Pride and Prejudice Which version is best?

hyperhobbit07 posted on Dec 05, 2006 at 04:43AM
What is your favorite version of Pride and Prejudice?

Is it the A&E version with Colin Firth?!?
Or the newest version with Keira Knightley?
Maybe even Bollywood's "Bride and Prejudice"

Let your voice be heard!!!

Pride and Prejudice 35 replies

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over a year ago jerseygirl said…
Haha...great question! I saw all three. Bride and Prejudice was fun but a bit too campy and cheesy for my taste. I LOVED Keira as Elizabeth and thought that they did a great job on the film. But how can anyone touch the great A&E classic with the perfect Darcy Mr. Colin Firth? :)
over a year ago lovetv said…
It has to be the A&E/BBC version. The Keira Knightly film is good if you want a P&P fix but don't have the 6hours to spare :)

Also the film seemed to try to make it real....that the charaters wouldn't have washed and that there was dirt everywhere...Jane Austan is not about dirt...she was about love and yummy men!

The alternative ending is a bit weird but i would have been happy if they had added on only hour or two!!!
over a year ago MegG said…
Well I own all three and for me it's got to be the Keira Knightly version. I know I pretty much have to stand alone on this one but I just had to say it and for the alternative ending I thought it a cute look into Darcy and Elizabeth's life at Pemberly.

Oh and I think we all know Bride and Prejudice can't touch the other two but it still holds a speical place in my heart and DVD case. lol
over a year ago jenoufan said…
there are actually 4 versions. there is one that is like a mormom version that is actually not bad. it changes things quite a bit though which i don't like. to me the best version is the A & E version. anyone who likes the book more than likely would like the A&E version because it tells the story in the best and most complete way. the kiera knightly i liked but to me they made elizabeth to be a bit to immature. and yeah, everyone looks dirty to me too. i don't know why they did that i guess maybe to make you realize that they did live in the country. but some times you couldn't tell the difference between the servants and people with money. but i loved the last scene with his coat flying in the wind. awesome. i don't know why but the long coat gets me.
over a year ago robbbie85 said…
The best version is the 1945 version. No one beats Olivier at acting, and he is simply superb as Mr. Darcy.
over a year ago chel1395 said…
Colin Firth IS Mr Darcy, plain and simple. I enjoyed the 2005 version and Bride and Prejudice, but the 1995 film is by far my favorite.
over a year ago kateliness2 said…
Bride and Prejudice is nothing compared to the other two. The 1995 film is amazing but as much as I love it and as many times as I have watched it, I always thought that there was something missing, something subtle that it needed to make it just right. The 2005 version is definitely my favorite, it had what all other versions lacked and I just can't place my finger on it. Really helpful, I know ;)
over a year ago charleybrown said…
The 1995 miniseries is a classic and is in a class of its own! The 2005 movie with Keira was good but just can't cover the depth in 2 hours that the 6 hour version does. As for Bride and Prejudice, I love Indian films and couldn't wait to see a movie that combined this genre with P&P but sadly I was disappointed in the outcome.

By the way, for all the people voting on their favourite version in the polls, has everyone seen both versions? I somehow feel that younger viewers are choosing the Keira Knightley film just because it's current.
over a year ago jessy2792 said…
Well I also have to choose the 2005 version.(To charleybrown) I don't prefer it because it's the current version, but for me the movie was simply indescribable and in a class of it's own. Of course I've already seen the BBC series but I really didn't like it that much. Collin Firth was superb as Mr.Darcy but somehow the whole thing just didn't get to me that much .Besides in my opinion Jennifer looked ugly as sin and gave such a stiffness to Lizzy's character it was just not enjoyable.
over a year ago charleybrown said…
I'm surprised that you felt that way. I thought Jennifer was both sensitive and dignified as Elizabeth. As much as I like Keira Knightley, I thought that Jennifer Ehle gave much more credibility to the beauty of Elizabeth.

I do agree with you that the cinematography of the 2005 version was exceptional but I felt with only 2 hours, they needed to spend more time on developing the characters.
over a year ago Jillywinkles said…
Before I get to comparing the BBC mini and the 2005 version, which everyone tends to do, let me say something about the other versions.

Bride and Prejudice -- I love this movie :D. I hate the casting of Mr. Darcy, but everything else it fantastic and Aishwarya Rai is one of my favorite Lizzys.

The Mormon version -- I don't know about this one, but there was this one P&P movie/series thing that I saw, and it was old and cheap-looking, and very bad besides. I turned it off. I think it was this one, but I'm not sure, it might have been a different one.

The 1945 version -- I haven't seen it, and I really want to. I've heard that the acting is excellent, especially Olivier, and I know a lot of people who say it is their favorite version. Although, I've also heard that the sets and costumes are not historically correct, and they change things from the original story. Anyway, I really need to see this movie.
over a year ago Jillywinkles said…
Okay, so here is a comparison of the 2005 and the 1995. Wow I am writing too much.

