This P&P was different for me than the other two versions I have watched. The most recent version is only decent in my opinion for an exceptionally abbreviated version of the lesser important parts of the book. Every time I see that version I like Keira Knightley less and less in playing Elizabeth Bennett also. It just doesn't come across as genuine to me. Mrs. Bennett definitely steals the show. I think she is the best Mrs. Bennett to date, and Mr. Bennett is also probably the best to be found. Okay, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh was excellent also.
The BBC/A&E version is essentially wonderful, and probably still my favorite of these three that I have seen. I think the Lizzy in that version is a good balance and wit and respect, and Colin Firth does a wonderful job of transitioning from cold, hard Mr. Darcy to seeing his true nature. That version is also mostly accurate to the book.
This version is also fairly accurate, and I definitely enjoyed watching it. The feel of the movie was entirely different though. I still haven't been able to put my finger on it. David Rintoul was a sensational Mr. Darcy. I think he pulled off the high-and-mighty Mr. Darcy far better than either of the others. While the transition was there in his character I felt that Lizzy did more of the transforming than Darcy in this version. I felt just a touch more warmth would have completely sold me on David being "the" Mr. Darcy... and he might be my favorite Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth Garvie did a very good job of portraying Elizabeth Bennett. I found it interesting to watch this portrayal because Lizzy was not as saucy and, while still being quite firm in her opinion, was respectful and considerate while speaking her mind. I think this version showed a more accurate version of what Lizzy probably would have actually been like in personality and disposition. Though, since I was used to thinking of her with a tad more spice I think I slightly prefer Jennifer Ehle.
I must say all of the Mr. Collins in these movies were excellent choices. The one in this 1980 version was over the top. I could not stand the man (which, of course, is good in this case). My biggest complaint about all three movies is that no one has translated Georgiana to the screen properly. That does irk me some.
I would definitely recommend this version of P&P even with its 4 hour running time. Break it up into segments if you need to, but I suggest watching it in one sitting for its full effect. I give it two thumbs up! :-)
EDIT: This is actually my favorite version of Pride and Prejudice now. It grows on your leaps and bounds each time I see it (which has only been like 2 or 3). I think that Rintoul is the absolute best Darcy, and I think his portrayal does that best at showing how, yes, Mr. Darcy grew in character, but also was misunderstood. Also, I think Lizzie is the most accurately portrayed. While the filmography certainly doesn't win any awards, I think the rest of the movie steals the show.
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