Synopsis - Taken from Pride and Prejudice (1995) Review
Mrs. Bennet is trying to marry off her five daughters. When the rich Mr. Bingley moves into the neighborhood, Mrs. Bennet is determined that he marry one of her daughters. Mr. Bingley takes an interest in Jane, the eldest daughter, while his friend, Mr. Darcy, offends Elizabeth, Jane's sister.
I only recognized two members of the cast. Elizabeth Garvie (Elizabeth Bennet) I have seen in the second season of The House of Eliott as Lady Elizabeth Montford (Does she tend of have characters with the name Elizabeth a lot?). I also saw that Judy Parfitt (Lady Catherine de Bourgh) was in here: I have seen in Little Dorrit as Mrs. Clennam.
|Elizabeth (Elizabeth Garvie) with Jane (Sabrina Franklyn)|
Elizabeth Garvie is not a very good Elizabeth Bennet. She seemed to be more catty than she should have been. I've never thought of Elizabeth as catty, but rather as someone who was offended by Mr. Darcy. In this Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth seemed to be actually in love with Wickham for a while and everyone seemed to know about it and she seemed to express it pretty obviously, which isn't supposed to be. Also, the way that she delivered some of her lines at some serious moments was almost done comically. If she wasn't comical in the delivery of her lines, she was quite dull. Honestly, Elizabeth Garvie's Elizabeth can't even compare to Jennifer Ehle's Elizabeth in the 1995 miniseries. Jennifer Ehle had a way of speaking Elizabeth's lines that was very easy and natural to her -- and it came out very natural and sounded like the Elizabeth in the book. Elizabeth Garvie seemed to not only say her lines in a way that was quite dull, but she also made Elizabeth look more catty than she should have been.
|Mr. Darcy (David Rintoul) proposing to|
Elizabeth (Elizabeth Garvie)
Let me say this: David Rintoul is not Mr. Darcy. All his lines were said very, very dully and with absolutely no emotion. It seemed like the whole time, he was just spitting out his lines as quickly as possible. Even when Elizabeth ran to Pemberly to tell him about Lydia's elopement (which is definitely not the way it happened in the book), he failed to be at all affected by Elizabeth crying in front of him. It seemed like he was merely speaking the lines and not acting them. He barely moved as he was talking, resembling a block of wood. Spoiler I'm also not one for romantic scenes much, but could Mr. Darcy's second proposal possibly be any duller? There seemed like there was absolutely no emotion in the entire scene (I know the emotion is not supposed to be excessive, but it ought to have been subtle. It was just entirely lacking here). Again, it's another example of both Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul just saying the lines and not acting as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. End of Spoiler I think I am much more far assured that Colin Firth is the definitive Mr. Darcy.
You can't really expect very breathtaking scenery from a BBC miniseries made in the 70s or 80s. The outdoor scenes were okay, but nothing special. The miniseries does come off like a play (as do many period dramas of the 70s and 80s). Comparing to other period dramas from the 80s, I would say the quality is about the same.
|Wickham telling Elizabeth how Mr. Darcy|
The costuming was okay. Everything looked for the most part period accurate. I notice that many of the women wore chemisettes under their dresses, which would be accurate to the time period. A lot of lace in the necklines for evening wear was used, though, which is something that I've never noticed before. I don't have any reason to say that it's inaccurate, but I haven't seen it before and I've seen quite a bit of movies that take place in the Regency Era.
Not the best music. I wouldn't say that the background music is representative of the music of the time. And the Mr. Collins theme was horrid! It sounded like a song out of some really bad comedy. A little bit of a side note: I noticed that Mary Bennet would always sing the song "Early One Morning". I instantly recognized the song since I am a fan of the show Bonanza, and that was a song most notably sung by the character Adam Cartwright. (By the way, Adam sung it much better)
There are a lot of people who really love this version of Pride and Prejudice: I'm not one of them. There were just so many elements of the story changed and many of the characters were not the way that they should have been. This miniseries was much more duller than it should have been. I would definitely say that if you only want to see one version of Pride and Prejudice, skip this version and watch the 1995 one: it's much more accurate to the book and a lot more fun to watch.
Pride and Prejudice is available on DVD and VHS and is also on Netflix Instant Streaming. It runs for 265 minutes and is made up of five episodes.