Despite every good intention the series I start seem to waver at some point or another. The “Romance Adaptation” series, for example, hasn’t received a new installment since Christmas 2020 (!!). Needless to say, this is long overdue. Trouble is, honestly, I struggle with the adaptations to add because it’s almost as if I’ve already featured all of the ones I either love or are super popular. But, as we all know, one I haven’t yet featured is a ‘romance adaptation: Pride and Prejudice.’ This is what inspired today’s post plus the fact that sometimes our spaces need a little Mr. Darcy.FACES OF A ROMANCE ADAPTATION: THE ONE ABOUT ‘PRIDE & PREJUDICE’ #JANEAUSTEN #PERIODROMANCE #PERIODDRAMA #PRIDEANDPREJUDICE #LIZZIEBENNET #MRDARCY Click To Tweet
If you don’t know what the story of Pride and Prejudice is (and I’m sure you do), we meet and follow the Bennet family in the 1800s English countryside. The family consists of a mother who’s quite overdramatic, a father who’s small estate will go to a distant cousin and their five daughters. Naturally given that women cannot inherit, Mrs. Bennet is obsessed with finding husbands for her girls, and into this family walks the handsome, cheerful and very wealthy Mr. Bingly and his more reserved and uptight friend, Mr. Darcy.
Given that it was Jane Austen’s birthday a few weeks ago and she authored the illustrious novel Pride and Prejudice AND add in the fact that our romance day of Valentine’s day is on the horizon, and well, it all feels right and falls into place to share this now. As I’m putting this together and thinking through the process of putting it all together, I’ll let you into my dilemma. It’s this: do I include only the period drama adaptations or include the more “traditional” modern variations too? Such a pop culture-y dilemma to have. The answer will evolve as this takes shape, no doubt, since I’m usually moving, deleting or adding things up until the last minute. Something that is likely not a good idea. Enough from me though. Let’s get to looking at the adaptations, shall we?
THE FACES OF A ROMANCE ADAPTATION: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
1: PRIDE & PREJUDICE (1940)
Famous based on its actors (Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier) and I think also genuinely liked by viewers, this isn’t my favorite, but surprisingly, it’s also not my least favorite version of this story. The image it presents is one of a much “prettier” reality for the characters meaning that Lizzie and her sisters seem to live with and in much prettier things, likely all something that is because of the era this film was made. Find digitally on Amazon Video
2: PRIDE & PREJUDICE (1980)
I have very bad memories of watching all of the Jane Austen 80s adaptations. Perhaps this wasn’t my least favorite of the group (which all included Persuasion, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey), but heavens, these aren’t GOOD in my ranking. There’s something about them that’s just not normal and everything feels very “rehearsed.” The production even comes off as more of staged play than a film production. Find digitally on Amazon Video with a BritBox add on
3: PRIDE & PREJUDICE (1995)
The favored classic this one features the much loved Colin Firth as well as the infamous shirtless pond scene. Needless to say this 90s A&E adaptation is one most consider THE defining adaptation. While I did grow up on this one, it’s not my personal favorite. That said, I do have good feels for this one and appreciate that it’s, very likely, really true to its novel from Jane Austen. Find digitally on Amazon Video
4: PRIDE & PREJUDICE (2005)
I’m pretty sure I was quite unimpressed when reading this was going to be made. Not because I didn’t think I’d like it, but, going backwards, because I grew up on what was considered THE definitive adaptation (of course we speak of the aforementioned A&E adaptation). That said, I liked the film (quite a lot) when seeing it in theaters for the first time and each subsequent viewing since has afforded me the chance to see it in its best and most vibrant light. In other words, I adore this version. That end sunrise scene? Beautiful. And while most find it distasteful, I love the little epilogue scene. Find digitally on Amazon Video
5: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (2016)
Ok, in all honesty, we can just admit that P+P+Z is probably not a serious contender for a serious version of the words Jane Austen penned. However, as I didn’t expect to like this adaptation even a little bit, I did have to include it for all the nostalgic purposes. Plus I do think the film is pretty good. Not top shelf in comparison to a more serious version, but good nonetheless. Find digitally on Amazon Video
OTHER FILMS BASED ON (OR INSPIRED BY) PRIDE & PREJUDICE: Bride and Prejudice (Amazon Video); Christmas at Pemberley Manor (Amazon Video); The Lizzie Bennet Diaries; Lost in Austen (Amazon Video); Pride and Prejudice, 2003 (Amazon Video); Pride and Prejudice Atlanta (Amazon Video); Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe (Amazon Video); Unleashing Mr. Darcy (Amazon Video); and likely many others I’m ignoring!
What about you? Which adaptation is YOUR favorite? Which one in this romance adaptation: Pride and Prejudice selection do you love best? Have you seen all of these or none of them? What other multiple adaptation films can we feature? Comment which Darcy and Lizzie (or any character!) you love best. Let’s debate one of the greatest literary stories (on film) ever! Comment all the comments. I’m here for it!
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