It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a person in want of a good project will adapt Pride and Prejudice–if not always to dazzling effect. The latest take, a two-part miniseries called Death Comes to Pemberley, premiered yesterday on PBS. And if there’s anything P&P fans like almost as much as Austen’s book, it’s consuming and then critiquing the various interpretations of it. Which is why we’re taking this opportunity to rank 13 different iterations of Pride & Prejudice, from the best (the 1995 miniseries starring Colin Firth is a nigh-untouchable high point) to the significantly less great.
1. Pride and Prejudice (miniseries): The 6-hour 1995 BBC version is the gold standard for faithful adaptation. Colin Firth’s haughty, smoldering Darcy is the platonic ideal of the character, playing beautifully off of Jennifer Ehle’s wry, mature Lizzy Bennet. Plus, the miniseries’ runtime means every nuance of Austen’s work (and her quippy dialogue) is represented—while allowing for some creative liberties, like Firth’s Darcy taking a bath, or a dip in a pond that leads to him striding about manfully in a wet white shirt. READ FULL STORY