Mr. Darcy -- Both are very good, but I tend to lean towards Colin Firth, just because he's so brilliant at it.

Lizzy -- I much prefer Keira Knightley, although she didn't completely fulfill my expectations either. Jennifer Ehle disppointed me, mostly because I hardly felt any chemistry between her and Firth. And I think it's her fault. CF would say one line and look at her in a way that made me start fanning myself, and then she'd reply in flat, bored, almost pissed off tone, and kill the mood completely. Also, I know she and KK have different body types and they're both very beautiful, but to me it was much more believable that KK was an outdoorsy, playful woman. The scenes where JE was going for a walk outside or playing with a dog seemed stuck-in and forced.

Lydia and Wickham -- I much prefer the BBC version for both these characters. I hated the 2005 Wickham, he was a copy of Orlando Bloom that hardly bothered trying to act. The BBC Wickham and Lydia were both perfect, exactly as I envisioned them.

Lady Catherine -- Love the 2005 version. It's Dame Judy Dench. Enough said.

All the other characters are equally good in their own way (I can't pick one Mr. Collins over the other, they are both hilarious).

The Setting and Costumes -- Each version takes a different approach to it, but they are both historically correct and they both fit with the story imo. I liked the realistic feeling to the 2005 one -- it feels like real life, whereas in the 1995 one, it feels a little as though they are in their own little world, cut off from the rest of society. Which is also a true interpretation. I like them both, they are just different.

The Music -- The score in the 2005 film is amazing, I think we can all agree. I went through a phase where I was listening to the soundtrack every night.
over a year ago kateliness2 said…
I must say that I resent the fact that people think that some only like the 2005 version more because its current.

My reasoning, in more detail:

I loved both of the Darcys as well, but I tend to lean more towards Matthew because I have seen Colin Firth in so many more roles and it is difficult for me to think of him actually being Mr. Darcy, not his other memorable roles. Plus Matthew was brilliant.
I prefer Keira simply because I feel she did a better job portraying the role as I saw it when I read the book. She may have been a bit too over the top at times, but that was 10x better than Jennifer Ehle's (at times) underacting.

Second, the two "Cs" just exploded in the 2005 version: Chemistry and Cinematography. Both were breathtaking, twice as much at least when compared to the 1995 version.

Also, I liked the casting overall better in the 2005 movie. Not that I like *all* of their roles better (There were a good number that I prefer in the 1995 movie) but majority and their importance to the overall story rules.
over a year ago jameswilson said…
The A&E version was the best.
It was longer and able to tell more of the story.
Not only that, but Colin Firth is amazing.
I just liked it more - not that I didn't enjoy the new one too.
over a year ago kateliness2 said…
And, Jillywinkles, finally someone who agrees with me on Jennifer being too stiff with Colin!
Thank you! :)
over a year ago lavender615 said…
omg, definitely the BBC version because of colin firth!he was the perfect darcy! but jennifer's performance in that movie is not so believable as elizabeth...
over a year ago siri_soul said…
I think that Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth were the perfect Elizabeth and Darcy. just so amazing!!!!!!!!
Definitely 1995 version is my favourite.
over a year ago lavender615 said…
somehow, i think that those who did read the book actually tend to lean towards the 1995 version...maybe with a few's just that the 1995 version had immortalized the book more in detail compared to the current version...
over a year ago jbush543 said…
2005 doubt about it. I was in 7th grade when i first read the book and this version of the movie helped me understand it soooo much macfadyen is sexier than colin firth (i dont really see how the man can be considered attractive, but thats just me)
and i thought keira knightley brought good life to elizabeth bennet's character =] i loved her expressions!
over a year ago ABHAYA said…
i saw the one with Keira Knightley & Matthew Macfadyen. It always comes on Oxygen. always watching it. I love the rain scene when she basically said she would never love him and then that moment when he almost kissed her and she almost kissed him.

over a year ago milkamilka said…
I have seen all of them and it is not hard for me to say which one is my favorite.
The 1995 version with Colin Firth is amazing. I can watch it over and over again.
I have read the book so many times, so when i watch the movie with Keira Knightley I always tend to find flaws that has made during filming it. I know it is hard to put a whole book into two hours.
One thing I dislike most in the movie made in 2005 is that Jane and Bingley are having all these conversations. In the book there is no long dialogs written to Jane and Bingley, they just change few words.
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over a year ago pandp4eva said…

