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Pride and Prejudice [1940 film] (1940)

de Robert Z. Leonard (Director), Jane Austen (Original book), Aldous Huxley (Screenwriter), Jane Murfin (Screenwriter)

Altres autors: Heather Angel (Actor), Art Berry Sr. (Actor), Edward Ashley (Actor), Mary Boland (Actor), E.E. Clive (Actor)12 més, Melville Cooper (Actor), Elspeth Dudgeon (Actor), Frank Elliott (Actor), Karl Freund (Cinematographer), Greer Garson (Actor), Edmund Gwenn (Actor), Bruce Lester (Actor), Maureen O'Sullivan (Actor), Edna May Oliver (Actor), Laurence Olivier (Actor), Ann Rutherford (Actor), Hunt Stromberg (Producer)

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652319,254 (3.95)No n'hi ha cap
The story of the five Bennett sisters living in early 19th century England. Their mother is scheming to make prestigious marriages for them. Focuses on Elizabeth Bennett, who mistakenly finds the rich Mr. Darcy an oaf, even as he sets all the other fair maidens' hearts aflutter.
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Es mostren totes 2
Pride and Prejudice (1940)

Lizzy – Greer Garson
Darcy – Laurence Olivier

Jane – Maureen O’Sullivan
Lydia – Ann Rutherford
Mary – Marsha Hunt
Kitty – Heather Angel
Mrs Bennet – Mary Boland
Mr Bennet – Edmund Gwenn
Mr Bingley – Bruce Lester
Caroline Bingley – Frieda Inescort
Mr Collins – Melville Cooper
Mr Wickham – Edward Ashley
Lady Catherine – Edna May Oliver.

Screenplay by Aldous Huxley and Jane Murfin, based on the dramatisation by Helen Jerome.
Directed by Robert Z. Leonard.

B&W. 118 min.


I wanted to see this version mostly because I have always been in love with Laurence Olivier (and with his second wife, but that’s another story). I was rather surprised to find a sumptuous production of considerable merit. The liberties taken with the novel are great – but not as great as you might expect from a Hollywood production in the early 1940s.

This is the version that Austen purists should never see, or if they do they might perhaps spare us, the common mortals, their relentless nit-picking. Yes, Greer Garson doesn’t look twenty, but neither does she look much older. Certainly, the costumes are historically completely inappropriate as they were obviously ripped off from the legendary production of Gone With the Wind that was released just one year before. To be sure, this wild chase with carriages and this monumental outdoor ball are also more reminiscent of the American South from the second half of the nineteenth century than of the English countryside from the first. There are countless other changes and omissions of this nature. None of them is in any way detrimental – so long as you are not an Austen fanatic.

That said, there is one – but only one – significant departure from the novel which is absolutely unforgivable. Many a reviewer has remarked on it, and every one of them has been justly outraged. This is the transformation of Lady Catherine into a matchmaker. Yes, I’m afraid you’ve read that right. It is entirely out of character and it ruins one of the finest scenes in the novel. It may also be mentioned as a negative criticism that the script could have quoted Jane’s flawless dialogue more often than it actually did. The replacements invariably have more sugar and less bite than the original.

Nevertheless, despite all these drawbacks, and keeping in mind that compressing the novel into less than two hours is an impossible task by default, the 1940 version remains a highly entertaining movie. With the obvious exception of Lady Catherine, the essence of the other characters is very much preserved. This is doubtless due to a great cast that is often grossly underestimated.

Greer Garson may not be the most youthful Elizabeth imaginable, but she is certainly among the wittiest and most charming ones I have encountered. She strikes a perfect balance between the spirited and the introverted moments. Among the quartet of screen Darcies (including also Rintoul, Firth and Macfadyen), Olivier’s proud protagonist is unique: his pride stems from prodigious sense of humour, his disdain is always mingled with a thin ironic smile. Can you stomach that? I find it refreshing and stimulating. Also, he is by far the handsomest Darcy (yes, Colin Firth not excepted). The change of heart in both principals, which is of course the heart of the movie as well as of the novel, is beautifully acted.

The supporting cast boast some superb performances. Unusually crafty Mrs Bennet and quietly ironic Mr Bennet stand out. The dashing Mr Wickham, the venomous Caroline Bingley and the pompous Mr Collins may almost have stepped out of Jane’s pages. Ironically, the weakest performance of all is the only misrepresented part in the script. I do not share the general exaltation over Edna May Oliver. She makes Lady Catherine too much of a caricature.

