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Profit and production : Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice on film Barcsay, Katherine Eva 2008

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PROFIT AND PRODUCTION:JANE AUSTEN’S PRIDEAND PREJUDICE ON FILMbyKatherine Eva BaresayHon. B.A., University ofToronto, 2006A THESIS SUBMITTEDIN PARTIAL FULFILLMENTOFTHE REQUIREMENTS FORTHE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinThe Faculty of GraduateStudies(Film Studies)THE UNIVERSITY OFBRITISH COLUMBIA(Vancouver)August 2008© Katherine EvaBarcsay, 200811AbstractAdaptation from literature to film has always been a much criticized enterprise, withfidelitycriticism, or an attempt to discredit fidelity criticism, often driving the critical discussion.However, this type of thinking is somewhat limited, becoming circular and goingnowhereproductive. Instead, taking into account what has come before, this thesis attemptsto settleon a method of examination that moves away from fidelity criticismand towards an approachthat aligns itself with cultural studies. Adaptations, then,can be seen as products of thehistorical, cultural, political and general socio-economicframework out of which theyemerge, owing perhaps more to their context of production than totheir source material. Inorder to provide a case study that reflects this idea, thispaper looks to an author who hasbeen adapted on multiple occasions, Jane Austen, andexamines her as a cultural construct.Looking at Austen’s most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice,and using Robert Z. Leonard’sPride and Prejudice (1940), Cyril Coke’s Jane Austen ‘sPride and Prejudice (1980), SimonLangton’s Pride and Prejudice (1995), Andrew Black’sPride and Prejudice: A Latter DayComedy (2003), Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice(2004) and Joe Wright’s Pride &Prejudice (2005), the thesis argues that the appealof Austen is a result of her cult statusandeconomic viability, and also the malleability of hertext, which allows filmmakers to use itina number of different contexts, whilestill embodying the source material.111TABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract iiTable of Contents iiiChapter One: Introduction 1Chapter Two: Adaptation and its Issues 10Chapter Three: The Appeal of the Past and the Cult of Jane Austen 31Chapter Four: Six Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice 554.1 Television Adaptations584.2 Star Powered Adaptations 744.3 Contemporary Adaptations96Chapter Five: Conclusion 117Filmography 123Bibliography 1241Chapter One: Introduction“Great literature must spring from an upheaval in the author’s soul. If that upheaval is not present thenit mustcome from the works of any other author which happens to be handy and easily adapted.”- Robert Benchley, Chips off the Old BenchleyAdaptation is certainly prevalent in our current era of mass intertextuality. Videogames become films, films become novels, novels become musicals, andthe list goes on.Anything and everything can, and likely will, be adapted. However, thisis hardly a newphenomenon. According to Marshall McLuhan, “the content of a new mediumis always anold medium. Therefore, written narratives appropriate oral tales justas the movies borrowfrom books and television from film” (qtd. in Ray 42). Stories haveconstantly been adapted,even literary greats such as Shakespeare, for example, relentlesslyadapted the sourcematerial for his plays from the stories of others. As far back as ancientGreece, stories wereadapted to suit the particularities of the teller. Homer and Virgil are the names weknowtoday because they wrote the stories down; but, the stories of Odysseusand Aeneas had beentold by many different people, and in many different ways. The Bible,too, is a compilationof oral stories that were written down and anthologized, storiesthat had been recountedorally and, likely, with a certain amount of variation.Therefore, it should come as no surprise that adaptation has remainedof the utmostimportance in contemporary times. This trend of using past stories andre-shaping them fornew needs has not disappeared with the advent of film; it has only becomemore prevalent.According to George Bluestone, D.W. Griffith, who is considered one ofthe foremostinnovators of the silent era, owes much of his inspirationto Charles Dickens and “particularpassages are cited to illustrate the dissolve, the superimposed shot, theclose-up, the pan” (2).The oral tradition, then, produced stories that were eventually writtendown, which ultimately2developed into literature. Literature, then, has provided the inspiration forcinema, allowingwords on a page to be embodied visually.Yet, this process of adaptation has not been withoutcontroversy. Scholars are dividedover the issue of fidelity and many feel that strayingfrom the letter of the novel isunacceptable. Often, these types of criticisms becomeemotionally motivated.1Understandably, readers become invested in novels,commonly creating their own visuals toaccompany the prose. In a film, the way charactersare portrayed is left to the discretionofthe filmmaker, often not matching up withour own ideas. So, fidelity frequently has moretodo with our own unique visionthan with the text itself. However, for this study,theseemotional responses need to be placed atthe sidelines, to a certain extent, becausein a lot ofearly adaptation theory these issues offidelity dominated the discourse, and theywere oftenmotivated by an emotional rather than anintellectual response to the film. Certainly,there aresome adaptations that I prefer overothers, for some reason or another, but mypersonalpreferences do not have a placein