Pride and Prejudice: 12 for 200

28th January 2013

I thought others might do this to mark the anniversary today of the publication of Jane Austen’s great and glorious Pride and Prejudice. But as I’ve yet to see such an anthology, I thought I would make one for myself – and anyone else fascinated by how dear Jane has been adapted for the cinema, television and now the web across the years. Here, then, are 12 clips for a 200th birthday. (There were originally 10 clips in this post, but I am grateful to Stuart Ian Burns – see comment below – for pointing out my omission of Lost in Austen, which is now included below, along with the trailer for Bride and Prejudice.)

1. Pride and Prejudice, 1940

Below is the original trailer for the Hollywood adaptation with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier. Robert Z. Leonard directed with Aldous Huxley (!) as one of the credited scriptwriters. The film was derived from the 1936 stage version written by Helen Jerome and is set several decades later than the time of the novel. According to Wikipedia,

The film is substantially different from the novel in a number of ways; most notably, the confrontation near the end of the film between Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Elizabeth Bennet was radically altered, changing the former’s haughty demand that Elizabeth promise never to marry Darcy into a hoax to test the mettle and sincerity of Elizabeth’s love.

2. Der vier dochters Bennet, 1961

This is a bit of a treat – a Dutch adaptation from more than fifty years ago, and with English subtitles too.

3. Pride and Prejudice, 1967

Clips from the earliest extant BBC adaptation.

4. Pride and Prejudice, 1980

The opening of episode 1 of the 1980 BBC adaptation scripted by Fay Weldon.

5. Pride and Prejudice: The lake scene (Colin Firth strips off), 1995

Yes, that is indeed how BBC Worldwide titles this clip on YouTube – and it has attracted nearly 3 million views since 2008. There is an annoying commercial at the start but otherwise this is the notorious scene from the fourth episode of the 1995 adaptation.

6. Twilight and Pride and Prejudice re-mix

Youtube is packed with good P&P re-mixes, and this is one of the best: scenes from the BBC classic cut to the audio of the Twilight trailer.

7. Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-day Comedy, 2003

The tale is updated to modern Utah in a version directed by Andrew Black.

8. Bride and Prejudice, 2004

Trailer for the Bollywood-type version directed Gurinder Chadra.

9. Pride and Prejudice, 2005

The official trailer from the US.

10. Mitchell & Webb: Posh Dancing

‘Know you not, Miss Bennet, that Mr Darcy has been freestyle disco champion of all Derbyshire these last dozen years.’

11. Lost in Austen (Mr Darcy in the water scene!), 2008

This is a scene from the 2008 ITV four-parter in which modern-day Amanda (Jemima Rooper) is transported, courtesy of a portal in her bathroom, back to the world of the Bennets. Here she meets Elliot Cowan’s Darcy. I missed this when it was first shown, but the clips I’ve been watching for this post have proved to be immensely engaging. One for the DVD pile, methinks.

12. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, 2012

Episode 1 of the updated version for the web (which is very smart and very funny).

Header image: Cassandra Austen (1773-1845). Portrait of Jane Austen, detail (c. 1810). 


  1. Stop it, you’re pushing me towards my Pride and Prejudice blog idea again and I don’t have the time. See also Lost in Austen. The 40s film version is pretty good if a bit stagy and compressed because it was based on a theatre adaptation. Plus everyone seems too old for their characters.

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