly, an earnest desire to stay as faithful to the novel, and the novelist's intentions, as possible. No unnecessary changes were made, and nothing added that did not come from the book was added superfluously. My grateful thanks and admiration to the writer.

    The cast flows together as though they live in Austen's England. They were clearly hand-selected for their individual roles, and yet no one oversteps his or her bounds. The sets are real standing mansions, and when one reads a credit for a "Period Chef," one knows every possible measure was taken to ensure the accurate portrayal of life at that time right down to the smallest detail. The music is brilliant in all its simplicity, and the costumes designed beyond perfection.

    This is the most perfect movie I have ever seen, and I love it as much as I love the book. I can not give it any higher compliment than that.
  • There are some stories that are more enjoyable to read than to watch. I used to think Pride and Prejudice to be one such story. This movie, however, has delighted me to such an extent that I truly believe that it makes no difference if one reads the book or watches the movie first. The experience will probably prove to be wonderful either way, and I recommend both watching and reading the story.

    Jane Austen (the author of Pride and Prejudice) illustrated the characters in such depth and with such an aura of a familiar truth around them - why, I could easily associate the entire Bennet family with people I know. Now, after watching this movie, I find I know each character even better - that I understand what she was trying to say more clearly.

    Many people say that this story was told from a woman's point of view. Perhaps. But I can safely say that at least in civilized society in our country, many of us, young men and women alike, can relate strongly to the situation described, and visualized so accurately in the movie.

    Having a theme that would basically be understood best by those between 18 and 25 years of age, those who pay attention might find such typical personalities, and such insight into human nature as is hard to find elsewhere.

    The actors do the story justice, and I can give no greater praise. Elizabeth and Darcy represent all that is dignified and ideal, and oddly enough, where our society is very particular about propriety in behaviour between men and women, no breach of decorum was shown as acceptable - even for us. I mention this because we are a bit conservative as it is, and yet even in the movie this universality was maintained and respected.

    Truly an emotional road trip, with the crests and troughs, the pit stops and U-turns - Pride and Prejudice will remain one of the most honest and beloved stories in history.
  • You just don't get much better than Pride and Prejudice, whether you're reading the book or watching the mini-series. I first saw P&P about four years ago, and it was my first taste of Jane Austen. It opened the world of classic literature to me and film adaptations of those classics.

    Now, of course, five and a half hours is a LONG time...but all the more to sit through! When you love something, it's fabulous to have it extended for as long as possible. This version is right on with the book; the conversations were practically ripped from the pages. If you've been a faithful fan of the book, you can rest easy that this is a faithful adaptation.

    As for the actors, it's hard to find anything bad to say. Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth portrayed Lizzie and Mr. Darcy perfectly, and I have no qualms with putting their faces to the characters when reading the book. In fact, I can't think of one person I could complain about...they were all well suited.

    This is very light-hearted, wholesome entertainment that has become a favorite of nearly everyone who I've seen it with...including my dear dad. Well, not a favorite for him, but he enjoyed it very much! If you don't think you can sit for almost 6 hours, take it in spurts...although I have yet to see a friend ask me to stop if from boredom. Even my sister's ex-boyfriend sat through all 6 hours and enjoyed it. We've been lucky with men around here, apparently. ;) If you enjoy this, I also recommend Sense and Sensibility. Happy viewing!
  • I am a college student and I love reading classic literature. Jane Austen is one of my favorite writers of all time, and I was very happy with the movie versions of both Emma (with Gwyneth Paltrow) and Sense and Sensibility (with Emma Thompson & Kate Winslet). Both of the books are classics, and the movies are very true to their predescesors. This was no exception. I have read the book, and loved it, and I absolutely loved this mini-series. I was told by my English professor that it was the best version, and I was not happy with the version with Laurence Olivier. The cast was perfect, and how I loved seeing the relationship between Elizabeth & darcy unfold! One of the best 5 hours ever spent on a movie. 10/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This version of 'Pride and Prejudice ' is one of the greatest adaptations of any classic book that has yet been filmed. This is due in large part to the masterful screenplay written by Andrew Davies. He has managed to lace together all the pertinent dialogue scattered about the chapters into cogent conversations without resorting to anachronistic modernisms. This allows the film to flow seamlessly and in a very satisfying manner.

