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Emma [DVD] [1996] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Actors: Kate Beckinsale, Bernard Hepton, Mark Strong, Samantha Bond, James Hazeldine
  • Directors: Diarmuid Lawrence
  • Writers: Andrew Davies, Jane Austen
  • Producers: Delia Fine, Joy Spink, Simon Lewis, Sue Birtwistle
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Oct 1999
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767020308
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 322,895 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 April 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This 1996 production of Emma is a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining piece - thoughtful and true to the original work, with fine costumes and scenery. The original characters are brought to life on-screen effectively and believably. Kate Beckinsale makes a marvellous, entertaining Emma. This version is far superior to the more recent 1999 version (starring Gwyneth Paltrow et al). The recent version detracts from the essence of the story with 'big names', exaggerated characters and scenes and generally looses (amidst stars, spoofing and glamour), the typical wry, under-stated English manner captured so well by Austen and portrayed delightfully in this earlier version of Emma. This earlier production of Emma has to be the choice, over the new Gwyneth Paltrow version, for Austen fans.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 July 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This adaptation is yet more proof that Andrew Davies, the script writer, understands the essence of Jane Austen. It is beautifully cast and played, with special credit going to Kate Beckinsale for a wonderfully assured mixture of sense and romanticism, and the always excellent Prunella Scales. By keeping faithfully to the book it actually makes sense emotionally and in terms of plot, unlike the dreadful Hollywood version which garbled the Frank Churchill/ Jane Fairfax plot and generally misunderstood Emma's social standing by making her far too aristocratic. I am still slightly puzzled by Lucy Robinson's accent as MRs Elton (American? Bristolian?) but generally can't find fault with it. It ranks with the BBC P&P and Persuasion on my list of essential Austen adaptations.
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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By "gluttontoad" on 22 Oct 2004
Format: DVD
This adaptation outshone the film version that came out in the same year by a long way. Kate Beckinsale was perfectly cast in the title role, and was actually consistent with the character as she was described in Jane Austen's book. The other characters are also true to Jane Austen's characterisation. Mr Knightley is played as the slightly melancholy man he appears to be in the book, and is consistent with the older and wiser character that he is meant to be. The period touches are excellent, as well as the subtelety in the contrast between the status of the characters. Prunella Scales shines as Miss Bates, portraying her both as the garrulous woman she is, but also as the vulnerable and lonely individual whose social status forces her to rely on the kindness and support of her friends. This is an overlooked Jane Austen adaptation, but one that is well deserving of admiration. An excellent purchase.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Feb 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I loved this film. The acting was superb and I was particularly enchanted by the performance of Kate Beckinsale as Emma. It was the first time I had come across this young actress and was pleasantly surprised by her professionality. The rest of the cast was also very good and it is worth mentioning the fine performances of Prunella Scales and Samantha Morton who filled to perfection the roles of Miss Bates and Harriet Smith respectively. I notice with regret that this version is not available in DVD and hope that it will be in the future because, even if the Gwyneth Paltrow version is good, this I find much better and, as far as I'm concerned, Kate has as much talent as, if not more than, Gwyneth.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Lili_K on 21 Nov 2005
Format: DVD
The crew, namely Andrew Davies as scriptwriter and Sue Birtwistle as producer, that adapted Pride & Prejudice (1995) on film did a fantastic job again.
Andrew Davies came up with yet another delightful, fresh and lively script.
The scenery was picturesque reflecting the social position and financial means of the characters, just like the costumes did, disclosing also lot of info about characters. Just think of the overdone robes and droll headdresses Lucy Robinson, as Mrs Elton, was wearing: showing her lack of taste and her desire in aspiring for higher status than she actually represents! And the elegant yet moderate clothes of Jane Fairfax showing no lack of taste, but of means. Simply brilliant!
All actors were superbly cast. Kate Beckinsale, as Emma and Mark Strong as Mr Knightley, Prunella Scales as Mrs Bates, Bernard Hepton, Samantha Morton, Raymond Coulthard ... and I could go on and on were all excellent, you could truly associate them with the role they played.
The adaptation as a whole had more depth than the Paltrow version and was more true to Jane Austen's spirit.
If you are a true Austen fan, you mustn’t miss this film!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 April 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This is a fabulous movie and you will want to watch it over and over again. I would recommend it to any fan of Jane Austen, costume dramas, love stories or just a good and well written story. I loved just about everything about it: The tale and the characters, the music, the locations and of course the actors who are all terrific. I especially enjoyed the chemistry between the two leads, really captivating. I must agree that this adaption is much better and more charming than the one with Gwyneth Paltrow. So just get it as soon as you can (did I mention that it is very funny as well?). Very good, very good indeed!
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By K. L. Holt on 17 July 2006
Format: DVD
How do you sucessfully condense the masterpiece that Emma is into less than two hours? Although they have incredibly truncated the story and took some great liberties here and there, they have managed to do it. The essence and spirit of the story is not only left intact, but emphasised in exactly the points where it carries the most weight. So much better than the Paltrow version, where Emma's elegance, and not her ignorance, seems to be given more attention. Although I love Toni Colette, Samantha Morton was also a much more convincing Harriet Smith. I haven't really liked Kate Beckinsale in anything else I've seen her in, but here she's perfect (although not as conventionally 'beautiful' as you might expect). Her arrogance, on the other hand, is spot on. It makes the moment where she is standing by the window realising (tears coursing down her cheek), "I love him. I've always loved him," an incredibly humble and emotional acknowledgement - and victory - for both her and the viewer. And that's what it's supposed to be. My only complaint is that Knightly has been made a bit too explosive, especially in the first scene where he confronts her about her interference between Harriet Smith and Robert Martin. In the book, he's not a guy who runs 'hot' in his feelings. Which is why it perhaps took them so long to acknowledge what was between them. They took it a bit too far. But that is a minor complaint from a very demanding Janeite who otherwise found it an extremely satisfying (and that is saying a LOT) film version of Emma, that I'm sure I will watch time and again (with anyone else I can force into it :)
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