Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pride and Prejudice: The Actors

When I watch movies (mostly BBC or other British old-fashioned films in this case) I have fun spotting actors I have seen on other things. So, just for fun, here is a list of the actors/actresses on versions of Pride and Prejudice I have seen elsewhere.

(Character from P&P--Character on other movie(s)---actor's name)
1980 mini-series
Elizabeth Bennet - Diana Rivers on Jane Eyre (1997) [Elizabeth Garvie]
Charlotte Lucas - Elinor Dashwood on Sense and Sensibility (1981) [Irene Richard]
Jane Bennet - Philippa Gordon on Anne of Avonlea (BBC) [Sabina Franklyn]

1995 mini-series
Elizabeth Bennet - on The Russel Girl [Jennifer Ehle]
    ~I got this movie from the library because I wanted to know what on earth an English actress was doing on an American Hallmark film. Turns out she's actually from America. I didn't really like the movie - rather depressing.
Mr. Collins -  Mr. Lush on *Daniel Deronda, the minister on Pollyanna (BBC) and I saw him on Miss Potter. [David Bamber]
Lydia Bennet - on Cranford and Dorcas Lane on Lark Rise to Candleford. [Julia Sawalha]
Mrs. Hurst (Bingley's sister) - Mrs. Elton on Emma (A&E 1996) [Lucy Robinson]
Georgiana Darcy - on David Copperfield (1999) (as his mother) [Emilia Fox]
Mrs. Gardiner - Elinor Dashwood on Sense and Sensibility (1971), Bleak House (2005)  [Joanna David] ~It was interesting to see her so much younger on S.&S.!
Mrs. Forster - Henrietta Musgrove on Persuasion (1995) and I saw her on Lark Rise to Candleford. [Victoria Hamilton]

*2005 movie

Jane Bennet - Lady Harriet on Wives and Daughters [Rosamund Pike]
Mr. Collins - Osborne Hamley on Wives and Daughters [Tom Hollander] ~Interesting - this is supposed to be the 'handsomer' brother on W&D, and then he plays Mr. Collins... 
Kitty Bennet - Ada Clare on Bleak House (2005) and Isabella Thorpe on *Northanger Abbey (2007) [Carey Mulligan] 
Mr. Bingley - Dr. Harrison on Cranford [Simon Woods]
~Much better without that crazy red hair!!

Any of those movies you have or haven't seen? Any good ones you have seen that I have not? I'd love to get comments from you! :)

(* means I haven’t actually seen it (or all of it); therefore I may not approve of it, but I always hear about that person being in that movie, or may have recognized them from the portions I saw.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pride and Prejudice Quiz

Which Pride & Prejudice Miss Are You Most Like?
 I wrote this quiz myself! If you wish to take it, comment on this post with the answers you choose. (Remember to check back, because I will comment again with your result!!) (Example: 1.a; 2.c; 3.b; etc.) Tip: You can open the comment box and be typing the answers as you go along.    Have fun!

EDIT (2-13): This quiz is now available to take online through another website. (Click here.) Feel free to comment and have me give you your result, but that is another option. :)

1.      You hear there is to be a Regency ball. You:
a.       Dance about the room talking loudly about what you’ll wear, how your hair should be done, and how you’ve been aching to dance.
b.      Feel happy and talk it over later with your best friend.
c.       Squeal with delight and try to get a word in edgewise above all the fuss.
d.      Smile at everyone’s happiness and know that it will be a lovely time.
e.       Hope you will meet an eligible gentleman. Your family has been anticipating your marriage for a long time.
f.       Suppose you must go, but you do not like dancing.
g.      Fake a smile and feel dissatisfied with nearly everyone you know will be coming.

2.      At the ball, you know you have been rejected when someone suggested you as a partner to their friend. You:
a.       Think he is rather rude, but since he is that way, it is better you did not have to dance with him.
b.      Did not expect it, anyways. Your best friend is perturbed and declares that it will be his loss.
c.       Have not danced a single dance yet and do not intend to accept any. But you are never singled out, and deep inside you feel hurt.
d.      Laugh. Who does he think he is? There are many men who are far more agreeable to choose from.
e.       Feel rather hurt, but the circumstance was presented humorously, so you tell the story to your friends to laugh at.
f.       Decide to compliment and agree with him on everything, and then he will want to dance with you. He his handsome and rich; you won’t let this be a set-back.
g.      Start to sulk until your best friend laughs and laughs, and you cannot help joining in. Then she finds you a different partner.