    A great cast of actors has been given a fine script and they all turn in great performances.

    I wondered at the wild, over-sexed behavior of the youngest Bennet daughter, Lydia, here acted by Julia Sawalha. She is allowed to display her wide-ranging, formidable comedic talents. I especially loved the little snort she emits in an early scene, displaying that she is truly her mother's favorite daughter and very much like her.

    Mrs Bennet, played hilariously by Alison Steadman, is a vulgar, loud and ostentatious woman and I liked her very much in this part.

    Mr Bennet, the long-suffering patron of this family is played with laconic humor by Benjamin Whitrow, a piece of perfect casting. Jennifer Ehle is splendid as Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine who gets her man in the end, as they always do in Austen's novels. I won't belabor the countless nuances of her characterization other than to say that she is deeply satisfying at every level.

    Her elder sister, Jane, is played by Susannah Harker ('House of Cards') with a sweetness that stops just short of simpering.

    The middle daughter, Mary, is an early prototype for the first suffragettes. Lucy Briers had quite a challenge to make anything of Mary who is often relegated to the background. But Briers sets the tone for one of the most hilarious scenes in any film I've ever seen; the dinner party at the Netherfields Ball where she entertains the guests by singing and playing atrociously. Note Anna Chancellor (Miss Bingley) in this scene. I burst out in loud guffaws at her reactions.

    Anna Chancellor was an inspired piece of casting for Miss Caroline Bingley the aristocratic and condescending sister of Jane Bennet's beloved. Miss Bingley is an interesting character. The Prejudice against her is immediate, on the part of Elizabeth, as Miss Bingley is aloof and fork-tongued. But she is really a good person who tells the truth. It's just that she is a product of her highly sheltered and sophisticated environment and "comes off" snooty and vindictive.

    Colin Firth is ideal as Mr Darcy the romantic interest of Elizabeth Bennet's life. Tall, handsome, well set-up, intelligent and gentle, Firth's portrayal possesses all the traits of a high-born gentleman. He is NOT a snob but he is aloof and easily bored. Not unusual in a very intelligent person. However, Elizabeth's Prejudice, out of ignorance of Darcy's life, seems a worse misdemeanor than his Pride which seems like arrogance but isn't.

    David Bamber ('Heavy Weather') portrays the obsequious Reverend Collins with oily unctuousness. Collins is funny, yes, but also maddening in his obtuse inability to comprehend the feelings and thoughts of anyone besides himself. Only his new wife, Charlotte Lucas, comprehends his nature and finds happiness in her life with him.

    Charlotte is one of those characters, along with Jane Bennet and Mrs Gardiner, who occupy points of equilibrium and sensibility to their environments. When any of these 3 women are holding forth one senses serenity in the atmosphere that stops the whirling dizziness of most of the characters' states-of-mind.

    Barbara Leigh-Hunt turns in a masterful performance as the monstrous bitch Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Such spite and malice as Lady Catherine possesses is spat out with acidic nastiness. Her first scene when she meets Elizabeth is also extremely funny.

    There is a minor masterful performance from Harriet Eastcott, who plays nursemaid-companion to Lady de Bourgh's sickly daughter. Without uttering a word Ms Eascott conveys volumes as to the put upon, subservient and terrified situation of Mrs Jenkinson.

    One of the great delights of this mini-series is how it takes its time to actually observe this long-dead society. The ball scenes are gorgeously executed. The choreography of those intricate and beautiful dances is hypnotizing. There are long periods where the camera watches these dancers, moves about among them. It is beautiful to behold. The actors must have been sorely challenged to deliver their lines in such a natural manner and yet having to time them to fit the complicated steps they have to perform.

