🎥 Pride and Prejudice – 1940
The Story …
Mrs. Bennet and her two eldest daughters, Jane and Elizabeth, are shopping for new dresses when they notice two gentlemen and a lady arriving outside, exiting from a very expensive carriage.
They learn that the men are Mr Bingley, who has just rented the local estate of Netherfield, and Mr Darcy, both wealthy eligible bachelors, which excites Mrs Bennet’s interest.
Collecting her other daughters, Mrs Bennet returns home, where she tries to convince Mr Bennet to visit Mr Bingley, but he declines, explaining to her minutes later that he has already made his acquaintance …
At the next ball, Elizabeth sees how proud Darcy is when she overhears him refusing to dance with her. Elizabeth also meets Mr. Wickham, who tells her how Darcy did him a terrible wrong.
When Darcy does ask Elizabeth to dance with him, she refuses, but when Wickham asks her in front of Darcy, she accepts.
The Bennets’ cousin, Mr. Collins, who will inherit the Bennet estate upon the death of Mr. Bennet, arrives looking for a wife, and decides that Elizabeth will be suitable. Invited to a garden party by Charles Bingley at Netherfield Park, Collins keeps following Elizabeth around, who tries her best to avoid him, as he won’t leave her alone.
Darcy aids her and directs Collins away. Elizabeth surprisingly outshoots Darcy in archery; later he escorts her to the dance floor, but after seeing questionable behavior of her mother and younger sisters, he leaves her again, making Elizabeth angry with him once more.
The next day, Mr. Collins asks her to marry him, but she refuses his persistent proposals. Later, Collins becomes engaged to Elizabeth’s best friend, Charlotte Lucas.
Elizabeth visits Charlotte in her new home. She is introduced to Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr. Collins’ “patroness”, and during her visit she also encounters Mr. Darcy once again. At Charlotte’s insistence, Elizabeth sees Darcy who asks her to marry him, but she refuses, partly because of the story Wickham had told her about Darcy, partly because he broke up the romance between Mr Bingley and Jane, and partly because of his “character”.
They get into a heated argument and he leaves.
When Elizabeth returns home, she learns that Lydia has run away with Wickham but they were not married. Mr. Bennet and his brother-in-law unsuccessfully try to find Lydia. Darcy learns of this and returns to offer Elizabeth his services.
He tells her that Wickham will never marry Lydia. He reveals that Wickham had tried to elope with his sister, Georgiana, who was younger than Lydia at the time. After Darcy leaves, Elizabeth realizes she loves him but believes he will never see her again.
Lydia and Wickham return to the house married. A short time later, Lady Catherine arrives and tells Elizabeth that Darcy found Lydia and forced Wickham to marry her by providing Wickham with a substantial sum of money.
She also tells her that she can strip Darcy of his wealth if he marries against her wishes. She demands that Elizabeth promise that she will never become engaged to Darcy. Elizabeth refuses. Lady Catherine leaves in a huff and meets outside with Darcy, who had sent her to see Elizabeth to find out if he would be welcomed by her.
After Lady Catherine’s report, Darcy comes in and he and Elizabeth proclaim their love for each other in the garden. Mr. Bingley also meets Jane in the garden and takes her hand, all while Mrs. Bennet spies on both couples …
- Directed by Robert Z. Leonard
- Written by Helen Jerome (dramatization)
- Screenplay by Aldous Huxley and Jane Murfin
- Based on Pride and Prejudice 1813 novel by Jane Austen
- Produced by Hunt Stromberg
- Cinematography : Karl Freund
- Edited by Robert Kern
- Music by Herbert Stothart
- Production Company : Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
- Distributed by Loew’s Inc.
- Release Date : July 26, 1940
- Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennet
- Laurence Olivier as Fitzwilliam Darcy
- Mary Boland as Mrs. Bennet
- Edna May Oliver as Lady Catherine de Bourgh
- Maureen O’Sullivan as Jane Bennet
- Ann Rutherford as Lydia Bennet
- Frieda Inescort as Caroline Bingley
- Edmund Gwenn as Mr. Bennet
- Karen Morley as Charlotte Lucas Collins
- Heather Angel as Kitty Bennet
- Marsha Hunt as Mary Bennet
- Melville Cooper as Mr Collins Edward
- Ashley Cooper as George Wickham
- Bruce Lester as Mr Bingley
- E. E. Clive as Sir Willam Lucas
- Marjorie Wood as Lady Lucas
- Vernon Downing as Captain Carter
- Elspeth Dudgeon as Mrs King
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