3.      You are asked to go on a trip with your mother’s cousin’s family. You:
a.       Accept. It will be lovely to see their dear children again!
b.      Accept, and try to convince them to take along your best friend, too. It would be dreadfully dull without her!
c.       Decline. If you wanted to go, your own family would take you.
d.      Accept. An escape from monotony is always welcome.
e.       Accept. You enjoy their company, and have always wanted to go to that place.
f.       Decline. You would rather stay home.
g.      Accept. You love anything new and exciting!

4.      You are out shopping with a friend. She shows you a shirt and says “this kind of shirt is so cool! Would it look good on me, should I get it? Truthfully, you think it’s ugly. You say:
a.       “If you like it, you should get it.”
b.      “I wouldn’t get it. Why do you care so much about what’s considered cool?”
c.       “You would look marvelous whatever you wear!”
d.      “What, that? How could you think that looks good?”
e.       “I thought you said you were looking for a new dress.”
f.       “It’s ugly, but you might as well get it anyways.”
g.      “Oh…sure,” after blinking a few times.

5.      Somebody makes you angry. What do you do?
a.       Tell them you do not care about what they said/did.
b.      Try to understand them, and perhaps apologize if they think it was your fault.
c.       Cry.
d.      Tell them exactly what you think!
e.       Bear it with composure.
f.       Glare at them, turn sharply way, and talk very meanly about them behind their backs.
g.      You don’t often become angry. If someone starts to say something you do not like, you simply tune them out.

6.      You are:
a.       Cliquish
b.      Rational
c.       Optimistic
d.      A leader
e.       Reflective
f.       Independent
g.      A follower

7.      Sometimes you tend to:
a.       Be pliable
b.      Think a little too well of people
c.       Be rebellious
d.      Be judgmental
e.       Not care enough about things
f.       Be rude
g.      Be a stick-in-the-mud

8.      Acquaintances might think of you as:
a.       Boring
b.      Ignorant
c.       Conceited
d.      Sensible
e.       Silly
f.       Sweet
g.      Witty


*All rights reserved. Please do not copy the quiz in any way without my consent.*

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pride and Prejudice: The Movies

1940 film (MGM)
Elizabeth Bennet’s first appearance on the screen! The story is condensed (no visit to Pemberley!) and changed - Mr. Darcy is less proud, Lady Catherine less cruel. The costuming was Hollywood’s version of clothing in the mid-1800s (my guess is 1840s or 50s). Despite its faults, I enjoy this vintage film. This was actually my first introduction to Pride and Prejudice! Greer Garson as Elizabeth and Laurence Olivier as Mr. Darcy.

1980 mini-series (BBC)    
The BBC period films from the 70s and 80s are usually very close to the story, but slow-moving and rather like a play. This one held my attention better than the others, though, and I like it. I especially liked Jane. Elizabeth Garvie plays Lizzy, and David Rintioul the rather expressionless Mr. Darcy.

1995 mini-series (A&E/BBC)
This version is the favorite, I believe, of most true Jane Austen fans. It follows the story faithfully; many of the quotes are straight out of the book! It captures the spirit of Jane Austen’s novel quite well. I thought the movie was 2 ½ hours long, but I guess that was just for one disc. Later, people told me it was 5 hours long, and I didn’t believe them, it had been so interesting the whole time (and I didn’t watch it all at once).The soundtrack is delightful. Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth made an excellent Lizzy & Darcy, and the rest of the cast did a wonderful job as well.
If you have not seen this  version, you are really missing out!!!

2005 (Working Title Films)
The newest, preferred by those who enjoy movies with a more modern feel. I am not quite a historical fashion expert, but I’d say they made the time era in the late 1700s or very early 1800s…not Regency. The waists are a bit lower, some of the men have those triangle colonial hats, and Lady Catherine looks very 1700s. Personally, I found the way the characters were portrayed to be rather colorless after seeing the 1995 version. The story is more altered than in the BBC versions. Starring Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen.

Some people include Lost in Austen when they are comparing Pride and Prejudice movies, but I think a movie that twists and messes up a wonderful story is worse than irrelevant. And further, I do not approve of adding things that Jane Austen would not approve of and are un-authentic to the time period. I have not seen it myself, as I watch nothing rated higher than PG. I have heard enough of it to dislike it intensely.

In case you couldn’t tell from reading the above, my favorite movie of Pride and Prejudice is definitely the one from 1995. Here is the only tolerable trailer-like thing I could find - a promo from when it was on Masterpiece Theatre. I wanted to make one myself, but I had no way to.

I would love to know which is your favorite!

Which is your favorite one?

 free polls

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Just Jane by Nancy Moser

Although I am in my Pride and Prejudice category right now, I just finished this book, and wanted to write about it while it is still fresh in my mind. 

I enjoyed the book. It was fun reading a novel about Jane Austen’s life. Even though everything can’t be a fact from her life, it was nice to read about all the important happenings in her life when (and sometimes how) they happened. I’m glad Nancy Moser didn’t have to create scandal or things un-authentic to Jane Austen’s life and the time era to make it interesting, like some people do. 

