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Pride and Prejudice

579 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Pride and Prejudice (DVD)

The socially conscious Mrs. Bennet (Mary Boland), with the begrudging help of her husband (Edmund Gwenn), sets out to find suitable--and suitably rich--husbands for her five daughters. The already difficult project becomes even more complicated when Mrs. Bennet's strongest-willed daughter, Elizabeth (Garson), decides to pursue rich and handsome, but cynical and boorish, Mr. Darcy (Olivier). But Elizabeth will only win Mr. Darcy on her own terms--and only after exacting genteel revenge for his initial indifference toward her in this story of romance, wit and manners.

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Jane Austen's wonderful novel has been adapted to the screen many times, with this 1940 version representing the golden age of the Hollywood studio era. Greer Garson, then just on the cusp of her stardom, plays the headstrong Elizabeth Bennet, smartest of five daughters who must be married off. Laurence Olivier is that difficult fellow Mr. Darcy, whose mulishness about the Bennet girls begins to thaw when he gets a dose of Elizabeth's sense and sensibility. The film is done up in the glamorous MGM house style, which means we're stuck with the less-than-inspired direction of Robert Z. Leonard (The Great Ziegfeld), redeemed somewhat by a collection of handsome sets (Cedric Gibbons and Paul Groesse won the Oscar for Interior Decoration) and the dandy photography by Karl Freund, one of the greats. Anyone accustomed to the 1995 miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice will need to adjust to the swifter demands of a two-hour movie, and to be sure this version, like the 2005 Keira Knightley remake, simplifies some of Austen's scenes. It's one of the few films, by the way, with Aldous Huxley as a credited screenwriter. Edmund Gwenn is lovely as Mr. Bennet, and Mary Boland brash as Mrs. Bennet; Garson, although MGM liked to corset her in fine-lady roles, manages to let Elizabeth's sauciness come through. Actually, the movie's weak spot is Laurence Olivier's elaborate performance as Darcy, which feels too theatrical. Not that it matters; Austen's story is so good, the film sails through to its delicious finish with all flags flying. --Robert Horton

Special Features

Theatrical Trailer: Oscar nominated, Crime Doesn't Pay Short Eyes of the Navy Classic Cartoon The Fishing BearTheatrical Trailer: Oscar nominated, Crime Doesn't Pay Short Eyes of the Navy Classic Cartoon The Fishing Bear

Product Details

  • Actors: Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier, Mary Boland, Edna May Oliver, Maureen O'Sullivan
  • Directors: Robert Z. Leonard
  • Writers: Aldous Huxley, Jane Murfin
  • Producers: Hunt Stromberg
  • Format: Full Screen, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (579 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GRUQKQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,991 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pride and Prejudice" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

169 of 184 people found the following review helpful By Tamara Andre on July 14, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I have seen this movie possibly 50 times, and will see it another 50. I first saw it when I was a wee lass, and it was seeing this movie which caused me to read the to the book.....and for bringing me the mesmerizing literature of Jane Austen, I will be eternally grateful. I have since read the book even more times than I have seen the movie... and every other Jane Austen book. She is my favorite author by far, and the book is my favorite. I am reading it now, yet again, and will probably read it every year of my life.
I think the movie is the best of the lot. I realize that the movie was made in the 1940's, and the sets and costumes are not totally accurate, especially when compared to the fine latter day versions (I especially like the Colin Firth one)... But all in all, this movie, the 1940 original with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier, is in my opinion, head and shoulders above all other film adaptations.
Not because it is more faithful in those details I previously mentioned, but because for all that, I feel like I am stepping back into the past when I watch it, and the essential ideals and concepts and stories which are the cornerstone of Pride and Prejudice are intact and inviolate here as they are in few other movies.
There is a passage in the book, "Elizabeth, having rather expected to affront him, was amazed at his gallantry; but there was a mixture of sweetness and archness in her manner which made it difficult to affront anybody". This seems to me to sum up not only our dear Lizzy, but Greer Garson as well. She IS ELIZABETH!! Never once when insulting Mr. Darcy did she not seem charming and goodhearted. She is the perfect Lizzy, and in my opinion, most every castmember is the same.. perfect for their roles.
I just love it.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By randomartco VINE VOICE on July 21, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is classic old-school Hollywood masterpiece at its best: with a total run time of 117 minutes, this is altogether a much-condensed version of Jane Austen's beloved tale, "Pride & Prejudice." I love A&E's 6 hour version (which is more accurate to the book), but this shorter version is just such fun to watch & enjoy!

When there are 5 unmarried daughters in any upper-class Regency family, it is sure to lead to trouble! For Mrs. Bennett, the news of a rich, young bachelor (Mr. Bingley) moving to town, sends her into quite a tizzy! She spends all her time scheming & plotting to marry her daughters off to any suitable gentleman in the neighborhood who will take them: Jane, the eldest & prettiest, Elizabeth (our heroine), the second & wittiest, Mary, the third & bookish, Kittie, the fourth & silly, and Lydia, the fifth & silliest. Mrs. Bennett has such a time keeping all her daughters in line, and all (*gasp*) without the help of a governess! The antics of the Bennett family are sure to have you rolling in stitches...

Greer Garson is simply excellent as Elizabeth "Lizzie" Bennett, and Laurence Olivier is wonderful as Mr. Darcy: Elizabeth is just so independent & intelligent, while Darcy is proud & haughty. Their quick-witted, sometimes tongue-in-cheek dialogues are so entertaining to watch & enjoy! All the cast is simply excellent: Miss Bingley so snotty, Lady Catherine de Bourg so supercilious, and on and on...

This is one I have been waiting ages for the DVD release! This is highly recommended as an amazing piece of Hollywood movie history!!
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70 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 30, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is a magnificent, although loose, adaptation of Jane Austen's novel of the same name. The superlative cast does justice to the witty and sophisticated screenplay by Aldous Huxley. It is a wonderful period piece and a delightful comedy of manners.

The story revolves around the upper middle class Bennett family, who live in a small, provincial town. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, wonderfully played by Mary Boland and Edmund Gwenn, have five daughters whom they must marry off. So, when Mrs. Bennett receives news of a wealthy bachelor, Mr. Bingley, moving into town, Mrs. Bennett is over the moon with joy. She soon begins maneuvering her daughters, so that perhaps one of them may be taken off her hands in happy wedlock.

Jane Bennett, beautifully played by the lovely Maureen O'Sullivan, manages to engage Mr. Bingley's heart at a local ball. Elizabeth Bennett, intelligent and articulate, manages to capture the interest of Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley's even wealthier best friend. Greer Garson is superlative in the role of Elizabeth, while Laurence Olivier is perfect in the role of the arrogant, soon to be humbled by love, Mr. Darcy.

Mr. Darcy, drawn to Elizabeth, falls in love with her, but makes a proposal of marriage filled with such snobbery that Elizabeth, who has since discovered that Mr. Darcy had negatively interfered with Jane's romance with Mr. Bingley, is repulsed and turns him down. Elizabeth later finds out through the machinations of Mr. Darcy's aunt, delightfully played with autocratic hauteur by Edna May Oliver, that perhaps she had misjudged Mr. Darcy, and she overcomes her prejudice against him.

Driven by a love that sees him humbled, Mr. Darcy puts away his pride and overcomes the snobbery he initially felt towards the Bennetts.
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