    All the technical aspects of this film are superb, especially the editing. The forte-piano playing of Melvyn Tan glues the entirety together. Simon Langton's direction is so good as to be invisible.

    I cannot praise this version of 'Pride and Prejudice' enough. It is one of the two great Jane Austen adaptations on film, along with Roger Michell's wonderful version of 'Persuasion' with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    How do I love this mini-series? Let me count the ways. A lot of previous reviewers have mentioned the cinematography, which is indeed masterful. One of my favourite moments would be when Elizabeth is in the coach with her aunt and uncle, approaching Pemberley House, when suddenly it slides into view from behind a tree branch. Every single time I watch that scene I catch my breath and my heart actually skips a beat. When mentioning this particular scene it is also necessary to mention the music, which is beautiful, highly appropriate throughout. The opening piano notes of each episode exemplify Jane Austen's spirit: playful, elegant, engaging. The aforementioned scene uses music to a great advantage: as Pemberley slides into view the music swells to a slight crescendo and immediately washes out onto a plateau like a wave, and is as grand and tasteful as Pemberley House itself.

    The costumes are terrific! Class has always been portrayed through clothing, and P&P has used costume to great effect to contrast things like Miss Bingley's obnoxious feathers at a ball to Elizabeth's modest but elegant flowers and beads. Many other reviewers have mentioned that they found it particularly good that there was not a wealth of costumes for certain characters, such as the Bennetts, unlike in other movies, because this is in keeping with their status in the world. I quite agree with this and would like to add that the costumes were exquisitely authentic-looking.

    Above all, I love the casting. There is not a soul who was miscast. Even Susannah Harker, who played Jane, was perfect. Yes, some people will not consider her beautiful, but that is because she does not relate to our modern standards of beauty. However, in Jane Austen's time she would have been quite pleasant. Susannah portrays Jane's naiveté, mildness of temper and pure goodness of heart so well that you almost don't feel like putting sugar in your tea. ; ) Mary is fantastic - serious as a sermon and always good for a chuckle. Lydia does complete justice to her character - it's as though she jumped off the page and into the movie! Both Mr and Mrs Bennet are wonderful, each affording more than a couple of good laughs, as they should be. And who can forget the bumbling, ridiculous, mortifying Mr Collins, as whom David Bamber gave an unforgettable performance! It is, however, Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth who steal the show as Elizabeth and Mr Darcy. I congratulate the casting director who managed to find the the most perfect pair of "fine eyes" in Jennifer Ehle - eyes that sparkle with playfulness and a keen wit. Jennifer pours into her performance the vibrancy, intellect and teasing amusement, amongst other things, that we have come to know and love in Elizabeth. Jennifer, like Colin Firth, was born to play this part and I really do not believe anyone can ever really be more of an Elizabeth than this marvellous woman. As for Mr Firth - I again congratulate the casting director for another excellent choice. If anyone else had been chosen for this role, the movie would have suffered. It is, above all, a love story, and everything else - the cinematography, the music, the costumes, etc - are but side dishes to the magnificent feast provided by the two leading actors. In Colin Firth we get another pair of very expressive "fine eyes". ; ) Eyes full of love, tenderness and gratitude during "The Look", full of bitter and wounded pride when his first proposal is refused (especially as he exits Hunsford), full of quivering hope as he awaits Elizabeth's final answer during their walk towards the end of the last episode. This man, this heavenly creature, is one of the greatest actors this earth has known and ever shall know. The difference in his manners from before Elizabeth roundly chastised him and afterwards is very pronounced, even a difference in his expression. Honestly, what more can I say that has not already been said? I am simply in awe of this man and lady.

    There are many little things that add to the charm of this mini-series. One of the most important is the timing of certain things - speech, exchange of looks, how long those looks are held. For example, when Elizabeth is leaving Pemberley you see, from Darcy's point-of-view, the back of the carriage and you just wish she would turn to look back - and she does! Darcy having a lark in the lake and returning home in his wet clothes and being accosted by Elizabeth is one of the most memorable moments of the series. Little things, like Lydia tripping as she gets into the carriage when heading off to Brighton, add so much to the end result. In addition, I must say that I think the ending of the movie is better than the ending of the book, because it draws all of the loose ends together and underlines Jane Austen's universal theme of matrimony and all that it represents throughout her works.

