Pride and Prejudice (TV Mini-Series 1980– ) Poster

(1980– )

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Passions boiling underneath the veneer of politeness.
mayrose10 May 2001
I have seen the movie with Greer Garson and the new BBC mini-series, and this 1979 version is my favorite of the three. But they all have something to recommend them. The Greer Garson movie is gentle and courtly and it doesn't take itself seriously at all...the new BBC series is *very* romantic. But I think the Garvie/Rintoul series really does capture the spirit of the book. What some people have described as stilted reading is, I think, just evidence of the care that Austen took with each phrase, so the words are carefully chosen and carefully spoken...and, assuredly, the Darcy/Elizabeth exchanges are filled with emotion underneath the surface of propriety. David Rintoul does a wonderful, wonderful job, he is totally believable as the enigmatic Darcy, and Garvie as Elizabeth is wise and restrained, yet also shows her youth. The other characters are also well-played, and the music is very appropriate. The sets are simple, yes, but they seem very authentic, and the scenery is marvelous. Although I did enjoy both other versions I saw, it is in this one where I feel the real passion is, despite of, or, perhaps because of, the restrained actions of the can see them boiling underneath the veneer of civility. :) But the lush BBC version and the gentle, kind movie version have much to be said for them, too...they are all good in their own ways, and, therefore, should be enjoyed for what each of them brings to the novel. Enjoy. :)
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Still stands as the best
pdecker9910 November 2005
The introduction of a new movie version of P&P triggered me to go back and look at my DVDs of both this 1979 version and the much-loved 1995 version (I'll ignore the 1940 MGM version, which so badly misrepresents Lady Catherine de Bourgh, played brilliantly here by Judy Parfitt, and in which both leads are obviously too old). No question that this one is the truest to the characters as conceived by Jane Austin -- and the best-cast too.

I'm amazed that anyone would believe someone like Keira Knightly or Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth. Can someone really imagine Darcy not finding either of them "not handsome enough to suit me"? Yet it is possible to imagine someone saying that about Elizabeth Garvie, who is pretty but definitely overshadowed in looks by her older sister Jane (Sabina Franklyn). However, as in the book, it's Elizabeth's spirit that makes her shine so brightly in an age when marriages are arranged with no thought of romantic love (as Charlotte Lucas (Irene Richards) reminds Lizzie).

Similarly, David Rintoul's reserved, stuffy, not particularly attractive albeit still handsome Darcy may not be as romantic as Colin Firth's -- but Firth often seemed more like the smoldering Heathcliff from "Wuthering Heights" than Darcy. And Firth's "cooling off" dip in the pond seemed more ludicrous than sexy to me (but women obviously have a different take).

Yes, the 1995 version gets out of the confining indoor settings in a way that the 1979 version does not. However, the characters in the 1979 version simply are truer to the way they were written bu Jane Austin. Perhaps 1979 screenwriter Fay Weldon's previous experiences in writing for the high-class British soap "Upstairs, Downstairs" gave her an edge in this comedy of manners; some of the scene-bridging techniques used in this adaptation seem to be borrowed directly from it. Anyway, this is still the best of the P&P versions out there.
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dr_valentine_mp16 July 2001
This is an excellent production of P&P.Though i haven't seen the A&E version to comment on that in comparison, i happen to be absolutely in love with this one.Elizabeth Garvie did a great job , she remains etched in my mind as Lizzy and is almost in every way like the character that Jane Austen intended to create in her book.

The settings have been styled in a simple way and is much like what Austen has written of.Not much has been spent on the outfits and grandeur, which makes us watch the characters and the flow of the tale more than the environment.All the other actors too seem to fit snugly into their characters.In my opinion they never can be a better version.Jane Austen would have been proud!
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I liked both "Pride and Prejudice's"!
camille-722 November 1999
I enjoyed both this one when I first watched it on Masterpiece Theater and the A&E production. Colin Firth was certainly a more sexy Mr. Darcy but David Rintoul had his personality more down pat and was more true to the real Mr. Darcy in my estimation. Elizabeth Garvie was more the true Elizabeth as well, she wasn't considered to be a great beauty in the book but her character portrayal was true to the book. I thought all of the sisters and the parents were perfectly cast. Mr. Bennett, Moray Watson, gave a marvelous performance as the wise and witty father. This program may have been considered a bit slow moving to some but I enjoyed every minute of it.
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Excellent Adaptation
u_kam_khan18 February 2005
It seems that this movie has been completely dipped into the soul of the Novel written by the hands of Jane Austen. This is the closest adaptation and every cast member has portrayed the character to its depth.

