Pride and Prejudice ( A&E, 1996)

Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice – The Special Edition (A&E 1996)

Starring: Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth

Director: Simon Langton

Length: 300 minutes

There are several movie versions of P&P, but this seems to be the one everyone talks about. I got it from the library last week on 6 videocassettes. I was riveted. Watched the entire thing twice, and then went and bought the DVD. I don’t know if that makes me a Jane Austen fan, or a Colin Firth fan!

I’d say I might be in danger of going off the deep end. I now have the BBC version (1985) from the library, another one on hold ready to pick up, and the old film with Laurence Olivier on order.

I thought this version was very well done, and very faithful to the book. Whatever liberties were taken (the famous swimming scene, for example) fit into the whole. Okay, I have one quibble. Mary Bennet, who likes to show off on the piano but isn’t very good, suddenly becomes most proficient whenever she plays for the dancing. The contrast is noticeable.

I read recently that most novels in Jane Austen’s time were meant to be read aloud. The emphasis on dialogue really lends itself well to the stage. I look forward to comparing the other films.

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