16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2003
As a fan of the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice and too of the novel, I have been looking for this book for a while... and I wasn't disappointed. The Making of Pride and Prejudice goes into great detail about how the series was made, who was involved and also gives general information about film making.
Includes delightful interview with Colin Firth, details of filming locations, set designs and costumes which makes you appreciate the series even more. I've never bought a "Making of.." before but this was a joy to read.
If you love the BBC series then it's a must-have.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2002
Never having seen the BBC miniseries, I took a chance in buying the P&P DVD a fortnight ago. Since then, I've watched it hundreds of times and just couldn't get enough of it. I wanted to know more about it, so I brought this book, and I must say, it hasing disappointed me at all. It answers vitrually every question you may ever ask on the series, it really fills in the gaps. It not only talks of the obvious things, like the filming, script, casting and costumes, but also details like location hunting, dance routines, music and sound effects. There is also a chapter devoted to an interview with Colin Firth (Mr Darcy). Reading it made me appreciate in fact how challenging it was to act out the part of Mr Darcy in a decent way. The book includes many beautiful colour photos, and each page is thoughtfully laid out. Ideally though, it would be nice to have an interview with Jennifer Ehle as well as Colin Firth, I mean, she IS Elizabeth Bennet, the main character. She is very talented, and I'd like to know why they chose her to play Elizabeth and not someone else. Nevertheless,trust me, you will see the series in a brand new light after reading this, all that work, thought, people and time devoted to make a 6-episoded miniseries. You will be very grateful and enjoy the series enough more. This is the perfect companion book to complement the series, and a definate 'must- have' for every P&P fan, especially if you own the DVD or the video.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 1999
'The Making of Pride & Prejudice' is full of useful and interesting information about the locations, costumes, fabrics, filming, foods, dancing, actors etc.. etc., from the most recent BBC production; wth a delightful interview with Jennifer Ehle about playing Elizabeth Bennet, and a thoughtful view of Darcy's character from Colin Firth. The book chronicles the process of creating the script through to the first broadcast, and is full of pictures and 'tit-bits' of the trials and tribulations of creating a film without losing the 'magic' of a well-loved story. If you enjoyed the tv series or bought the video, you'll love this book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2001
A friend lent me her copy and I spent a wonderful afternoon poring over it, then watching the series (again!)- pausing the video all the time so I could read the novel and the Making of P&P to compare effects, notice things that I would have overlooked before, moon over Colin Firth, and enjoy the film from a more informed view. I found Sue Birtwistle's account of the making v. interesting indeed, and insightful. I recommend it to all P&P fans!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 1999
I love the BBC production of "Pride and Prejudice" starring Colin Firth and Jennefer Ehle. This book helps it become even more meaningful and fascinating. I have never been through the process of film-making and this book explains everything from pre-production to post production. It is very educational as well as insightful and interesting. There are many beautiful color photographs of the actors and scenes from the film. It has value to someone who has never seen the film because it explains the process of film-making so well. I have watched and rewatched the series and have not tired of it yet. This book helps one appreciate it even more. It has great interviews and anecdotes also. If you love the movie, you'll love this book. I can't seem to get enough of either the book or the movie.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2000
Being an addict of the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, I thought this "behind the scenes" look might spoil things a bit. How wrong could I be? This fascinating insight into everything from casting, pre-production, costume design, filming and location hunting was so good, I just can't put the book down! Particulary interesting is the various locations used during filming. I now intend to visit as many of these as possible during the summer. I recommend this book to any lover of Pride and Prejudice. It all adds to the pure magic of the story.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2008
Regardless of what might have prompted you to fall in love with the sumptuous BBC/A&E production of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, you'll love this companion book, which fills in the background to an almost unprecedented degree.
Written in chatty style by the producer, Sue Birtwistle, and script editor Susie Conklin, the book begins with the very first idea (in 1986) of bringing one of the most loved books in the English language to the screen once again, concluding with the Christmas wedding of Eliza Bennet and Mr. Darcy. The six-hour, six million dollar production very nearly brought England to a standstill during the weekly broadcasts, as an estimated 40 million Brits were glued to the telly to see this (then) one-hundred-seventy-eight year old book brought to life. Almost no detail was allowed to be missed by the scrupulous inspection of the production crew. A few items were anachronistic, but calculatedly so; most notably, the billiard table, and Mr. Darcy's "cool-off" swim.