I cant help but mention that, being stiff was the character of Mr Darcy, it would have been nice to have him less stiff but "Thumbs up" to David Rintoul. In comparison to Colin Firth: I think the fans just like Colin Firth but thats not Mr Darcy.

The Bennet girls, the parents Mr Collins, the Bingleys, and the DeBourghs are truly represented, A&E movie exaggerates certain aspects which don't fit.
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Excellent Adaptation
klein_joanne7 December 2004
For anyone who has actually read "Pride and Prejudice" (rather than just knowing it from the A&E production), this is an excellent and lively adaptation of the book. It is worth watching just to see the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, in action. Unlike the A&E version, which took enormous liberties with Jane Austen's novel, much of the dialogue is straight from the pen of Austen herself. Adorable as Colin Firth is, David Rintoul does a much better job of capturing the essence of Dr. Darcy as created by Austen, and Elizabeth Garvie is a spirited Elizabeth Bennett. The supporting cast is also for the most part excellent, particularly Charlotte Lucas, Mr. Collins, and Lady Catherine. In a few places, the pace is stilted, and it was clearly made for TV before big budgets, fancy sets, and more modern technology. Nevertheless, if someone wants to view an adaptation true to Austen's creation, this is an enjoyable experience.
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jscrump-119 February 2005
I loved this production of Pride and Prejudice. David Rintoul was magnificent as Mr.Darcy. All he had to do was walk into the room and you knew who he was. I loved that he played Darcy as a very commanding character,but also as a man who is desperately in love. Elizabeth Garvie played the best Elisabeth Bennet I have ever seen. I couldn't get enough of how she challenged ,and often bested, David at almost every turn. I loved her singing scenes. I can't speak very much for the sets. Sorry. However,I loved Elisabeth's costumes. I must say I liked them much better than I did any of the other women's costumes. No offense. I thought Osmund Bullock did a extremely fine job of playing Mr.Bingley, and loving a woman at first sight. He didn't seen like he was acting at all in his scenes. Sabina Franklyn (Jane Bennet) really did a good job playing a sweet girl, but I really didn't believe she was in love. I'm sorry, but I didn't. Marsha Fitzalan, who played Miss.Bingley, did a fine job of playing a woman you just want to give a good kick because of all that she tries to do. Judy Parfitt played Lady Catherine de Bourgh to perfection. I loved that Judy gave her a will of iron. I could not stand Malcolm Rennie (Mr.Collins) or Priscilla Morgan who played Mrs.Bennet which is wonderful! They were both dead annoying, and I cannot be more grateful for it.
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By far the best film version!
janegrey12 August 2002
This 1979 production of "Pride and Prejudice" is perfect in every detail. The casting and settings are flawless and so true to what the author intended. Not only are the main characters wonderful, but every minor character is beautifully depicted as well. Judy Parfitt as Lady Catherine de Bourgh is especially delightful. The movie captured the subtle humour and human touches that make this story a classic. You may never laugh out loud, but you'll find yourself smiling through the whole thing.

For those who groan at the thought of sitting through an English costume drama - give it ten minutes and you'll be hooked. The language is easy to follow and the plot is straightforward. This production of "Pride and Prejudice" is not unlike a 19th century "Sixteen Candles".
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perfectly serviceable version
didi-513 March 2005
This version aired on UK TV fifteen years before the renowned Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle adaptation of Jane Austen's famous book. As such, it shows its age, being rather studio-bound and stiff in its construction.

However, Elizabeth Garvie does come across as closer to Austen's conception of Lizzy Bennet that either Jennifer Ehle or Greer Garson in the Hollywood film. Sabina Franklyn is particularly good as Jane, not a mouse but just a genuinely nice person, while Clare Higgins (Kitty), Tessa Peake-Jones (Mary), and Natalie Ogle (Lydia) are good as the remaining Bennet sisters.

