Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pride and Prejudice (1940) - Laurence Olivier is a Great Actor... and Boy is He Handsome

After watching the epic Lost in Austen, I decided to reread the original book... but did not have the time so instead I read the cliffnotes version and plan on rereading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

I also came across a film version of Pride and Prejudice I seemed to have missed: The 1940 version that stars Greer Garson as Lizzy and the awesome Laurence Olivier as Darcy.

I am surprised that this version of the film is more engaging than the other versions. (not counting Lost in Austen and Bride and Prejudice)

I love the book, but find it difficult to sit through most film versions of the material. I never felt an inviting aspect to the films. It was almost as if the movies were an in-joke to readers of the book and everyone else was left out in the cold.

This classic 1940 version film is inviting right from the very first scene. The characters are spot on and the acting is superb. Unlike the other film versions, this version does not use Austen's text as a bible, but as a starting to point to create an enjoyable dramatic film full of humor and wit. Not to say that the film butchers the text and plot structure, but this is a film and it's a pretty good film on it's own wether or not one is familiar with the source material.

And Laurence Olivier is just too adorable as the male lead, Darcy ;-) 

Watching the film, I found it more like a play than a film, and that's not an insult. I love a good play. Upon finding out that this film version was based on a play version excited me even more. The theater major in me wants to produce it now :-)

... maybe with the correct costumes this time around.

This is officially my favorite film version of Pride and Prejudice. I think it will sit comfortably next to my Blu Ray of Fritz Lang's Metropolis and my Audrey Hepburn DVDs.

P.S: Can someone help me find the colorized version of this film?

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