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Pride and Prejudice (1940 film)

2 Ratings: 4.0
Classics movie directed by Robert Z. Leonard and Rudolf Ising

Jane Austen's wonderful novel has been adapted to the screen many times, with this 1940 version representing the golden age of the Hollywood studio era. Greer Garson, then just on the cusp of her stardom, plays the headstrong Elizabeth Bennet, smartest … see full wiki

Genre: Classics, Comedy, Drama, Romance
Release Date: 1940
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Pride and Prejudice (1940 film)

"If you want to be really refined, you have to be dead..."

  • Apr 13, 2007
...so says the gloriously-realised Elizabeth Bennet of Greer Garson, in M-G-M's 1940 screen adaptation of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

While this is very much Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice", this version primarily draws from the play written by Helen Jerome. Greer Garson is perfectly-cast as Elizabeth Bennet, if slightly old for the role. Laurence Olivier gives a great balance and weight to his role of Darcy, the "insufferably proud" man who turns Lizzie's head. Greer Garson was very much M-G-M's premier "period actress" of the 1940s, and this is among her best work.

Design-wise, this version is completely off the scale. Adrian's gowns are too fussy, with an over-abundance of frills and frippery. Austen's era was that of the sleek and streamlined Regency dress, but this being M-G-M, everything is a hundred times bigger.

The supporting cast is first-rate, with scene stealers Mary Boland as Mrs Bennet, Edna May Oliver as Lady Catherine de Bourgh; and Ann Rutherford as Lydia.

Fans of the hugely popular BBC/A&E miniseries with Colin Firth will be sorely disappointed with this rendition, but on the whole it's enchanting, captivating viewing.

Warner's new DVD includes the Oscar-nominated short "Crime Doesn't Pay: Eyes of the Navy"; and the cartoon "The Fishing Bear".

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