Of particular interest though is David Rintoul's Darcy. Of a very different stamp to the brooding landowner of the 1995 version, he gives an extremely interesting portrayal, just as attractive in its way, and again, closer to the character depicted in the book. Others of note in the cast are Moray Watson as Mr Bennet, and Judy Parfitt as Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
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An excellent adaptation of this classic book
hanlawson23 September 2005
I find this version of Pride and Prejudice extremely good. Lizzy Bennet as portrayed by Elizabeth Garvie really dose have 'fine eyes' and Mr Darcy is a 'big tall fellow' and suitably haughty. It's a shame that the Colin Firth and Jennifer Elle BBC adaptation has taken precedence in the public mind - as this is superior in many ways, though the acting is perhaps more stilted and the costumes and scenes seem more 'staged' to a modern eye. Fay Weldon has kept in much more of the famous lines actually written by Jane Austin and there has been no attempt to try to modernise the story with inclusions of such things as cut away bedroom scenes of Lydia and Whickham, or Darcy in a wet shirt!
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Close to perfection
crsuk28 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is in almost every way better than the A & E version. It is much more truer to the spirit of the novel, it feels like you have jumped into a time machine and gone back to regency England. The actors are all superb, even the minor characters are well rounded. It has none of the 'over the top' acting you got in the 1995 version. A few that stand out include the absolutely gorgeous Elizabeth Garvie, whose portrayal of Elizabeth is exquisite, none of the petulant smirking we got from Jennifer Ehle. She portrays Eliza as the intelligent and lively character that Austen intended. You can see why Darcy is attracted to her (I certainly was), I feel that the 1995 version failed to establish this. David Rintoul is superb as Mr. Darcy chiefly because he looks like him (I am sorry Colin), he is stiff, proud and arrogant just like in the novel. You can see why Elizabeth dislikes him, witness some of his exchanges with Elizabeth at Netherfield and Rosings, the underlying tension, absolutely superb. One of my problems with Firth's Darcy is one that other reviewers have already alluded to - he is too likable. There seems very little reason for Elizabeth to dislike him, in fact she is far more disagreable than he is. My one gripe with Rintoul is that I was not totally convinced with his change in manners when they meet at Pemberley, he is still too stiff. Firth was excellent in his portrayal of the 'reformed' Darcy. Charlotte and Mr. Collins are also well acted, she is sensible, realistic and still a great friend to Eliza not the snob that she was portrayed in 1995. Mr. Collins is a believable character not the caricature of 1995 version, he is still pompous and annoying, but you can see what makes him tick. Mr. & Mrs. Bennett are well portrayed, the Bennett sisters look alike as do the Bingley sisters.

My one major complaint with this version is that like the 1995 version, it meddles with the ending. I've never understood why directors/script-writers constantly interfere with what is a classic ending. Both versions seem to have been rushed as if the production teams realised that time was short and wrapped it up in a hurry. There are also some minor changes in the dialogue, but nothing too alarming as was the case with the 1995 version. Jane Austen's dialogue is the highlight of all her books, why would you change it? Then again I suppose that is why I am writing this review and not having my scripts filmed in Hollywood.

I enjoyed this immensely. Others have pointed to the budget limitations, but I for the life of me do not see how this has any relevance. This is a period piece not an action spectacular. A higher budget would just encourage directors to meddle with what is a great book in an attempt to justify expenditure (any one who has caught a glimpse of the 2005 P & P big screen version will know what I mean).

My best advice is to buy both versions and you'll not be disappointed. The earlier version is truer to the book, while the latter does the romance better.
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I really love this show!
lauri97 October 1999
I really love this version of Pride and Prejudice. I liked the A&E version too but sometimes the A&E version reminds me too much of a Sidney Sheldon miniseries or a Judith Krantz miniseries.

I really like how Mary Bennett was portrayed in this version. I hated the Mary Bennett in the A&E version.

