Pride and Prejudice (1940)

The Internet Movie Database       Movie Reviews

From the book of the same title by Jane Austen

Oh, you know the story. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy hate each other at first sight until they fall in love.

This movie is a guilty pleasure.

It’s a pleasure because it is such a joy to watch- an all-star cast (Laurence Olivier, Greer Garson, Ann Rutherford, Edmund Gwenn and Edna May Oliver as Lady Catherine, which surprised me; I had remembered it as being Flora Robson). Good writing, funny and charming, well paced. Really really good.

Guilty for two reasons: one, it has Laurence Olivier, whom I can’t stand…except in this movie. He’s perfect for Mr. Stuck-Up-And-Snooty Darcy, and that is one of the reasons I had to buy this movie.

The other reason it’s a guilty pleasure is that, even though it was Aldous Huxley doing most of the screenplay, and it is excellent, it’s a TOTAL REWRITE. It’s even set (and costumed) in early Victorian times (they talk about the Battle of Waterloo, which hadn’t happened when the book was written.) Now usually I would be the first to point my finger and intone ANATHEMA! and sneeringly burn the movie at the stake…except that this one is SO DAMN CHARMING.

So forgive me. I’ll try not to be so lenient with other movies. But I really do love this one. Want to come over and watch it some night?

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