Pride and Prejudice (1940)
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I've seen three versions of P& P, this, the 1995 BBC miniseries and the Keira Knighley one from several years ago. This one is quite entertaining but Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy reigns supreme.
This is an excellent movie! And I looove Olivier's Darcy.
The 1940 adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice takes a lot of liberties with the material, and if it were a brave or bold direction, I might be more enchanted. But no, everything is designed to be remedially SAFE. A cast of actors too old for their parts, Elizabeth especially. Mister Darcy barely arcing. Pat, happy endings. Collins scored with comedy music, but rather boring all in all. A scene stolen from Emma, strangely. Generic period costuming. The script actually plugging the title in dialog. It's a great work of literature as adapted from its Cliff's Notes, but they didn't read anything beyond the synopsis. It's the surface plot without much analysis, which is odd because renowned writers like Aldous Huxley and Jane Murfin have their names on it. Not to say it isn't watchable. Some of Austen's text survives, after all, but the direction is flat and few ironic lines really land, so in the end, we have a safe and cozy period romcom. That's okay, but it's not great Jane Austen.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #612 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
This movie ranks #681 in The New York Times's Book of Movies