All in all, this is a very good dramatization of Pride and Prejudice....
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By far the best version yet
rubberduh16 October 2004
I was surprised by some of the comments left about this adaptation. Elizabeth Garvie was fantastic as Elizabeth - so much more in the spirit of the novel than Jennifer Ehle or Greer Garson (the worst by far), both of whom just seemed petulant and, frankly, unintelligent. In fact, all of the actresses playing the Bennet girls were better cast than were those in the A&E version, although Susannah Harker as Jane Bennet was almost as good as Sabina Franklyn. Come to think of it, apart from Anna Chancellor (Miss Bingley in the A&E version - she was perfect), I think all of the actors in the BBC version were better cast. It's true that David Rintoul is very stiff. But that's really how, when reading the novel, I always envisioned him. I'm sorry to ever choose anyone over Colin Firth but I have to. His Mr. Darcy just lacks dignity. And subtlety. He's so very obvious. Really beautiful but, I'm sorry, really not Fitzwilliam Darcy.

It is also true that the production values in this version were low but really, it was the late 70s and made for the BBC! So, basically, that's too silly an argument against.

Overall, if you loved the book and want to see a version that's truly captured its spirit, see this version. If you just like looking at a lot of beautiful people standing about in beautiful clothes in beautiful surroundings, pretty much not getting the point, watch the A&E version.

By the by, the A&E version is also good for putting you to sleep.
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Hands down the best dramatization of this exquisite story
AmyVAnderson14 May 2007
This dramatization is by far the best I've seen to date. The dialogue is always faithful to the book -- if not a direct quote, it is at least in keeping with the spirit of Austen's story. The characters always act consistent with the characters that Austen developed. The 1995 version, which is touted as the most faithful rendition, is so bad that I could not watch the whole thing (though I kept trying to come back to it, so I've seen bits and pieces throughout the story). The parts I saw showed the characters as flat and two-dimensional, for example, I felt that Jennifer Ehle based her entire performance on Lizzie's statement that she loves to laugh. She simpers and giggles throughout. In addition to the flatness of the characterizations, the characters actions are not consistent with the characters Austen wrote. Can anyone who has read the novel actually comprehend Darcy throwing himself into the lake at Pemberly? Or walking into his home with his shirt plastered to his chest? It just would not have happened. In this version, all the characters are beautifully portrayed. Mrs. Bennet is silly, but not shrewish, Lady Catherine is dignified and arrogant, but not mean, Mr. Collins is pompous, conceited and silly, but not nasty, Lizzie loves to laugh but is intelligent and sensible, just as written by Jane Austen. If you love the book, if you want to see Austen's characters brought to life and not see a single false note, this is the version to watch.
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The True Spirit of Pride and Prejudice
violinmjr5 January 2003
Out of the three movie adaptations I have seen, this 1979 BBC, the 1995 AE/BBC, and the 1940 Lawrence Olivier, this production with Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul comes the closest to capturing the wit and elegance Jane Austen used to craft her novel.

Unfortunately, there are a number of complaints against it. It is true that the 1979 version was shot in a less extravagant manner than the new A&E version, but it is not distractingly limited. In fact, because one is not spending so much time distracted by the gorgeous sets and lavish costumes, the story, the characters and the vibrant emotions that radiate from them are the central concerns.

Some people claim that this version is stiff and unemotional compared to the distraught and passionate acting in the A&E version. However, the A&E production fails to observe the style of the period which is so crucial to the story. Reserved Victorian manners do not mean that the passion is not there, but rather that it is boiling just beneath the surface - to quote another user review. Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul deliver outstanding performances, each showing that they understand how to communicate the complex characters they portray in the constraints of Victorian society. In contrast, their counter parts in the A&E version deliver less "Jane Austen"ish performances. Colin Firth, though an excellent actor, is the better of the two, but his Darcy lacks dignity. Jennifer Ehle misses entirely the spirit of Lizzy. Her performance lacks the intelligence and vivacity that makes Lizzy attractive to Darcy in the first place. The only remnants of these qualities are the lines she says, but she delivers them with no regard for their meaning. Garvie, on the other hand, captures Lizzy effortlessly, and in this the chemistry between her and Rintoul is zestier and more believable.

