PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1995)

Okay everybody. I just watched the first half hour of the BBC production again and I have to be honest with you all: it sucks.

The acting is terrible. Everyone recites their lines, like they’re quoting Bible verses, instead of actually acting.

Mrs Bennet is obviously a stage actress because she simply screams all her lines, and she tries too hard to be irritating instead of physically incarnating irritation and superficiality as Brenda Blethyn does in the new one.

Most importantly, Jennifer Ehle is disgustingly sweet. Constantly squinting her eyes and doing her little cutsie face quickly becomes intolerable for the viewer. After a half hour I wanted to stab her in the face but I couldn’t so I just turned it off.

Darcy has to state (to Bingley’s sister) fairly early on his admiration for Lizzy because otherwise we would never know he likes her. And when he says so, it’s a complete shock and we have to take his word for it because there’s literally no evidence till then in the movie to support it.

This is also one of many scenes in the BBC version not witnessed firsthand by Lizzy — one of the best things in the new version is that it is shown totally from Lizzy’s point of view, which contributes greatly to its coherence as a film.

Finally, and maybe this is too harsh for a made-for-TV series, but the camera is 100% static. Everything is a stationary shot. There are also a lot of unnecessary shots. No reason for it to be 5 hours long with this many useless shots.

Quite simply, these two versions of Pride and Prejudice can hardly be compared. The BBC might be enjoyable as an audiobook or as a CD instead of a DVD, but in terms of direction it is a waste of filmstock. Perhaps fun to listen to, even despite some of the bad acting, but torture to watch.

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4 thoughts on “PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1995)

  1. […] In the BBC adaptation the Bennet family’s unseemliness was portrayed too innocently and played for comic relief, making Darcy’s criticism of their faults seem a bit heartless rather than the accurate, if badly expressed, observation that it should be. But here, the foolishness of the Bennet girls and especially their mother, however well-intentioned, is absolutely pathetic, making you disgusted by them at the same time you pity them. […]

  2. Elizabeth Bennet says:

    Havent read the book and studied it for the majority of my student life i am utterly disgusted that somebody could write such harsh words on the BBC’s adaptation of Jane Austins Pride and Predudice. i thourght the acting was wonderful and very true to the book. in the 2005 film of pride and prejudice i thourght they missed out some of the most important factor that draw you into the film, i didnt feel the same affection for the 2005 film like i did for the 1995 version.
    you are the proudest, the most horrid, disobliging person i have ever come across and believe me ma’am i may safely promise you never to dance with you should you ever ask me at the ball.
    Thankyou for your opinion but please dont express it again

  3. Elizabeth Bennet says:

    Having read the book and studied it for the majority of my student life i am utterly disgusted that somebody could write such harsh words on the BBC’s adaptation of Jane Austins Pride and Predudice. i thourght the acting was wonderful and very true to the book. in the 2005 film of pride and prejudice i thourght they missed out some of the most important factor that draw you into the film, i didnt feel the same affection for the 2005 film like i did for the 1995 version.
    you are the proudest, the most horrid, disobliging person i have ever come across and believe me ma’am i may safely promise you never to dance with you should you ever ask me at the ball.
    Thankyou for your opinion but please dont express it again

  4. Nobody says:

    Thank you for expressing your opinion, E.B., and I encourage you to look at my two reviews of the recent adaptation for more reasons why I thought the new version is a superior film.

    I’m sorry you didn’t offer any specific examples because I am open to being persuaded from my current opinion (surely such widespread fanatical, emotional devotion to Jennifer Ehle’s version can’t be wrong — can it?) but I suppose missed opportunities for understanding is a theme of the book, isn’t it?

    I was hurt by “most horrid” but I admit that “disobliging” gave me pause to consider the perhaps uncharitable tone of my post. In any case, you truly typified the spirit of Lizzy Bennett’s righteous zeal, if not the novel’s title.

    For your sake I’m sorry to hear your refusal to dance with people you don’t like, because such a restriction may prevent you from ever falling in love as your heroine did.

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