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Pride & Prejudice

David O. Selznick, producer of films like Gone With The Wind, David Copperfield, and A Tale Of Two Cities, is generally considered the greatest adapter of classic literature into film. As Selznick once stated to a writer during the production of Gone With The Wind, regarding parts of the book which were left out of the film, “The Audience will forgive us anything we cut as long as we don’t add anything of our own invention.” Hunt Stromberg and Alduous Huxley and Jane Murfin, the producer and writers of the film version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice seem not to have had the benefit of this adaptation wisdom. For there are many differences between the cinematic and the literary versions of Pride and Prejudice. While the scope of this analysis is not long enough to discuss all of the differences an analysis of two scenes will demonstrate this fact. This analysis will also discuss the director’s use of dialogue and acting which make the film have more of a comedic than the more romantic tone of the novel.

The opening dinner at Netherfield is quite different in the film than in the book, including different bits of dialogue, additional interaction between characters and the insertion of more bits of humor in the film. For example, at the ball Mrs. Bennet instructs her daughters how to behave more appropriately, including telling them bits of individual advice like to “Sparkle, but just a little,” not to cough inappropriately and to Jane, that she is, “of course, quite perfect.” While Mrs. Bennet comments on matter as these at home earlier in the novel, she does not do so at Netherfield. This adds to the comedic tone of the film, replete with comic facial gestures by some of the daughters in reaction to what she tells them.

There are also additional bits of dialogue in the film that don’t exist at all in the novel. For example, in the novel we are told Jane and Bingley dance together and also th...

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Pride & Prejudice. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:21, October 01, 2020, from