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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Law U chapter.

Written by Joan Kiely (’23)

The story of Pride and Prejudice has not dwindled in popularity since its publication over two hundred years ago, and continues today to be the inspiration for various adaptations and retellings. Since the novel was first adapted to the stage in 1895, there have been countless adaptations, and while all tell the captivating story well, some rise above the rest. As an avid reader of Jane Austen and a frequent watcher of the Jane Austen movie adaptations, I believe myself especially qualified to make the following list: The Top Five Pride and Prejudice Film Adaptations. 


Honorable mention: Austenland

This movie didn’t make the list only because I enjoyed the other versions so much, but this movie is a masterpiece in its own right. It the hilarious story of an Austen-obsessed woman on the search for her own Mr. Darcy. It is laugh-out-loud funny, but also heartwarming and filled with great stories of friendship. The whole cast is amazing, but Jennifer Coolidge does a particularly amazing job and brings so much humor to her role. I highly recommend this movie to everyone I meet, it is perfect for the Jane Austen superfan or the casual viewer. 


5. Pride and Prejudice  (1980)

Truthfully I didn’t have high expectations for the forty-one-year-old television series, but I was pleasantly surprised with this version. The series is very close to the novel, which works both for and against it. As you watch it, the show feels very authentic to Austen’s vision, but the long blocks of dialogue from the book that is added to the show make it feel clunky and forced at some points. I loved Elizabeth Garvie’s portrayal of Lizzie Bennet, but David Rintoul as Mr. Darcy left much to be desired. 


4. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012-2013)

This is a really fun modern retelling of Jane Austen’s iconic story. The story is told through a series of vlogs, which was such an inventive way of bringing the story into the twenty-first century. The Youtube show aired from 2012-2013 and was also the first web series to win an Emmy in 2013. I highly recommend this webseries to anyone, and I love how creative this retelling was. 


3. Bridget Jones Diary (2001)

This was the movie that actually got me addicted to Jane Austen in the first place, Renée Zellweger is absolutely hilarious in this movie, and we get to see Colin Firth revisit his iconic Mr. Darcy. This star-studded cast does an amazing job bringing Jane Austen’s story to a modern audience with the perfect amount of humor and romance. This is the perfect comfort film and can be watched all year long, but I especially love it as a holiday movie. 


2. Pride and Prejudice BBC (1995) 

This may be controversial putting the beloved 1995 mini-series at number two, and I would have put it first if I didn’t love Kiera Knightly so much. This version finds the sweet spot of being true to the novel and translating well to the screen. Colin Firth is the perfect Mr. Darcy, he transitions seamlessly from rigid to warm and welcoming throughout the series and effortlessly makes the audience fall in love with him. It would be remiss to talk about this version without mentioning the perfection that is the lake scene! 


1. Pride and Prejudice (2005) 

I watch this movie at least once a month, it is truly a cinematic masterpiece. Despite not being as faithful to the original as the 1995 version I believe the beauty of this movie makes up for that. Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen work flawlessly side by side. This is also my favorite portrayal of the Bennet parents. Both are much more sympathetic in this film, with the mother coming off as a tad more rational and the father more loving for an overall more humorous and warm family dynamic. There are very few movies I could watch so frequently and still feel the joy I felt the first time I watched it, but this is one of those movies. 




We are Her Campus St. Law U.
Hannah Lobdell

St. Law U '22

I love attending St. Lawrence University! I am interested in reading, movies, video games, and music. I also LOVE to watch and play ice hockey. I also play rugby!