Wednesday

Let's talk about Pride and Prejudice movies

This being the 200 year anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, we will be joining in the conversations about this great book and some of the movies that have been made of it. We have scheduled a systematic approach, beginning with discussing the movies in general, one at a time. After that, the posts will take a look at the individual characters of the book, which actor played them, and our opinion of how good the portrayal was. We will also take a look at various scenes from the movies in comparison to how the scene is portrayed in the book.

We have chosen to start with the 1940 movie version, starring Greer Garson as Elizabeth and Laurence Olivier as Darcy. Now, when deciding to write about the movies, we determined not to rate them from best to worst. The reason for that is, we think there are major flaws in all of them, except this one! Yes, this version deviates wildly from the book, and there are probably only four scenes in the movie that are actually from the book... 
so maybe that is a flaw -- LOL

But what we love about this movie is that it actually captures the feel of the book better than the others do. Lizzy is funny and independent, the acting is strong from all the players, the costumes are wonderful, and most of all -- yes I know I’m repeating myself -- this movie has that light-hearted sense of humor that the book has.

P&P is certainly not written like a drama, even though it has the stuff of drama: broken hearts, ruined reputations, slander. But this is the genius of Jane Austen in her book, Pride and Prejudice. She sees the sense of humor in life’s episodes, and by means of Mr. Bennet’s sarcastic humor and Lizzy’s clever wit (not to mention Mrs. Bennet’s silliness), Ms. Austen keeps P&P from having the same dramatic feel as her books Persuasion or Sense and Sensibility.

I don’t think the term dramady quite fits it, because that word suggests more drama than comedy. I would suggest a whole new word: comed-ra, or for those who like bigger words, comdramady. Whatever it’s called, it is our opinion that this version is more true to the spirit of the book.

Cindy's note: Here’s a scene that not only shows a wild deviation from the book,
but at the same time captures the light-heartedness of this version. I wish I could have gotten the whole scene that comes before this part, but maybe you can watch the whole movie sometime. By the way, we did see the colorized version of this once, and it's really beautiful. Just never have been able to find it to buy.