an academic argument. These kinds ofpreferentialarguments are ones that I want to move awayfrom, and instead move towardsan historicaland cultural approach tothe adaptations.The issue of fidelity obviously stems fromthe nature of the source material. AsDudley Andrew says, “the distinctivefeature of adaptation is the matchingof the cinematicsign system to a prior achievement insome other system. Every representationalfilm adaptsa prior conception butadaptation delimits representation byinsisting on the cultural status ofthe model” (9). Andrew stressesthat all flimmaking is a kind of adaptation,whether it has asource text or not. This is animportant point, as people are constantlyinfluenced by whatthey have seen and heardpreviously, whether they are aware of it ornot. Even the process ofturning a screenplay into a finished filmbecomes an adaptation of sorts, asthings are bound3to shift and change. The issue with novel to film adaptation is, just as Andrew says, tobefound in the cultural status of the model. The film hopes to capture thecultural appeal of thismodel but often, in so doing, creates animosity in those whofeel that the text has beenaltered.Is fidelity to the source of the utmost importance? Is it necessary atall? Due to thediffering nature of the mediums, scholars even questionwhether adaptations can occur at all.In the first chapter, “Adaptation and its Issues,” I address these questionsand engage with therelevant scholarship in the area, mapping what hasbeen done, but also what has not, to showthat the discussion of fidelity ends uphindering a truly profitable examination of the practiceof adaptation. It is not so much fidelity to the source that isimportant, but the reasoningbehind choosing that particular source and the way thatthe context of production shapesthesource. In this study, it is historical, political,economical and cultural concerns thatbecomeof the utmost importance.We certainly camot discount that, in our own time, choosingto adapt is still aneconomically motivated choice. Productioncompanies have realized that success in oneformcan lead to success in another. Adaptation iscertainly not limited to books. While I ammostly concerned with adaptations fromliterature to film, I think it is useful, from aneconomic stand point, to look at howfar beyond the novel adaptations have spread.Anythingcan be adapted, if it is deemed profitableenough. Theme park rides, video games,‘truestories’ and popular TVshows have all found places on the big screen.This process worksboth ways and, in turn, popular filmsare now often adapted into books, plays, andeven toysor games. One need not look beyond therather odd phenomenon that is LegallyBlonde: TheMusical (which premiered on Broadway inApril 2007), to see that this is the case.2This is atime of intertextuality. Re-makes and coversare commonplace in the film and music4industries and, perhaps more than ever, the popular arts are motivated byeconomics. Nothingis off limits and the issue of adaptation remains a prevalent concern.Cross promotion andmerchandising are obviously all motivated by the potential forfmancial gain. Takingsomething that is already popular in one medium andadapting it into another is much saferthan taking a chance on something that is unproven.Cross promotion and new forms of adaptationhave become a modem form of verticalintegration, with studios owning the rights toproduce toys, games, novels, theme park rides,etc., all of which can be based around the film andits characters and then marketed onstudioowned television stations (Thompson 82). The new goalis to have the target audience“watching a batman video while wearing a batmancape, eating a fast food meal with abatman promotional wrapper and playing with a batmantoy” (Bolter qtd. in Hutcheon 88).This is integrated advertising in its most developedform. While cross-promotional strategieshave brought an added dimension to theadaptation debate, the adaptation of novelsto filmremains economically stable and it continuesto be done largely because of thepotential foreconomic gain. As Donald Larssonnotes, “novel rights are bought by producersnot fromlove of literature, but because a successfuland prestigious book can assure agood return, andif the work in question is in thepublic domain, so much the better” (Larsson76). This is notto say that the process of adaptationshould be condemned becauseof its economic goals, butwe must bear this in mindwhen studying adaptations andrealize that they are not simply anartistic pursuit.Hence, the choice to adapt anovel is often connected to the popularityof the author,as well as the subject matterof the story. Linda Hutcheon asks,“are some kinds of storiesand their words more easily adaptable thanothers?” (15). Pride and Prejudice, withits manyfilm and television adaptations (not tomention countless stage adaptations,etc.) certainly5appears to be one of those stories. Charles Dickens, author of over twenty novels, as well asanumber of short stories and plays, is the most adapted fiction author to date, but JaneAustenisn’t far behind him, and she is definitely the most adapted female author. This isespeciallyimpressive when one considers the fact that she only wrote six novels in her lifetime.Bothauthors have been described as writing in a theatrical manner, whichwould seem to makethem easier choices for adaptation as they are already so focused ondialogue and strongcharacterizations, two of the most important elements of aplay or a screenplay. JaneAusten’s novels have been adapted for film and television on at leastthirty-three separateoccasions, not to mention being adapted for the stage multipletimes as well. While they havebeen predominantly well