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Pride and Prejudice (BBC Miniseries)

4.0 out of 5 stars 660 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) (DVD)

Amazon.com

In Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice, the arrival of a young, well-off, eligible man named Mr. Bingley sends the Bennet household--with five girls of a marrying age--into a tizzy. But it's the introduction of Mr. Bingley's friend, Mr. Darcy (played with an imperious scowl by David Rintoul), that sets in motion the fate of Elizabeth Bennet (the adorable Elizabeth Garvie), resolved only after a labyrinth of social and personal complexities. Austen's novels are miracles of skillful plotting, fusing a rich understanding of psychological motivation with whimsical turns of chance. This superb BBC adaptation from 1980 zips along, thanks to lively performances, fluid direction, and a keen grasp of the wit of Austen's dialogue (expertly translated to the screen by British novelist Fay Weldon) and her satirical characters, who range from clever and kind to utterly odious. Due to its faithfulness and deep appreciation of the material, this five-episode miniseries stands up against any other film or television adaptation (at least nine to date), though Rintoul may not sets hearts aflutter the way Colin Firth did in the also excellent 1995 miniseries. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Digitally remastered print of complete 1980 mini-series

Product Details

  • Actors: Elizabeth Garvie, David Rintoul, Emma Jacobs, Moir Leslie, Sabina Franklyn
  • Directors: Cyril Coke
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • 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: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 24, 2004
  • Run Time: 265 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (660 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000244FDW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,952 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pride and Prejudice (BBC Miniseries)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I've lost count of how many times I've read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - it's one of my very favorite books. Comparing the two miniseries adaptations of it -- this one done in the 80s by BBC and the more recent one by A&E/BBC (Pride and Prejudice - The Special Edition (A&E, 1996)) -- there are definite advantages to each. The one you choose depends on what you want. If you want a Hollywood-style romantic comedy, watch the A&E version. But if you want what is closest to Austen's novel (which I prefer, and enjoyed more), watch the older BBC version. The first time I tried to watch the newer version, I turned it off after the first 30 minutes because I kept saying, "THAT didn't happen in the book" over and over again and it was really frustrating me. I finally forced myself to keep watching it with my mom there to be able to vent to as needed (she's also a huge fan of P&P and of the Rintoul version), and got through it OK and then wrote this review afterwards.

POSITIVES OF THE A&E VERSION:

1) It is a visual feast: The costumes, sets and scenery are exquisite and make that version worth watching for that reason alone. They obviously had a larger budget than the 80s version, which is done in the old BBC 'stage play' style.

2) Since that version is 75 minutes longer than the BBC version, you get to enjoy that much more of Austen's incomparable dialogue - the best ever written in the English language besides Shakespeare, in my opinion!

3) In the interplays between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, their emotions are much more pronounced and open than in the BBC version... which makes their relationship more openly romantic even than in the novel.
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Format: VHS Tape
I think all of the previous reviews have interesting points of view, particularly in comparing this version to the later one starring Colin Firth. I think they both have their good points--I like this version mainly for Elizabeth Garvie's portrayal of Elizabeth, which seems much more true to the book. She's witty and also excitable; Jennifer Ehle portrays an Elizabeth who is so mellow she isn't very much like the original character. I also in this version much preferred Mr. Bennett (in the later version he seems more like a kindly old man than the sarcastic and eccentric wit of the book), Lady Catherine, Jane, and Miss Bingley. Although I think I preferred the Jane in this early version simply because she's actually pretty--the later version's actress, though perfectly competent, was not very attractive, and Jane's purported beauty is kind of important in the book itself. I also liked the Mr. Darcy in this version--I think one reason Firth comes off better is because you just get to see more of him so you start to warm up to him--David Rintoul doesn't get the same opportunity.
What I did like about the second version was its dramatization of Mr. Darcy's going to London and seeking Wickham and Lydia, as well as what he went through with Wickham attempting to run off with his sister. It fleshed it out.
Of the more minor characters: Lydia was MUCH better in the later version than in this one. I think Miss Bingley was better in the first version. She seemed more comfortable with her lines, and wasn't as obviously bitchy--it made more sense that she would seek a friendship with Jane, at least initially.
Lady Catherine is much better in this version, mainly because she's much better fleshed out. She's hilarious.
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Format: VHS Tape
I have watched the newer A&E adaptation of "Pride & Prejudice" (starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth) a couple of years ago, and enjoyed it very much. Last week, I borrowed from the local British Council Library, the video of this much earlier (1980) adaptation of Austen's novel. And my verdict? I find this earlier production to be MUCH, MUCH superior to A&E's!!

The casting is perfect, principally Elizabeth Garvie (an Elizabeth playing "Elizabeth Bennett", how very nice!), David Rintoul (as Mr Darcy) and the actors playing Mr & Mrs Bennett (brilliant performance from both), Mr Collins, Charlotte Lucas and oh, just about EACH and EVERY character! I must give my opinion that I find the Mr Darcy here far handsomer than that portrayed by Colin Firth. David Rintoul's Darcy is classically handsome - tall, dark, brooding, with nicely chiselled features and a very noble bearing. I loved to hear him speak. Elizabeth here is reasonably pretty too, has a ready wit and also displays great sensibility and generosity (I thought Jennifer Ehle was a little chubby for her character). The Mr Collins in this earlier production is also truer to the book; he is still odious, self-centred and annoying to the last degree, but is less of a caricature than that portrayed in A&E's version.

But I enjoyed this production best of all for the following 3 reasons:

1) I like it that some of Elizabeth's most important thoughts are made known to the viewer through a voice-over. For instance, after rejecting Darcy's proposal, we find Elizabeth, not in tears like in the A&E's version, but thoughtful and a little dazed, and as she sits down to "digest" what has just happened, the voice-over lets us know what she is thinking.
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