Bride and Prejudice was pretty good. Not the absolute best adaptation, of course though, it wasn't supposed to be. Nor was it supposed to be accurate. The music and dancing was the best part and that is why it was good. The bad? Darcy wasn't Darcy. Simple as that. He was not as attractive as I guess he should have been.
1995: Summary in one word? Accurate. Lovely adaptation, but the chemistry between Lizzy and Darcy could have been much better. The look of so called admiration was practically invisable, since the charectors kept the same expression throughout the long 6 hour runtime. It wasn't a breath taking performance, but the setting was accurate, but not the fairy tale we sometimes picture it to be.
Finally the 2005 version. As said above about accuracy, not amazing. But the beautiful, breath-taking scenery gave it this quality no one can explain. I think mostly what creates the realism in this version is, the actors do show that they are young, and confused. Lizzy is battling with herself and her emotions towards Mr. Darcy, but at the same time, likes to toy with him at times. This version seemed more playful, which is what i liked about it.
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over a year ago samjhart said…
All 3 are great but the 95 is the definitive one for me :)
Tho, Bride and Prejudice is good fun what with the soundtrack and the the Bollywood danncing. 05 version is beautifully shot, but essentially is a dumbed down chick flik. That is my only objection to it. Its more Cinderella than P&P. The males of my family were overpowered to watch the 95 and B&P versions and grudgingly admitted they enjoyed it. Yet, when it came to the 05 version they flat refused. It bored them senseless they said, not mention it was a girlie movie (and not even the beautiful, pouty KK could convince them). That surprised me(not cz they should know the story by now) but cz P&P is a story of the battle of the sexes for both sexes. To find that they thot that the characters had become dull was mortifying. What surprised me even more (and convinced me) was that I agreed with them. The costumes, lines and KK looking all ga-ga the minute she sees Darcy, made it over the top and unappealing. Her rudeness towards her mother didn't help the case at all. Yes, they had some form of chemistery was nice but the mysetry of it was gone. Would they or wouldn't they? Is the question you ask when reading P&P. here, its a matter of how soon.
Realising jus how different this version is, is when the same guys who had laughed hysterically for the other two versions, walk out for the third. Something is seriously wrong here...
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over a year ago pandp4eva said…
I don't think '05 was a chick flick. It was a good movie that stayed true to the book and I am proud that it did the book so much justice considering the 2 hour runtime.
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over a year ago samjhart said…
Yes, it was a good movie considering the time it had (I don't why they didn't have it for at least 2 1/2 hours - it wud have been better) but in its eagerness to cram all the important stuff in it has to reinvent itself as an adaptation, if you get what I mean. As a movie on its own, its quite an achievement and as a adaptation - its a beginner's guide. Having said that, I take my hats off the team you had the balls to make this movie - seen as many ppl already saw the 95 version as the definitive version
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over a year ago becca85 said…
I'm all for the 1995 version. I don't think anybody can play Mr. Darcy like Colin Firth can (and, yes, you fans of the 2005 version are free to disagree with me on that). I also thought Jennifer Ehle played a more lively version of Lizzy then Keira Knightley, which is more what I expected in Lizzy.