The supporting characters are all played quite well, especially Mr. Collins. This is the authoritative movie, but I highly recommend reading the book appreciate the story fully.
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Most wonderful
chiconthehill20 January 2000
This film was the one that started my affection for Jane Austen's writing. Excellent dialogue and humor. I loved the whole cast and felt it truly represented Jane's novel with integrity! It is by far, the best visual version of P&P. My copy of this movie is much worn from constant playing!
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Faithful, classic adaptation of story
jsmlsend4 June 2004
This BBC version with Elizabeth Garvie as Elizabeth and David Rintoul as Darcy is faithful to the story and spirit of the book. Despite some flaws, it is much better than the A&E version. Apparently, the BBC version is coming out on DVD in summer 2004. The BBC Elizabeth is lovely, intelligent and lively within the social restrictions of the period. In contrast, the A&E version portrays Elizabeth as petulant and narcissistic and it feels like a contemporary character. David Rintoul is a physically striking and very aloof Darcy. It appears as if the director wasn't quite certain about Darcy because there are a few moments where he appropriately relaxes and shows some emotion. But this is inconsistent and there should have been a few more. Colin Firth in the A&E version is intelligent but seems more depressed than proud. The important relationship between Elizabeth and her father is shown in the BBC version but completely ignored in the A&E version. The BBC Wickham is very attractive,charming, and intelligent while the A&E Wickham is lackluster and not sufficiently attractive for this character.
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Best P&P out there
marques-51 November 2003
When, oh when, is this version going to be out in DVD format? I've been waiting years. It's the best Pride and Prejudice out there. The dialogue is based on the book, and the character actors are excellent. It's so much better than the A&E version. I've watched my VHS tape many times a year for the past 10 years, but now I need it on DVD.
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candycoatedtinkerbell22 November 2004
I've heard many people faulting this particular adaptation of Jane Austen's 'Pride & Prejudice' and i know many people prefer the 1995 version with Colin Firth in it. Admittedly i think it's very good but i am very much in favour towards the 1980 version. Colin Firth does carry off the character of Darcy very well but i strongly feel that David Rintoul is the better actor here. On a whole this adaptation is extremely beautiful and stays relatively true to the novel itself. Another favourite of mine is Mrs Bennet - i think she's wonderful and it makes the film worth watching time and time again. I can sit for hours and hours watching the developing relationship between David Rintoul and Elizabeth Garvie as the novels infamous couple. I rate it as 10/10.
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The best adaptation I have seen
didoug710 February 2014
I own the three most recent adaptations of "Pride and Prejudice". They are all good in different ways, but I would rate the 1980 version the best. If the 1995 BBC version has a fault, it seems to me to caricature some of the characters. This is especially true of the portrayal of the Bingley sisters, who are almost pantomime "ugly sisters" ; Alison Steadman's portrayal also seems a bit OTT. The portrayal of Mr Collins in the 1995 version also misses his bulky clumsiness. Another weakness in the casting is that Susannah Harker as Jane is not the beauty of the family. Jennifer Ehle is, to me, the more attractive. I think the same criticism could also be levelled at the film version. The Keira Knightley film, because of it's limited length, must, of necessity, miss out quite a lot of detail and dialogue. The film portrayal of Mrs Bennet is probably the most sympathetic of her, though Jane Austen is hardly sympathetic to her in the book. I think all three versions, with the above provisos, are all well cast, and the productions are enjoyable. It is quite interesting to see how the 1995 version has filled in bits of the story. Perhaps the one weakness of the 1980 version is that some of the scenes are clearly shot in a studio, with rather artificial views out of windows. The other mistake, as noted by other reviewers, is the Brahms music on the instrument. Elizabeth Garvie is, for me, perfect as Elizabeth. She is attractive, without being the beauty that Sabina Franklyn is. Her eyes are lovely, as they should be. She displays a wonderful range of expression to convey her feelings, without ever overacting, which is in keeping with Jane Austen's style. David Rintoul has been criticised as Darcy, especially by comparison with Colin Firth. Both are very good, but different. Firth is the more passionate, but Rintoul seems the more aristocratic and arrogant. Moray Watson is very good as Mr Bennet, conveying both the character's wit, but also other aspects - like his frustration with his wife, and overall laziness - well. Priscilla Morgan is excellent as Mrs Bennet, but the portrayal does not descend into caricature, and can at times elicit some sympathy. The portrayal of Mr Collins is excellent - large, pompous, clumsy, tactless, obsequious. Judy Parfitt is excellent as Lady Catherine. She is arrogant and dictatorial, simply as a matter of nature, while she never seems petulant, which Barbara Leigh Hunt at times appears in the 1995 version. The Bingley sisters are also well played, arrogant, and at times bitchy, but in a rather understated way, as they appear in the book. All in all, I find this a most satisfying adaptation. It is very true to the book, both in detail and in the spirit of the book. It conveys the wit of the writing in the spirit in which it was written, without ever over-romanticising, or caricature. The casting seems to me the best and most consistent, with the principal players, especially Elizabeth Garvie who is a delight in her part, very good indeed. I will return to this version often, with delight.
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This is the BEST "P & P" ever produced!
prmeteus3 August 1999
The movies are too short to capture the beauty of the book. And the new mini series by A&E and BBC is just plain tacky! This series, however, has it all! The most important aspect is the quality of the acting. Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul are excellent. They ARE Lizzy and Mr. Darcy. But the great acting doesn't end there. The quality of the cast is superb. From the most important stars all the way down to the most menial of the servants. Every actor and actress does a great job of capturing the mood of the era.

