1995 BBC Pride & Prejudice Review

In 1994 with a budget of 9.6 million dollars the BBC filmed what would become one of the best-loved versions of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.  This production stars Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennett.  Do I like this adaptation better?  It is really challenging for me to say that I love this one over the 2005 movie.  I love both versions and feel that each one has its own merits.  This one follows the book more closely than the 2005 movie.

Colin Firth is quite handsome as Mr Darcy.  He fits the description of Mr. Darcy more than Matthew McFadyen does.  I love both of these actors in the role though.  I do not prefer one over the other.  I can easily picture Richard Armitage making a great Mr. Darcy as well.

I love, love, love Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennett.  To me she was more like the Elizabeth Bennett in the book.  Jennifer brought a graceful elegance to the character.  Some people thought that she looked too old to be 20-year-old Lizzy.  I do think she looks older than 20 but I was fine with that.  Mr Darcy is supposed to be 28 and he did not look 28 to me so why single out Jennifer Ehle for not appearing to be 20.  On Camera many people appear older than they really are.

The opening scene shows Elizabeth taking a walk as she normally does.  Elizabeth is enjoying her walk and at one point she starts skipping which is a reminder that she is still a young girl.   It is important to remember that even though Elizabeth is more mature than most girls her age she still is a young girl.  I do not want to see that taken away from the character no matter who portrays her.

 

There is great chemistry between Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.  While filming the movie Colin and Jennifer starting seeing one another, so that could be one of the reasons why they blended so well.

 

Colin Firth looks very sexy in period clothes.  He is well fitted and looks quite dashing.  Jennifer Ehle is also elegantly attired unlike Keira Knightly in the 2005 movie.  The Bennett’s were not destitute although they are much lower on funds than other families.

 The Bennett sisters
Mr Darcy and Mr. Bingley
 I love the costumes.  Costuming is one of the reasons I love period dramas.
Mrs Bennett and her husband Mr. Bennett.  Both of these actors played their part well.
Mr. Wickham and Lydia Bennett
I love the scene where Elizabeth comes upon Mr. Darcy waiting for her to give her his letter after she rejects his marriage proposal.
You can watch the first marriage proposal scene on video by clicking on the link below.
Compare it to the first proposal scene in the 2005 movie.  I know that a lot of women love this one but to me the passion in the 2005 movie version is deeper.  I do like both of them however.
Mr. Darcy shows that he does know how to relax a bit and jumps into the lake.
Elizabeth begins to soften towards Mr. Darcy and the change is lovely to see.  Mr. Darcy is obviously in love and Elizabeth is discovering her budding love for him.
Miss Elizabeth with Lady Catherine de Bourgh.  Elizabeth does a great job putting Lady Catherine in her place.
This is the second proposal scene.  It is done more in keeping with the spirit of the book.
The double wedding was a nice touch.

9 comments

  1. margaretofthenorth says:

    I may be old-fashioned but I prefer this to the more recent movie. More in the spirit of Jane Austen and Jennifer Ehle is the more quintessential Elizabeth Bennet. Also, Colin Firth defined a Darcy that would be hard to surpass.

    • collarcitybrownstone says:

      Yes, this BBC version is indeed more in the spirit of Jane Austin. I think that Matthew McFadyen was a more passionate Mr. Darcy and I LOVED that. Overall I agree that the BBC version is better because it is more true to the book.

      I actually would love to see Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe playing the lead roles in a remake of Jane Austen’s Persuasion

  2. Sasha Fitzgerald says:

    Loved reading this post! Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books and movies. I love the Victorian period in general, but there’s something so particularly enchanting about Darcy and Lizzie. The more often I’ve reread the book, the more I pick up on the witty dialogue, and small instances of romance. One of my favourite characters is Mr. Collins. I think he was brilliantly portrayed in both movies. I also loved that scene where Darcy professes his love, in the 2005 movie best, though over all I much prefer the BBC version. Anyway, great article!! I’m off to re watch the movie (though I don’t know which one to pick!). 🙂

    – Sasha
    http://www.bohemianfaerie.com

    • collarcitybrownstone says:

      Hi Sasha,

      If I HAD to pick one over the other I admit that it would be the BBC version. It is more in keeping with the book and I prefer Jennifer Ehle as Lizzy over the Keira Knightly version. I love watching the 2005 proposal scene. It always sends chills up my spine. Matthew McFadyen also has very expressive eyes.

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