Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Maksim Chmerkovskiy Will Return to 'Dancing With The St...
'The Good Wife' Cush Jumbo Tackles Comparisons...
'Class': 'Doctor Who' Spinoff Series Coming to BBC Thre...
'The Revenant' Trailer: Leonardo DiCaprio Seeks Revenge...
Will Trevor Noah Live Up To The Hype During Monday's 'D...
Watch Eddie Vedder, Beyonce Duet on Bob Marley's 'Redem...
'CSI' being laid to rest after 15 years ...
Big Brother Season 17 Finale Recap: Super Fan & Trombon...
Dancing With the Stars Recap: Bindi Irwin and Derek Hou...
Emmys 2015: Who should win Outstanding Lead Actor in a ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Warner Home Video presents
Pride and Prejudice (1940)

"Five thousand pounds and unmarried—that's the most heartening news since Waterloo."
- Mrs. Bennet (Mary Boland)

Review By: Jeff Wilson  
Published: October 19, 2006

Stars: Laurence Olivier, Greer Garson
Other Stars: Mary Boland, Edna May Oliver, Maureen O'Sullivan, Ann Rutherford, Frieda Inescort
Director: Robert Z. Leonard

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for nothing objectionable
Run Time: 01h:57m:40s
Release Date: October 10, 2006
UPC: 012569793682
Genre: romantic comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Though I saw this 1940 adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel first, the greatness of the BBC's 1995 miniseries forces me to watch it with that superior work in mind throughout. Co-written by Aldous Huxley, the film deviates from the source material in various ways, but it is largely a successful film, whatever devotees of the book might feel.

The story is well known, but in case you're classics-deprived, the tale revolves around the Bennett family. The five daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet range from Jane, the eldest, to Kitty, the youngest. Their dispositions vary extravagantly, with Jane and Elizabeth the most level-headed, and Kitty and Lydia flighty and shallow. With the arrival of a Mr. Bingley (Bruce Lester), his sister Caroline (Frieda Inescourt), and their friend, the imperious Mr. Darcy (Laurence Olivier), the story is set in motion, as Bingley and Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan) form an attachment, and Darcy pursues Elizabeth (Greer Garson). Their respective feelings and misunderstandings nearly sabotage everything, before good sense prevails.

It's hard to go wrong with material like this; you simply have to have good actors and a decent script. The direction is rather uninspired, with very little to call attention to anything beyond the action at hand. That allows the story to do its thing, and Olivier and Garson spark off each other well. Garson, who was 35 when the film premiered, is simply too old for the role and looks it, but she's a fine actress nonetheless. Her Elizabeth is cool and collected, never really letting her guard down. Olivier's Darcy is much warmer, his attraction to Elizabeth always percolating just beneath the surface. He's almost too warm, as Darcy is meant to elicit chilly reactions, but even his early snooty comments don't drip with enough snobbery.

The biggest change in the source material is the insistence on making sure everyone ends the film happy with their place. As a consequence, Lady Catherine de Bourgh (the splendid Edna May Oliver, looking always like she's just finished sucking a lemon) isn't merely a snob who detests the idea of Darcy marrying beneath him, she's just his agent, sounding out Elizabeth and secretly pleased someone is willing to be rude to her. Likewise, the desperation that forces Elizabeth's friend Charlotte (Karen Morley) to marry the odious Mr. Collins (Melville Cooper) is glossed over. And the women's costumes are grotesque. In the end, these are relatively small quibbles; the highlights are here, and the story ends where it should, with marriage the order of the day and wit winning out over smugness and snobbery.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The transfer hasn't been subjected to any intense clean-up, as it's filled with speckling and other minor blemishes. It isn't overly offputting, but it's quite noticeable. The picture otherwise looks fine, with solid contract and decent detail.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The mono soundtrack is generally clean and without distortion; everything is clearly understandable.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Documentaries
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual
Layers Switch: 01h:09m:48s

Extras Review: Some unusual extras given the film, put on the disc due to their being released near the film, but that's only a guess. First is Eyes of the Navy (20m:18s), a pre-WWII propaganda short about how we are gearing up to protect ourselves. The MGM cartoon Fishing Bear (07m:52s) follows, starring Barney Bear. Both are a bit beat-up looking. The trailer is last up, and it's amusing in its own way.

Subtitles are available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

Pleasing and well acted, this 1940 version of the Austen novel isn't perfect, at least compared to later versions, but it's certainly worth watching, with Olivier and Garson in fine form. The disc is solid enough, though the transfer ideally could have looked better. No reason to pass this by if you're a fan, however.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, dancing with the stars, maksim chmerkovskiy, carrie ann inaba, bruno tonioli, julianne hough, the good wife, cush jumbo, archie panjabi, julianna margulies, bbc3, class, doctor who, buffy the vampire slayer, hunger games, steven moffat, brian minchin, movie, the revenant, leonardo dicaprio, tom hardy, alejandro g. inarritu, christmas day release, comedy channel, trevor noah, daily show, jon stewart, music, global citizen festival, pearl jam, byonce, ed sheeran, eddie vedder, cbs, csi, ted danson, elisabeth shue, elisabeth harnois, william petersen, marg helgenberger, big brother, abc, liz, steve, vanessa, julia chen, dr. will, bindi irwin, derek, hough, chaka khan, emmys 2015, laurence fishburne, tracee ellis ross, anthony anderson, will forte, jeffrey tambor, kym johnson, shark tank, robert herjavec, jungle book, cgi, scarlet johansson, bill murray, ben kingsley, idris elba, christopher walken, drama, celebrity apprentice, arnold schwarzenegger, donald trump, nbc, taylor swift, bad blood, emmy award, original interactive program, the late show, stephen colbert, ashley madison, horror, silent, epcot international food & wine festival, walt disney world, the chew, october, celebrity, jimmy fallon, tonight show, dj khaled, all i do is win, country music awards, eric church, little big town, miranda lambert, kenny chesney, sam hunt, maddie & tae, kacey musgraves, chris stapleton, late night, jeb bush, george clooney, war room, straight outta compton, faith-based drama, a walk in the woods, robert redford, september 8, documentary, history, movies, steven spielberg, the bfg, dreamworks, walt disney company, fashion police, melissa rivers, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya, mtv vma, njcki minaj, miley cyrus, anaconda

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store