Please see this production. Buy it if you can. It is being shown on the Romance Channel, too. See it at all costs!
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this was a great movie
yourglamourgirl8914 February 2005
I really liked this movie. I have watched it with my family a lot lately and they all really enjoyed it. It is the closest I have ever seen a movie stay to the book. The man who played Mr. Collins did an excellent job, but my favorite was Mrs. Bennet. She was such an empty headed lady. David Rintoul did an excellent job playing Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Garvie was very good. My favorite of the sisters was Lydia perhaps because she was really so empty headed and did a really good job at it. Mr. Bennet was very good interacting with his daughters. He played the Mr. Bennet that I have always imagined in the book. The lady who played Ms. Bingley did a very good job- she was very convincing at being condescending and Mrs. Hurst did an equally well job. Let me congratulate Fay Weldon on directing such a convincing and wonderful movie suitable for all ages.
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Well Done!
celebworship5 January 2006
I have a soft spot for this version. I saw it when it was on Masterpiece Theater with my dad (who died last year) and the rest of my family.

Garvie is the best Elizabeth I've seen. Ehle's Elizabeth had more verve, but I felt Garvie's Elizabeth was truer to the character of the novel.

I would have loved to see her opposite Firth (I know she was too old in 1995, so it is just fantasy casting!), who I liked as Darcy better.

Firth was able to portray the changes in Darcy which Elizabeth's angry rejection brings about better.

I didn't think Rintoul managed to convey this as well.

I liked Mrs. Bennet better here, she was more restrained than the 1995 version. Jane was far superior in this version too.

However, the 1995 version is still my favorite and NOT because of Firth.

I think the 1995 version stuck closer to the novel than this one did.

A few examples: The scene where Elizabeth gets the letter from Jane alerting her to Lydia's elopement. In the book and the 1995 version, Darcy walks in on her right after she learns the news. In this version Elizabeth runs to Pemberly looking for her Aunt and Uncle and runs in to Darcy's sitting room.

Darcy walking in on her is important, it doesn't make sense she would share her troubles with him if he hadn't caught her unawares. Especially considering her mortification over her family AND that Wickham was involved. (This bugs me in the 2005 movie too, in that version Darcy is sitting with the Gardners, which again, makes no sense. Why would she tell him once she found her Aunt and Uncle?) The conversation with Lady Catherine is cut down in this version. Elizabeth's anger is much more muted here than in either the book and the 1995 version.

The second proposal scene. In the book and the 1995 version Elizabeth, Darcy and Kitty go walking with Jane and Bingley. Kitty runs off to see Maria Lucus, then Elizabeth thanks Darcy for his role in Lydia's marriage.

In this version, Darcy sends a note to Elizabeth to meet him in the grove, which she does. This eliminates her fears over Darcy's feelings for her, she is more sure of herself because he has made the first move (by asking her to meet him). In the book and 1995 version, she breaks the ice by thanking him, and later in the book teases him that she made the first move in assuring their happiness. He denies this by saying he was about to bring up Lady Catherine's visit but she beat him to the punch (not in those words of course, LOL).

There is no final scene between Mr. Benett and Elizabeth where he asks for her assurance that she really loves Darcy. It is a touching scene in the book which illustrates the father/daughter bond.

This is not to say this version isn't very good, it is. I love this story and don't think there can be too many versions, if done well.

I agree with another reviewer in that I wish they would dramatize the end of the book better, the story doesn't end after second proposal. I would love to see Collins come running back to escape Lady Catherine's wrath at the news and his subsequent behavior towards Darcy.

