Pride and Prejudice (1980) Movie Poster Image

Pride and Prejudice (1980)



A respectful -- though long -- dramatization.
  • Review Date: October 12, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1980
  • Running Time: 265 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, despite a lack of objectionable material, this made-for-television miniseries' extended length, antiquated language, and subtle themes make it dead boring for younger kids. Even older kids may find the stuffy cinematography and formal, stiff manners of Georgian England a turn-off. But for lovers of literature, especially that written by Jane Austen, this adaptation of her novel is a treat.

What's the story?

This BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's novel offers a long, hard look at the hypocrisy and bad manners of the English aristocracy, as the Bennett sisters look for love among the wealthy. Eliza (Elizabeth Garvie) and Jane Bennett, two of the five Bennett sisters, live in the English countryside during the early 19th century. Jane falls for the kindly Mr. Bingley while Eliza takes an instant dislike to Mr. Darcy (David Rintoul), and you know what that means. As they try to overcome the pride and prejudices of their suitors, they suffer the misbehavior of the rest of their silly family. Mrs. Bennett is especially crass in attempting to set up her daughters with any eligible bachelor she can find, and in the end Lydia, another daughter, takes a cue from mom and runs off with a dapper young cad. When the dust settles from this family scandal, the aristocratic men prove their worth.

Is it any good?


This made-for-TV adaptation is long-winded, but respectfully tells Austen's story. While the cinematography gives this version a stuffy feel, the effect is appropriate for Austen's setting. Literary adults will be quite pleased, but those who prefer the slick Paltrow version of Emma or the glossy Emma Thompson take on Sense and Sensibility will be disappointed.

The acting is superb across the board, but the true standouts are David Rintoul's Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Garvie's spirited Eliza. The story is as gripping as it is meaningful, and older kids and adults will appreciate the many comic moments. The theme of devotion and loyalty between two sisters is refreshing, and most kids and adults will relate to the Bennett family's quirky imperfections.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what happens when a book is translated into a film or TV show. Is it possible to get every nuance of a book into a film? What sort of changes might be necessary in order to hold audiences' attention, to keep from confusing them with too many characters, and to telegraph what characters are thinking, when they don't speak their thoughts aloud? Also, students might use this video as a study aid, as it is quite true to both details and the spirit of the novel.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 13, 1980
DVD release date:August 24, 2004
Cast:David Rintoul, Elizabeth Garvie, Sabina Franklyn
Director:Cyril Coke
Run time:265 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byabbeymathgirl9 March 4, 2011

Clean movie perfect for Jane Austen lovers; will put kids to sleep though

My best friend and I spent a Saturday watching this movie. Though it is definitely a long one at six hours, we loved every second of it. There are no issues whatsoever, and the characters deal with conflict in a very positive way throughout the story.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byGalleryKnight June 14, 2012

True to the novel.

This is a great version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. It may be dated, and possibly low-budget, but it is still spectacular! The casting is great, and the dialogue is spot-on. The star here is Elizabeth Garvie, she does an amazing job at playing Lizzie in this mini-series. Any fan of Jane Austen would be proud - And I'm sure Jane Austen would be proud too. The messages in this show are very positive - But younger children won't appreciate all of the dialogue throughout. I'd say older fans, about thirteen and up, should watch this to see this amazing adaption. Please note this is not a movie as another user said, it's a miniseries.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written bypopap15 September 23, 2011

The Definitive Pride and Prejudice, in every aspect

This 1980 BBC adaptation is the definitive version of Jane Austen's literary masterpiece Pride and Prejudice. Although quite long (clocking in at 265 minutes, or 4 hours 25 minutes), this film is superbly made, and the only adaptation that fully captures the humor, wit, beauty, and emotional depth that makes Jane Austen's novel one of the most cherished literary works ever. Everything in the production, from the script, to the casting, and of course, the acting, is flawless. I'd like to write a full review, but as this is commonsensemedia, I'll instead give prospective viewers a full understanding of what to expect when viewing this film. The film details life in Georgian-era England, in which marriage between the upper-middle and upper classes was almost universally arranged on the basis of wealth, with love taking a back-seat. Although this situation is nowhere near as serious today, it truly characterized the thoughts and actions of eligible young men and women in the early-19th century. The Bennett girls are no exception, and their mother is keen on making sure that each of her daughters are well married. Although this can be a tough topic to discuss, the film explores the thoughts and reasonings behind it with dignity and respect. The film also deals with the consequences of pride and prejudice towards people based on first acquaintances, which, as the film reveals, can be quite deceptive once a person's true character is revealed. This message is explored through various plot points that truly make the audience think. Overall, this film has a very deep substance with hardly any objectionable content. The film is filled with positive messages such as propriety, decency, and respect, and offers strong positive role models from the main protagonist, Elizabeth Bennett, and other characters as well. In addition, we see the consequences that arise from unwise decisions, which is an important discussion point. The reason why I rate this film 14 & up is because, although fascinating, beautiful, and intuitive, it will bore younger children to death. The topics explored in the film are "grown-up" issues such as marriage and serious decision making, and the film admittedly goes by slowly. However, it is an excellent film to show to older teens to give them an idea of how intelligent, respectable men and women of character conducted themselves in public and private affairs. Although the costumes are dated, the morals and ethics celebrated in the film are invaluable to any person of today, as it sees that respect and maturity seems to be dwindling from today's youth even more each generation. And of course, it's a touching and beautiful love story. Overall, I highly recommend this film. It belongs in any serious British literature fan's top ten, and easily beats out any other adaptation in regards to being most like Jane Austen's timeless masterpiece.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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