    I recommend this movie with all my heart to everyone else who has not yet had the joyful opportunity to partake of its splendour. Beware: you will be addicted. (I actually have Pemberley as my computer desktop wallpaper and I am going to adopt another reviewer's idea of having a P&P ringtone on my mobile).

    My sincere thanks to the BBC. They created a true treasure that will be enjoyed by many people all over the world forever.
  • Oh you ladies are so lucky - you can feel free to happily wax eloquent about this absolutely wonderful drama in any society. Alas, we men would be ostracised for such liberties - but I had to express myself somewhere. I have never been so obsessed with a film ever in my life before and never before too about a charachter (Ehle as Lizzy). I picked it the DVD reluctantly, in a public library, because it was the only title I recognised in the modest DVD collection. I almost didnt watch it - but I did, the first time the second time ... until I lost count of it. The characters are absolutely amazing. Obviously, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is my favourite - I have almost never seen better acting - followed by Mrs.Bennet and Mr.Collins. Well Darcy was well potrayed I guess, but one would have to admit the most difficult charachter to play was played Jennifer Ehle. Ok, enough rambling, at least until the next few times I am finished watching it.....
  • LizzyG3 August 2002
    I have seen this flawless adaptation countless times, and during every viewing I find myself even more enamoured with its beautiful story and exquisite performances. Television productions rarely adapt classic novels with the thoughtful detail and immaculate quality that this one expertly does.

    Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle give unforgettable performances, and their chemistry is divine. As Darcy and Elizabeth, both actors beautifully display emotion simply with facial expressions and physical gestures, offering a dimension of subtlety that's often non-existent in the romance genre today. The portrayal of their romance is on such a heightened level that you find yourself investing so much in their story very early on, anticipating every exchange of expression, dialogue and physical contact. The first moment they hold hands during their dance at the Netherfield Ball is more true an exchange of sensuality and eroticism than all of the overt and unintentionally shallow displays of sex in television and film combined.

    The supporting cast does a marvelous job of bringing layer and depth to this wonderful film. There is no weak link. I can take the time to single out every performance, but it would result in far too long a commentary. I'll only mention Benjamin Whitrow and Alison Steadman as Mr. and Mrs. Bennett. They are a delight to watch. Sure, Mrs. Bennett is excessively annoying and unlikable. This is only testament to the great performance of Steadman, who plays the part so well that you find her exasperating character to be lively and endearing despite her flaws. Whitrow has what I believe to be the best one-liners in the script, and he delivers them with great comedic wit and timing. With the more serious, yet equally charming side of his character, you truly get a sense of his affection and admiration for Elizabeth, especially in their very touching final scene together.

    The script is terrific. Andrew Davies brings such an earthy, human element to Austen's wonderful novel. He takes risks, and they pay off. The direction, costumes, music, and cinematography all tie in so well thematically, resulting in a thoroughly complete and beautifully detailed production.

    I urge you to see 'Pride and Prejudice' and experience a very rewarding 300 minutes. Its source material will amaze you as well - read it if you haven't already and fall in love with this delightful story.
  • Never having read Austen before, I completely fell in love with this A&E mini series and, although I am a senior citizen, with Colin Firth who is wonderful as the Prideful Mr. Darcy. Jennifer Ehle is equally good as the charming but prejudiced Lizzy. I also enjoyed Benjamin Whitrow as the father of "the five silliest girls in England" and Alison Steadman's hilarious rendition of Mrs. Bennett. I immediately bought the tapes and have watched them over and over.

    I recommend this mini series to everyone. It far exceeds the films made of Austen's works. Emma (and Gywnneth Paltrow) pales in comparison with this A&E mini series.

    I, too, enjoyed Bridget Jones Diary all the more because of Colin Firth's Mark DARCY.
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