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Pride and Prejudice 1980


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Follow the lives and loves of the five Bennet sisters as they search for romance and true love in 18th century England, a time clearly obsessed with profitable marriage contracts - that do not consider the emotional needs of young women.

Sabina Franklyn, Desmond Adams
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Product Details

  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 4 hours 25 minutes
Starring Sabina Franklyn, Desmond Adams, Peter Settelen, Elizabeth Garvie, Moray Watson, David Rintoul, Moir Leslie, Natalie Ogle, Malcolm Rennie, Judy Parfitt, Osmund Bullock, Priscilla Morgan
Director Cyril Coke
Genres Drama
Rental release Title not released yet
Main languages English

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
As P&P book fan I decided to purchase all available adaptations and as I have read so many positive reviews here at the website to raise my curiosity I bought the '80 BBC version.

First of all let me tell you that watching the film was pure delight. Fay Weldon's script stayed faithful to the book without destroying the excitement or lessening its pleasures. I especially liked the end which was too short and precipitate in the '95 version: there you had no time to enjoy the part before Elizabeth & Darcy actually profess their love for each other, here it was more detailed and leisurely, which I found very positive. To my disappointment in the '95 version there was no scene with Mrs Bennet rejoicing over Lizzy's engagement which is of course much more fun than Mr Bennet expressing his concerns and doubts. Here the excellent Priscilla Morgan was given the chance and I liked it very much.

The actors were all excellent. Elizabeth Garvie IS Elizabeth Bennet both physically and spiritually. Her sparkling eyes expressed all her emotions, her wit, playfulness and intelligence - just as Jane Austen described her. I actually liked Jennifer Ehle's performance up to now, but compared to Garvie she fades away and I actually discovered that she SMIRKS instead of smiling playfully or even mischievously. Garvie could act playfully and even challengingly without being impertinent or impolite.

David Rintoul was also excellent, although I admit that I prefer Colin Firth's Darcy, but I found him a bit too rigid and aloof for a while. I know, I know, Darcy IS rigid and aloof, but I couldn't spot any difference in his behaviour towards strangers and his friends the Bingleys: he didn't looked relaxed for a second even in their company.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I always loved the Pride and Prejuidce series which was televised in 1980 and had to buy my video copies TWICE, I wore them out that much!! I always had a niggling feeling that there was stuff missing when watching the newer, glossier (longer)1995 version.
Then those darlings at the BBC decided to re-release the 1980 version on DVD (alas only on Region 1) and lo! At least a quarter to a third of the missing material not present on the video version, was reincorporated! There is, however, a walking scene with a small party indicated by the excellent drawings that feature with the opening credits, and which I do recall seeing when the series was first transmitted, but it never made it onto the remastered dvd. Copyright reasons? I don't know. Or I just imagined it!! (Incidentally, those fabulous period drawings, each featuring the content of each episode have also been restored. The video versions spliced most episodes together, and relegated such drawings to the cutting room floor).
Anyway, I've always preferred this version. Aside from the fact that the exquisite Elizabeth Garvie (delivering her lines with such gleeful, yet mannered eloquence - unlike the later, though admittedly assured Jennifer Ehle)and dashing David Rintoul, both spoiled me for anyone else (and that includes the personable Mr Firth!).
The general style and air of the piece is a regal one. The actors are eloquent, elegant and slightly restrained (betraying their excellent classical stage training and what posture!!), unlike the more exuberant, more casual approach of the '95 cast (I think the latter style was to make the work more accessible to a 90's audience. Unfortunately, the cast, especially the girls, do 'gobble' their words at times. And those of the 'higher class' don't always convince.
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Format: DVD
I have watched both versions, the one of 1980 and the one of 1995 and I prefer the older one, especially in what goes for the script and in what goes for the actors. What I don't like at all is Jennifer Ehle's smile. She smiles at all possible and impossible occasions. Her smile has something stereotype, it looks not natural at all, it seems to be a kind of mask, whereas Elizabeth Garvie's smile looks charming and sometimes seems only a shadow of smile. J. Ehle's Elizabeth behaves sometimes in a way, so uncivil, that she seems almost illbred, especially when Darcy proposes to her for the first time. E. Garvie's Elizabeth behaves always with a certain dignity. When Darcy proposes to her she answers with indignation but never looses her good manners.
The only actors I prefer in the 1995's version are Benjamin Whitrow's Mr. Bennet and Colin Firth's Darcy. David Rintoul's Darcy has got a noble looking face (what Colin Firth has not) but his Darcy is so very stiff up to the end, that I can hardly believe he has fallen in love with Elizabeth. Before C. Firth proposes to Elizabeth he goes to an fro and you can tell from his face that there is something going on within him, you can feel his inner struggle, whereas David Rintoul always stays cool an distant, even before proposing.
What I really prefer in the 1995's version is the outdoor scenery.
And here an information: Would you like to get the 1980's version and your DVD player does not play Region 1? Don't resign, go to the German site of Amazon and there you find this version on Region 2. The menu language is of course in German, but you can watch the film either in English or in German. There are no subtitles and no extras. I hope this information will be useful to some of you.
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