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Identify and discuss the changes that were made when the novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen was adapted for television. Pay particular attention to the section where Elizabeth Bennet visits the estate of Pemberly.

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Introduction

Identify and discuss the changes that were made when the novel 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen was adapted for television. Pay particular attention to the section where Elizabeth Bennet visits the estate of Pemberly. Having read the novel 'Pride and Prejudice' we watched two adaptations, both by the BBC, the first of the two was made in 1985 as a one off film. It has a running time of 109 minutes. It was dramatised by Faye Welldon, produced by Jonathan Powell, and directed by Cyril Cokes. It is said to catch the wit and lightness of touch on the original work. The second version was made in 1995 as a multiple part series, and has a running time of 301 minutes. It was adapted for film by writer Andrew Davis, produced by Sue Birtwhistle and directed by Simon Lamgton. This adaptation is described to have captured the romance, drama and humour of Jane Austen's greatest novel, in an all-star cast. The original film we saw I felt was filmed in sets. Obviously the exterior of Pemberly was filmed on location but the interior was in sets. You could tell this as they did the tour, of the house, as the interior didn't seem to match the exterior, for example the ceilings were very low compared with what you'd expect, as low as the ceilings in our houses today, not big country manors dating back to the sixteenth century, which is commented on in the film. Pemberly house in the first adaptation wasn't what you'd expect from reading the novel. The scene starts with shots of the Derbyshire countryside with calm music appropriate for the scene. Then the shot goes into the closed top carriage, so you can't see the countryside around, not even out of the windows because most of the camera is on the actors' faces. The Gardiner's and Lizzy are discussing whether or not to go to Pemberly; in the novel this discussion takes place in an inn the previous day. ...read more.

Middle

However as I've said above if you had never read the novel and were in 1985 - 87 or so and had seen this, you would have probably enjoyed it, but I've read the novel and have seen technology of the twenty first century, so I didn't really enjoy this adaptation. The second adaptation we watched was quite a contrast to the original. This adaptation was filmed ten years after the original and had a higher budget so you'd expect it to be better. As technology has moved on a lot since 1985, and with a higher budget you can afford the latest technology, better sets and actors. The production company can afford to pay higher salaries so can get more experienced well known actors, rather than amateurs that no-one really knows, as in the first adaptation. No one recognised any of the actors on the first adaptation, and even though we were all only just born while it was being made, you'd still recognise people from the film when we were a bit older, the second adaptation was filmed in 1995, six years ago and we still see the actors in various productions. The extract we studied in this adaptation started in an inn scene with Lizzy, and Mr and Mrs Gardiner discussing whether or not to go to Pemberly the following day. The room is very real but I think it was probably a set because the more you do in the studio the easier it is, but the set is very realistic with lots of light coming through the windows, it looked natural, and the conversation was taken straight from the book. From this scene you get the carriage they are using, which is open topped, so when the camera goes into the carriage you can see the outside around them and know it's not been superimposed. You get shots of Derbyshire with the theme tune to the production playing in the background, a lot of the music is bits of ...read more.

Conclusion

However technology wasn't the only thing that made the second adaptation better, the costumes and sets and overall acting in the second adaptation were better. Even it's adaptation to film was better with more suspense put in, will they or won't they get together, your constantly on the edge of your seat, even more so than when reading the novel. This was filmed as a multiple-part series for the BBC; if you watched the first episode then you would not want to miss the next. Annabel Heseltine of the Daily Mail wrote a column about this particular adaptation on October 16th 1995, it starts with her saying how she was not to be disturbed for the next two Sundays while 'Pride and Prejudice' was on, and goes on to talk about how Jane Austen was the French and Saunders of her day, and explains the novel and how Jane Austen worked. However Susan Elkin from 'The Times' takes a slightly different approach and on the 6th October 1995 wrote how she thought that this adaptation would be recorded by school teachers all over the country and be shown to students, as a good representation of the novel, so students would get off reading it. I believe that this was a very good adaptation of the novel but also agree with Susan Elkin that once you've seen the adaptation these characters get into your head, or those from the first adaptation and when you read the novel you don't conjure up images of what the characters look like, or the places, and that it does spoil it if you read the book afterwards. However I still think that the second adaptation was the better of the two and that it is very good representation of the novel, and has been adapted to film very well, and can be enjoyed just as much as reading the novel. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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