I don't know why for example, the 2005 USA release of the movie had to end with such a silly scene at Pemberly to show us a kiss. They could have easily stayed truer to the novel and had Collins come upon them in the grove in a clinch for example. LOL!! In conclusion, while the 1995 version remains my favorite, this one is extremely well done and worth the time
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The truest Lizzie, the stateliest version; a quiet pleasure.
LouE158 March 2008
Without doubt, this is the truest to the original novel by Jane Austen of all the versions made to date, and equally the quietest, the most stately and sedate. I won't worry about the story; anyone likely to watch this now will know already what it's about. It seems more and more likely to my sense that Elizabeth Garvie's Lizzie best represents the vision Jane Austen had of her brightest, most sparkling character: the sweetness is there, an interesting but not a perfect face (just as it should be); though perhaps just a little of the liveliness and archness that Austen wrote about is missing that you can find more easily in either Jennifer Ehle's excellent 90s TV Lizzie, or even Keira Knightley's more recent film outing. But in her bonnet and parasol, her curls wilfully asserting themselves, she's almost exactly what I imagined (apparently not everyone agrees).

David Rintoul's Darcy is on first watching, excessively stiff and not particularly entertaining to watch. There is so little mobility in his face, and on occasion even in his voice, that only careful repeated viewings reveal nuances in his performance. I do find myself liking his portrayal more now: it's very subtle, to be sure, no diving into pools or striding open-shirted through dawn meadows, but once you're used to the subtlety, the great formality provides a backdrop against which Darcy's own wit and growing interest in Lizzie stand out in the gentlest relief, like the pattern on a damask cloth.

So rich a text is bound to be full of favourite moments; and Weldon's script manages to include much of the wit – and some of the humour – of Austen's original, while also teasing out themes on marriage and happiness which suit her personal brief as a great feminist writer. I particularly love Lizzie's singing (I think it's dubbed but Garvie's acting of the singing is itself a pleasure to watch). The supporting cast is on the whole very good; I liked Uncle and Aunt Gardner and thought Mr Bingley and his sisters well cast. Mr Bennett was a little severe, and didn't seem to take the requisite pleasure in tormenting his wife.

I didn't find Mr Wickham very charming; but then I never do. It seems to me they never make him handsome enough – how else could he charm her so much as to blind her to real goodness and excellence? I guess the makers of these programmes are always afraid he'll steal the limelight from Darcy – but since that's exactly his function in the book, take the risk! Perhaps this version has receded into time and been superseded by later attempts that speak more directly to women now. But I'll be keeping it on my DVD shelves for a long time to come, to remind myself how well a little stately simplicity can work.
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Elegant and charming
caalling26 July 2000
This TV-series is perhaps not as well-known as the 1995-production starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and perhaps it doesn´t quite equal the magnificence of this more recent adaptation of Jane Austen´s novel. However, it is very good, and as its atmosphere and overall style differ pretty much from the 1995-production it is a relevant supplement to the latter, even if you´re as enthralled by Jennifer Ehle´s and Colin Firth´s performances as I am. Together the two TV-productions, both being perfectly true to the spirit of the novel, show the wide scope for variety when it comes to interpreting Jane Austen on TV. A peculiar feature of the 1979-production is that it is, as it were, theatrical; the actors and actresses deliver their lines with such distinct and dignified diction that it is almost as if they were staging a play. With some of them it occasionally becomes a little too much: particularly Peter Settelen is rather stiff and formal in the role of Mr. Wickham. But most of the cast manage to combine the theatrical touch with liveliness and credibility, and the result is a pervading air of calmness and serenity which is soothing to the nerves and makes every scene pleasant to watch. Malcolm Rennie is very good as Mr. Collins, lending this character a redeeming innocence and even a certain charm. Also noteworthy are Marsha Fitzalan, Judy Parfitt, and Moray Watson. The highlight, however, is Priscilla Morgan, who plays Mrs. Bennet with such vivacity and sweetness that it becomes possible to understand why Mr. Bennet could have been captivated by her in the first place and made the mistake of marrying her. Her performance alone is enough to recommend this TV-series, which, to sum up, is quite delightful without being supreme.
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