It was written in first person and present tense - as if Jane Austen were composing it in her mind while it was happening, so one would expect it to sound like Jane Austen would talk/think. In some spots, I thought the wording - mostly terms and figures of speech - didn’t sound right for the late 1700s and early 1800s. I noticed some mistakes, such as spelling the last name “Ferras” instead of “Ferrars”, and a couple misuses of the word “alas”. There was a lot of unnecessary paragraphing - things were put in five paragraphs that could easily have been said in one. Just a style of writing, I suppose, and while I found it a bit irritating, it might not annoy someone else. 

All in all, it was a good read. If I had not liked it, I would not have finished it. :-) I recommend it as a fun way to learn about Jane Austen’s life, especially if you know the sold details but would like to see them reimagined. 

By the way, I thought the front cover was beautiful. Bethany House usually does a good job with that. :-)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pride and Prejudice: The Book

“It is a truth universally acknowledged,
that a single man in possession of a good
fortune must be in want of a wife.”
(Opening sentence of the book)

Pride and Prejudice is one of those stories most everyone has heard about, but hardly anyone gets tired of. Its colorful characters and intriguing story line has delighted many a reader for nearly two centuries. Here is the introduction to my focus on Pride and Prejudice, which I wrote a little while ago. If you are reading this you probably know all about P.&P., but it was fun to write, and perhaps it will amuse you as well.

Jane Austen began the book in 1796 at the age of twenty and finished it in 1797, calling it First Impressions. In 1811, after her first success (Sense and Sensibility), she set to work revising First Impressions. Because another book had been since published with that title, she re-named it Pride and Prejudice. It was published in 1813 and became an immediate success.

The delightful heroine, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, lives in a vivacious family of seven. Her four sisters - Catherine (often called Kitty) and Lydia, the youngest, whose lives revolve around going to parties and flirting with soldiers; the studious, often boring Mary; and the eldest, "her most beloved sister", sweet and pretty Jane. Then there are her contrasting parents - sarcastic, phlegmatic Mr. Bennet, who likes to find the humor in everything, and her overbearing (if not dreadfully silly) mother, who wants to marry them all off as soon as may be.

To talk of the story further would be to take away some of its pleasure, if you have not already read the book or watched a movie of it. If you have seen any or all of the movies, there are still more delights in store for you when you read the book. You can know exactly what the characters are thinking and feeling, enjoy more of the story than the movies display, and read the hilarious ways Jane Austen expresses things for our amusement. Among these things, I myself find satisfaction in knowing all of a story, and being certain of what is accurate.

Pride and Prejudice has everything that makes a story exciting and enjoyable - humor, drama, heartbreak, scandal, handsome beaus, evil villains, and has at least one character for every type of person to like.

Your comments are exceedingly welcome.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Janeite's Declaration

     I spent my young childhood in a house where Jane Austen books & movies were enjoyed by my mother and my two older sisters. Significantly younger than they, I never got a chance to enjoy them with my sisters, and they had started their own families before I was old enough.
     About two years ago, one of my sisters asked me if I had ever seen Sense and Sensibility, Which is her favorite Jane Austen movie. When I said I had not, she enthusiastically announced that I would watch it with her the next time I came over.
     So we did. Of course I liked it - I have always been pleased with old-fashioned things. I somehow knew that Pride and Prejudice was written by the same person, and I had remembered seeing that title on an old tape in our video cabinet. I found it and watched it. It was the 1940 version, so the fashions were different and so was the story. I got the 1995 A&E/BBC version from the library after that.
     I was captivated. Within a year from my first viewing of S.&S., I knew about all the novels, had seen most of the movies, read the beginning of several of the books, and about 2/3 of P.&P. I have taken great pleasure in learning all about the time era, and most anything associated with the name ‘Jane Austen’.
     What a thrill it is to be swept out of the modern world and into that of the early 1800s. A while ago I started writing a magazine about Jane Austen books, characters, & time era. Each edition would feature a novel, and if I ever wrote more than ten, I would move outside the Regency era. I decided to take my ideas and make this blog. I’ll be starting with Pride and Prejudice, since I already had most of that issue written. I love writing, reading, Jane Austen, and many things from and about bygone years, so here I am, using all those to create this just for enjoyment. =) I think this will be fun, and I hope others will have fun reading it. =) (Hopefully it isn’t too dull and simple looking - I am a novice at such things.) Please check back soon for my first ‘real’ post. I would love to know that people are reading this, so feel free to leave a comment! =)
    Have a lovely day full of old-fashioned delight.

Would you rather hear the story...

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