Altogether a lovely movie very much in the spirit of Jane Austen, warts and all. Strictly forbidden for Austen addicts. Highly recommended for ordinary Austen admirers. ( )
2 vota Waldstein | Apr 14, 2018 |
Review can also be found in Chill and read

Sometimes the last person on earth you want to be with is the one person you can't be without...

Over two hundred years after its first publishing, "Pride and Prejudice" remains a joyful reading. Austen truly masters the art of writing and the reader can see that on every page. The humoristic prose with respect to the way of living at that time is revealing.

All this talk of entailment and manners my seem strange nowadays, however, it was a way of living and a characteristic of the upper class and those who wished to socialize with them. People of lower class may lacked the knowledge and how much was enough, and we can see a great deal of it at Mrs. Bennet, which on occasions makes Miss Bennet feel embarrassed.

The chronicle of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy's romance may not be so unfamiliar to the reader. As much as pride was there in the 19th century noblemen, so much egoism may now exist in those who believe themselves successful and rich. Though Lady Catherine de Bourg's manners are equivalent and rather expected by her title, they pose her as rude and bossy, which was a rather common thing those days. Her nephew however, is one of the kindest people on earth and those working for him can guarantee for his character.

Elizabeth Bennet, starts with a prejudice, hating a man who is very pride on his origins to even set another look on her beautiful eyes. However, as time goes by, her prejudice is eliminated by his actions and the greatness of his hart and his pride is making room for the lovely miss and some of her relatives that can actually stand next to him and have a nice discussion.

Things are not going to be easy for those two, but when love is in the picture, everything becomes clear.

The book has become a BBC mini series in 1995. Mr. Darcy was imposed by Colin Firth and Elizabeth Bennet by Jennifer Ehle.

Though this was not the only TV adaptation of the most known romance in book history. Many others have followed as well and there are a lot to find while looking around in the internet.

Most recently, in 2005, there was a film adaption by director Joe Wright. Staring Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy.

To have a taste, check the film’s official page. ( )
  GeorgiaKo | Aug 21, 2016 |
Es mostren totes 2
The Olivier-Garson version of 1940 (based on a script by Aldous Huxley, among others) is cold proof that any tampering will reduce the original to the emollient and the inconsequential. Huxley’s reading is fatally winsome; even Lady Catherine de Bourgh is a good egg. Still, the adapter has to do what the adapter has to do. The pious and vigilant Janeite looks on, ever ready to be scandalised by the tiniest breach of decorum.
afegit per SnootyBaronet | editaNew Yorker, Martin Amis
Animated and bouncing, the movie is more Dickens than Austen; once one adjusts to this, it’s a happy and carefree viewing experience. The movie belongs to Laurence Olivier, who plays Darcy, and to that great old dragon Edna May Oliver, as Lady Catherine. In the role of Elizabeth Bennet, Greer Garson is not as intolerably noble as she became later. She’s effective and has nice diction, though she’s arch and incapable of subtlety, and a viewer can get weary watching that eyebrow that goes up like the gold curtain at the old Met.
afegit per SnootyBaronet | editaThe New Yorker, Pauline Kael

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (16 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Leonard, Robert Z.Directorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Austen, JaneOriginal bookautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Huxley, AldousScreenwriterautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Murfin, JaneScreenwriterautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Angel, HeatherActorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Art Berry Sr.Actorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Ashley, EdwardActorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Boland, MaryActorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Clive, E.E.Actorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Cooper, MelvilleActorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Dudgeon, ElspethActorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Elliott, FrankActorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Freund, KarlCinematographerautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Garson, GreerActorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Gwenn, EdmundActorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Lester, BruceActorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
O'Sullivan, MaureenActorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Oliver, Edna MayActorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Olivier, LaurenceActorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Rutherford, AnnActorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Stromberg, HuntProducerautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
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No n'hi ha cap

The story of the five Bennett sisters living in early 19th century England. Their mother is scheming to make prestigious marriages for them. Focuses on Elizabeth Bennett, who mistakenly finds the rich Mr. Darcy an oaf, even as he sets all the other fair maidens' hearts aflutter.

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