Each member of the technical staff -- director, casting, costumes -- speaks in his/her own voice, giving reasons for each particular choice made. Even the horse ridden by Mr. Darcy was auditioned. Contemporary pictures were used as much as possible to provide accuracy in costume and hairstyle. Meticulous attention was given to the dancing and the music, of which there is an abundance. Such minor considerations as the number of musicians employed at each dance venue exemplify the care taken with the production. Equally so, the food (of which there was more than enough to make the actors as well as the table groan) was specially prepared from recipes of the time by the appropriately-named chef for the series, Colin Capon, who specializes in period food for the BBC.
The book abounds with color photos, delineating in great detail how reality-based this production really was. In the end, however, it is the broad shoulders of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy upon which the success of the production rests. As the physical embodiment of the absolutely perfect Regency hero, he smolders wonderfully through the first three hours, sounding very like the young Richard Burton, when he does speak. A female of any age can easily be forgiven for wishing his liquid, dark and expressive eyes, as he surreptitiously follows Eliza Bennet around the room, would gaze at her in just that way. In perfect stillness, those eyes express the depth of his longing for Eliza, as well as his bewilderment by that longing, unsuitable as he deems her to be as a marriage partner.
Eventually, it is her sparkling intelligence and ready wit that win him to her, but only after she has brought him to his knees by refusing his first arrogant proposal. (Mr. Firth candidly explains how he arrived at that scene, in the ten-page chapter nine, "A Conversation with Colin Firth.") Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth was perfectly winsome and charming with her 'fine eyes', a beautiful smile, and an obvious intellect, not readily apparent in her three younger sisters.
Although the book doesn't specifically say so, attention must also have been paid during the casting process to those young ladies who were, perhaps, rather more well-endowed in the bosom department. The necklines of the various gowns are treacherously low, in some cases, which, when coupled with the very vigorous dancing, could make one understand the necessity for the close chaperonage of young women of the Regency. Not to mention those nearly skin-tight 'unmentionables' worn by all the young men!
We should all concentrate on wishing for another such production, especially if it would include the estimable 'Mr. Darcy'.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This book provides an entertaining and informative insight into how the BBC's series of Pride & Prejudice was made. It is divided roughly into chapters about casting, music, dance, locations, filming and costumes, but has various interviews dotted through it, knitting it together. In reading it, one discovers plenty about the approach to the story, as taken by its script writer and director, especially when it comes to dramatizing parts of the book that were written originally as exchanges of letters.
The cast are highly forthcoming in the book, discussing their auditions, costumes, approaches to their roles, and so on. For example, we learn about how David Bamber was transformed into the ghastly Mister Collins.
If you are interested in visiting the locations used in the series, then they are all listed in the book. Some are private properties and probably inaccessible, but others are National trust properties.
For any fan of the series, this is a must-have book. Unlikely so many movie tie-in books that are little more that picture books, this one does a thorough job of lifting the lid on the production, in pictures and plenty of words, but it does so without destroying the magic that was the BBC's high water mark in costume drama.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 1999
I loved the BBC adaption of Pride and Prejudice when it was first broadcasted, and still, after seeing it quite some times more, I find it very entertaining, and in a way, intruiging. This book supplies a P&P fan with lots of very nice photographs, as well as a good look at the making of a film/tv-series in general. As it is written by the producer herself, you get a very personal look at the making of... To be recommended to everyone who enjoyed the series!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 1998
After watching ( and rewatching,...) the BBC video, we were looking for something more about the series. We were in England two years ago and we found this book about the making of P&P. We absolutely love it. It's very interesting to see how the make an adaption of an old book in order to make it historically correct. I very much liked all the photos of the different locations, next time in England, we'll go and look for them. Even Colin Firth fans will love this book.