EDIT: Having read everyone else's comments, I still stand by my choice and reasonings, but I do have to say that everyone who pointed out the cinematography (did I butcher that word?) in the 2005 version was dead on. They did such an excellent job of the panoramic angles that the views were truly breathtaking.
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over a year ago BeauBrummell said…
Greetings, fellow Autenites, I'm very pleased to have found you! I've seen both the '95 and '05 versions of "Pride & Prejudice", as well as the one with Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennett made in the 1940's. I saw the 40's version on TV several years ago now, long before I saw the other 2 versions. It was my first exposure to a work by Ms. Austen, and I don't think I had any real conception of the story's plot at that time. I recall basically liking the 40's version, but it left no impression on me, in the sense it didn't make me run out to read the novel or start researching the Regency era. I didn't see the '95 version on its original A&E airing, but rather a few years later during an early morning replay of it on that network over a period of days. I got quite into it as I just sat and watched while waiting to leave for work. I recorded what I couldn't stay to see before leaving. Again, though, it didn't make me mad for Ms. Austen or the Regency period in general just yet, despite my liking the story. Then a few more years passed until I made a point of taping and watching an all-day Saturday airing of the '95 version on BBCAmerica. I thoroughly enjoyed and was totally captivated by it, having forgotten alot of the details. The final wedding scene, I believe, is one of the happiest and most joyous moments in film history! Anyway, I was well prepared and anxious to see the '05 version. I already was a fan of Keira Knightley, so I knew she'd be worth seeing. The production values of this movie were exquisite, and the story as compelling and captivating as ever. It helped that I'd forgotten some of the details again by then. Since then, I've seen every Jane Austen-related film or documentary that's come out, having especially enjoyed "Becoming Jane", and "Sense & Sensibility" on PBS' Jane-a-thon shown on "Masterpiece Theater" last year, and recently repeated, although I enjoyed all of them. Even still, it wasn't until just recently that I became extremely interested in the Regency period itself, and I'm currently engaged in reading histories of the era, checking out Austen-related websites such as this one, and being particularly fascinated with the greatest fashion-plate in British history--Beau Brummell, as well as other historical novels set in that time by modern romance novelists. It's a great period! Unfortunately, I still have yet to read Jane's original novels, I guess because all the film versions have tended to make me too lazy to read them, although it's hard to find the time, too. I'm hoping to correct this, though! As to what I feel to be the "best" version of "Pride", I'd have to come down on the side(are you ready, everyone?)of the '95 A&E production as being the greatest and most definitive version of the novel in a cinematic sense. As much as I like Keira in the role(and I thought she was very, very good!), I have a deep, ongoing, and great affection for Jennifer Ehle in the role of Elizabeth Bennett. Her performance was so nuanced, natural, and believable, and she looked like she had come straight out of the pages of the Regency period! The entire production was truly great, and a still-unexcelled landmark and example of high-quality and intelligent TV. Keira was terrific to be sure, but her beauty and star quality perhaps made her seem a little less of the era, while Ms. Ehle was spot on the money(to be fair, it's the only role I've seen her, Ms. Ehle, in). Keira's version was lavish and enthralling, but it was so compressed and rushed. Someone commented on Ms. Ehle's lack of attractiveness in her role as the novel's main protagonist, but I would have to disagree. Upon first acquaintance with her as Elizabeth Bennett, I, too, had this initial impression, but I quickly came to realize that Ms. Ehle's Lizzy has a subtle beauty that eventually becomes totally captivating--and her wisdom and inner beauty are even greater. Any man worth his salt as a human being would have to come to see this in time. So there's my take-- both great versions, but the length of the A&E series provides a far more in-depth re-creation of Ms. Austen's story, as well as deeper human characterizations as well, which as a devoted Austenite and Regency-era buff, I much prefer--the longer and deeper the better! Although I'm a guy, I never felt that I've been watching mere "chick-flicks". I love the history and beauty of the productions, and Ms. Austen's world and characters who inhabit it are fascinating! Hope we can continue our discussions on this topic further, and I look forward to communciating with all of you here on this board!
over a year ago lizzystwin93 said…
the 2005 and 1995 versions both have their good points and bad points.

i definetely did not like the male casting in the 2005 version, but Keira Knightley as Elizabeth and Rosamund Pike as Jane were perfect.

I personally LOVE Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Matthew Macfayden...:I...enough said.

One of the 1995 version's best points is also one of its worst points. I love how they incorporate some of the original conversations from the book, but at times it does seem to drag.

I would say the 2005 version is best for those new to the Jane Austen world, and the 1995 one ( my personal fave) is for the die-hard fans!
over a year ago Kendra07 said…
I like the '05 version.I'm just very fond of Keira and Mathew as Lizzie and Darcy,and there is such a beutiful music(Dario Marianelli - well done!)my mom always says that '95 version is better cause it's more detailed,more truthful...and she likes it most.and I answear well,tastes differ))but these Lizzie and Darcy(I mean '05)are exactly how I imagined them when I read the book (:
over a year ago zuntiz said…
For me it's the 1995 version, it is longer and more detailed(obviously). Also, I think those actors capure the spirit of the charcters better.
The '05 is sort of a light version, I got my sister to watch it and she actually liked it (she is more of a action-adventure person), and it has its moments.
over a year ago Elizabeth_Darcy said…
I LOVE the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. It was a really beautiful movie. I loved everything about it!
over a year ago Miss_Benneth said…
With Keira Knighley and Matthew Macfadyen :)amazing show,costumes,places.The role of Karoline Bingley was perfect act-arrogance,haughtiness,grace, I love her! And Donald Sutherland was brilliant as Mr.Benneth.For Darcy i can say that for me it was the best Darcy ever! My opinion :)Best show.The BBC show is good too.I`m really happy to find this forum and I`m glad to see you and I hope that the discussions will continue.For all of you fans of this lovelly classic :)
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over a year ago DR76 said…
I have enjoyed all versions of "PRIDE AND PREJUDICE". But I believe that the 1995 miniseries is the best version.
over a year ago cuteasprincie said…
I like all the Versions of Pride and Prejudice.But 2005 one is my favorite one..
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over a year ago crazylildreamer said…
As what I've read in the past comments..I can really understand that those who have read the book and would want more apt lines from the book would prefer the 95 version... although for me No one can ever beat the 2005 version I just simply love it and have been taken away with it. it was simply breath taking and amazing..Matthew and Keira were so amazing and I can definitely picture them out as what I've read in the book.. no offense to the 95 fans but I just find the film not quite wonderful as 2005 I simply adore Matthew and Keira For me they're the best Darcy and Lizzy :)) I just love them to bits :) and all the other characters especially Mr. Bennet :)