Friday, July 24, 2015

Which Adaptation is Right for You?- Pride and Prejudice

It's always exciting to finish a book you've been meaning to read forever just so you can watch the adaptations! But sometimes the adaptation options can be overwhelming. So, with this series I'm hoping I will be able to assist in finding the right adaptation for you, whether you have read the book or not.

I thought I would start this series off with one of literature's most adaptable novels, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (you can read my review of the novel here.) This story and its characters translate to the screen so well, and many great adaptations have been made. I'm going spotlight three different versions, one movie and two mini-series, that I have watched and enjoyed.

Because P&P is so often adapted, the different adaptations are usually referred to by their release date.

BBC Pride and Prejudice (1980)
mini- series, 265 total minutes, five episodes
Elizabeth Bennet- Elizabeth Garvie
Mr. Darcy- David Rintoul

This is the oldest adaptation I have seen of P&P and my least favorite (though it is still enjoyable). This adaptation is pretty much word-for-word from the book, so it is a very faithful adaptation. The costumes are quite enjoyable, and the casting is perfectly fine, but because I did not previously know any of the actors and I am not attached to them in any way, I don't find myself too attached to this adaptation. I still recommend checking it out if you love the story, but if you have not read the book, or are looking to watch your first adaptation, I wouldn't start with this one.

Lizzie Bennet 

The brooding Mr. Darcy

Lizzie and Darcy 

BBC Pride and Prejudice (1995)
mini- series, 327 total minutes, six episodes 
Elizabeth Bennet- Jenifer Ehle
Mr. Darcy- Colin Firth (!!!!!) 

So, for obvious reasons, I really like this adaption (that obvious reason is Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy). I saw this adaptation for the first time last year and really enjoyed it. After I finished the novel, I was doing my research on adaptations, and I saw the 1995 version being praised over and over again, so I finally picked it up and can now see why this is often times referred to as the best P&P adaptation. 
The costumes and setting are great, the casting is great, and it's exploding with British-ness! This adaptation is quite lengthy (about six hours!) so it won't be one to watch in one sitting (but who am I kidding, I watched it all in one sitting the first time I saw it) but it captures the characters and the story perfectly. Lizzie and Darcy's chemistry is really great, and Firth makes such a great broody and moody Darcy. If you have been hanging around the internet and classics novels for a while, you might be aware of the infamous wet, white shirt scene, which is in this adaptation; trust me, it is worth the hype. 
The Bennet sisters

The love birds 

and what we have all been waiting for... 


Pride and Prejudice (2005)
movie, 129 total minutes, 
Elizabeth Bennet- Keira Knightly 
Mr. Darcy-  Matthew Macfayden 
Mr. Bennet- Donald Sutherland
Kitty Bennet- Carey Mulligan 
Jane Bennet- Rosamund Pike
Lydia Bennet- Jena Malone 
This is the only movie adaptation of P&P that I have seen, and it was also the first adaptation I watched after finishing the book (and I have probably watched it at least six times since then.) Everything about this movie is perfect, and this is one of my all-time favorite movies. The setting, music, costumes, and cinematography are all beautiful. I love the casting, and how well Mr. Bennet and Lizzie's relationship comes across in this film, as that is one of my favorite parts about the novel. Kiera Knightly is gorgeous in this film, Lydia and Kitty and Mrs. Bennet ridiculous, and Mr. Darcy grumpy and then helplessly romantic. The script is so well done, and the characters are true to the novel. I highly recommend starting with this movie as your first P&P adaptation. I love that this movie allows me to get the entire story in one sitting unlike the mini-series, and I often listen to the score while I am doing homework! Oh! and P.S. Mr. Bingley is a red-head! 

 The Bennet Sisters

Lizzie and Darcy

Darcy and Bingley 


First Time Watchers: Pride and Prejudice 2005
Veteran Watchers: Pride and Prejudice 1980
Everyone in the Universe: Pride and Prejudice 1995 

Bonus: check out my thoughts on Death Comes to Pemberly 

Let me know what your favorite P&P adaptation is, or your favorite adaptation of any classic book! Now I'm off to rewatch all of these! 


  1. This is such a fun post, Mallory! I look forward to seeing more like it. I've only seen two of these - the 1995 miniseries and the 2005 movie - and out of the two I preferred the miniseries. I only watched the movie earlier this year and I didn't really enjoy it all that much. There were parts of it that I did really like, but for whatever reason it just didn't feel like P&P to me. I felt like I knew the actors in that adaptation too well, so I couldn't quite picture the characters they were playing.

    I have to admit I think my favourite adaptation might actually be The Lizzie Bennet Diaries webseries. I loved how they adapted the story for the 21st century and I thought it was a lot of fun. There was a little more diversity, too, as Bingley became Bing Lee. :)

    1. Thanks Jess!
      I cam see why you wouldn't care much for the movie version- Keira Knightly is perhaps a little too beautiful to be Lizzie, but I love the scenery and music so much that I don't mind the little flaws!
      I haven't seen all of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries yet, but I really should watch!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Has to be 1995 every time, nobody else does Mr Darcy like Colin Firth!

    Great post!

    Heather | Random Redheaded Ramblings