which Pride & Prejudice movie do you prefer?

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Normally, I stay away from hotly contested debates on the blog. But there is one major exception to that theme.

And that exception happens to involve Pride and Prejudice movies.

Back in 2009, I wrote an innocent little post posing the question: Do you prefer the Keira Knightley P&P or the BBC P&P more?

The responses were well crafted, defended, and explained. It seems many people have a strong feeling on the topic. So since today is the start of one of the hottest months of the year, why not turn up the heat a little?

Are you a fan of the newer 2005 film, or the (epic) 1995 BBC version with Collin Firth?

My vote? Ever since high school I’ve been smitten with the Colin version.

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  1. Anna Seay

    Wow, must comment on this one! Honestly, I prefer the more recent one. It’s so beautifully done and makes me happy and I think as a whole, it captured the feel of the book the best. BUT, if I’m debating about who made the better Darcy/Elizabeth, I would probably concede that Firth and Ehle portrayed them more as Austen wrote them than Knightley and Macfadyen did. I think Jennifer Ehle in particular is definitely the better Lizzie Bennett. I just cannot stand the supporting cast in the BBC version. They’re all like nails on a chalkboard to me…
    Great post, though, Jess! Nice way to stir up your readers! 😉

    1. Eileen

      Interesting, because I find when I “think” about the characters, I “picture” the actress/actor that played Jane/Bingley from the Knightly version, but always “picture” Ehle/Firth as Elizabeth/Darcy. If that makes any sense? That may be because you can stumble on the Knightly version so frequently on cable, but it’s still too difficult to replace Elizabeth/Darcy from the BBC version.

  2. Meredith Hainsworth

    Colin Firth one. Hands down. And for several reasons. First, it’s longer and therefore more true to the book, and I love that much of the dialogue is straight from the book. I think that Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle do a much better job of portraying the characters, although the acting wasn’t bad in the other one. My major dislike of the Kiera Knightly one is I feel they were not terribly historically accurate, especially when it came to costumes which was distracting overall, and that the characters did not stay as true to the original ones. Also, the old one is just so beautiful!

  3. Jacki

    Firth/Ehle all the way, forever and ever. Our family has a tradition with this movie actually. When we’re all together at my parents’ house, say at Christmastime, we all watch the movie. Even my dad loves the BBC version. Hehe.

    1. That’s so cute! I would love to do that… maybe my sister-in-law would be up for that kind of tradition…

      1. Jacki

        Totally worth asking – it’s perfect for a cold night with a cozy warm beverage/treat and some favorite loved ones 🙂

  4. The 2005 movie is by far my favorite. I feel the chemistry between the characters so much more intensely than in the BBC version. The “almost kiss” in the rain? Swoon-worthy! Also, the long extended landscape shots and dreamy soundtrack are heavenly. I watch the Keira Knightly version at least twice a year. It makes me feel like I’m drifting away into another world…but one that’s so familiar and comforting.

    1. Nice! I am feeling like I need to re-watch the Colin one myself now that I’ve written about it. : )

  5. Absolutely love the BBC version. I was terribly disappointed with the Kiera Knightley version. I thought they left a lot of important stuff out and I didn’t care for her portrayal of Elizabeth Bennett nor for the Mr. Darcy in the later version.

  6. EmSewCrazy

    Haha, well you know how to get your readers stirred up!
    I made my Grandmother sit through the BBC version and she enjoyed it even if she couldn’t understand what they were saying all the time. When I turned on 2005 film she walked out in the first five minutes. My Grandfather, on the other hand, sat through the whole thing and enjoyed it. This sums up why I like both versions.
    As an avid reader, I love the BBC version because it takes the time to follow the book and play out all that delicious dialogue.
    I do enjoy the 2005 version as an introduction for those who don’t watch movies like this and for all the men in our lives who won’t sit through a 6 hr. marathon. Even though its different, I enjoy it as a variation of a favorite story. Kind of like how I love every version of Beauty and the Beast even though they vary widely in story and talent.

  7. The Colin Firth version hands down! I fell in love with Austen after I watched it in high school and devoured all her books immediately after. I love how true the characters and story are to the book. I think the actors do an amazing job at showing the emotions within the constraints of the time period and what society required of its members. The Keira Knightly version is beautifully filmed, but for me it just doesn’t capture that essential spark of Austen. You’re making me want to sit down and watch the miniseries again 🙂

  8. Xenia Alonso

    I really really love the 2005 version with Keira Knightly. I keep watching it over and over again.

  9. i’m highly passionate about my pride & prej! i adore the BBC version, it’s truer to the book, more theatrical and nuanced, and jennifer ehle is just the perfect lizzie bennet. that being said, i do watch the keira version whenever i see it’s on, for the sheer beauty and daydreamy quality it has!

  10. Christina Heinle

    Hands down Colin Firth. The BBC version is a wonderful series and not just a condensed 2 hour movie.

  11. Su Chipps

    Why choose? Both are beautifully acted. Its nice to be able to catch the movie when you only have a couple hours and even nicer when you have a whole afternoon with a hot cocoa in a cold winter day to catch the whole BBC version. I will dare say that McFayden’s proposals are my favorite.

  12. Rachel Pierce

    So, I know this wasn’t in your A or B choices, but I’m going to tack on a C, because I love it so much. It’s an adaption called the Lizzie Bennet Diaries that exists solely on YouTube. They’re releasing a DVD of all the episodes soon, but… episode one –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KisuGP2lcPs

  13. Joy Hansen

    I have to admit that I thought I would not like the newer version because I love the BBC version. I do like the newer version but not as much as the original BBC version with Colin Firth. Makes me cry every time I watch it. I love how the BBC version keeps very close to the book. I also adore all the dancing in the movie. Colin Firth is so handsome….sigh….

  14. Jenny

    I love the Keira Knightly version. In fact, it is my “go-to” movie whenever I’m feeling blue, sick, or otherwise not in a good mood. I love how the story is told, but I also just love the amazing cinematography and soundtrack and the little details they’ve infused into the film. I understand the BBC version is truer to the book, but I don’t watch movies to just get the book spit back into my face. I like having an artistic interpretation of the story. And I think Keira’s version does that! Love!

  15. Erika

    To be honest, I haven’t seen the Keira Knightley version. But after the Colin Firth one, is there a need? Hahaha! 🙂

  16. Okay, here’s the count so far: 8 votes for BBC, 4 votes for 2005, and 3 votes for both/neither.

  17. This is a big topic of debate with my friends and I. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the epic CF one from BBC. Hell yes, I own the VHS version. I really didn’t feel like Keira Knightly was the right cast for Elizabeth but I think that’s more of a personal opinion…

  18. AsianCajuns (Cath)

    A&E/BBC/First version all the way! I don’t think the Keira Knightly one was horrible, but the casting wasn’t as good and you can’t beat six hours of Jane Austen!

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