received, they are not immune to fidelitycriticism. Responses tothese films only further prove that fidelity isvery much a subjective category. As KathrynSutherland notes, “the fact that one writer finds boringlyfaithful a film which another sees ashaving only a tenuous relation to the originalwhile yet another finds it too faithful, suggeststhat there is no clear consensus about what faithfulmeans in this discourse” (340). Fidelitycriticism becomes more about possession, fidelityto an individual’s reading of the text,rather than to the text itself. Regardless, thatdoes not seem to stop it being discussedoverand over again. Moving away from fidelity, I am concernedwith why Austen is adapted andhow these adaptations come to be more reflectiveof the needs of the societies and culturesout of which they emerge than of the actualsource material.In the second chapter, “The Appeal ofthe Past and the Cult of Jane Austen,” Ilook atthe marketability of the past in contemporaryculture and the way that we re-createandconsume that past. I then move on to establishthe cult of Jane Austen, and the Americanreclaiming of British culture, examining Austen’ s posthumousposition as a celebrity. Lookingat her most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice,which has been adapted for the screen onten6occasions, it becomes evident that our fascination with the past,as well as with our obsessionwith all things Austen combine to make the adaptations of thistext economically viable.Beyond this, a study of the novel itself reveals howopen it is to multiple readings, meaningthat it can easily be re-shaped to reflect the needs anddesires of the filmmaker, and the timeand place in which they are working. Austen’ s work becomesa perfect choice in this respectbecause it is so accessible. It is, in the words of BrianMcFarlane, “a novel about money andmarriage, and about why people marry eachother, and the factors, frequently economic,which complicate progress toward marriageand make for difficulty within it” (2005: 8).These are themes that have remained relevantinto the twenty first century.It is also a text that lends itself to multipleinterpretations, as the hundreds of differentcritical works can attest. Both the adaptationsand the novel itself are evocative of inthewords of Rachel M. Brownstein, “thedifferences between ways of seeing” (57).Elizabethand Darcy, for example, often see thesame situation in different ways, the primeinstancebeing their thoughts on Jane’s attachment toBingley. Similarly, adaptors will havedifferentways of seeing the novel as a whole, leading todifferent finished products. As Tara GhoshalWallace states, Pride and Prejudice, “inspite of its seamless surface, is neithercoherent norcomprehensive” (58). There is nocorrect reading of this text since, accordingto DarrylJones, “paradigms of reading andof criticism are not themselves absolute”(2). It has been,and continues to be, reinterpreted,which is why there can be so many adaptations,eachchoosing to privilege a differentaspect of the novel. However, Prideand Prejudice is not anundiscovered text by any means.Being Austen’s most popular novel meansthat, in the wordsof Jan Fergus, “the text is likely tobe over-familiar, making a fresh oreven attentiveresponse difficult” (Fergus 87), but perhapsthis challenge is part of the appeal.Regardless,this issue is one that adaptors must addresswhen deciding how they want to tellthe story.7In the third chapter, “Six Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice,” Ilook at the filmadaptations specifically, examining how the interpretivenature of Austen’ s text allowsfilmmakers with different goals, and coming out of differenthistorical and cultural contexts,to produce films that are exceedingly diverse,but that are still reflective of Austen’ s text.While there have been ten adaptations, not all are available for viewing.On January23rd1949, NBC’s Philco Television Playhouse released aone hour adaptation of Pride andPrejudice as episode seventeen of the firstseason. The series would continue to run untilearly 1956, and it became known for its live productionsof original stories and adaptations ofnovels and plays. Unfortunately, through my correspondencewith NBC,3I have learned thatmuch of this material has been lost, and whatremains has not been released to the public,forpurchase, or general viewing. As well, the BBC’s1952/58 versions, and the 1967 BBCversion, are virtually impossible to locate.In fact, according to the BBC, it is unlikelythatcopies of the 1952 and 1958 adaptationsare even in existence.4The 1958 versionis actuallya re-staging of the 1952 version,using the same sets and identical scripts, butwith differentactors and a different director. It would havebeen interesting to see how two such closelyrelated productions differed; however, regrettably, thissimply was not possible.As a result of availability, I concentrate onthe six remaining adaptations: Robert Z.Leonard’s Pride and Prejudice (1940), Cyril Coke’sJane Austen ‘s Pride and Prejudice(1980), Simon Langton’ s Pride andPrejudice (1995), Andrew Black’s Pride andPrejudice:A Latter Day Comedy (2003),Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice (2004)and JoeWright’s Pride & Prejudice (2005). Breakingthem down into three sub-sections,I examinethe films in the context oftelevision adaptations, star poweredadaptations and contemporaryadaptations, linking each productionto the time period and culture out ofwhich it came andlooking at discrepancies between the filmsand the text as culturally motivated.8Adaptations, then, say more about the culture in whichthey are produced than they doabout the source material. In the words of Ellen Belton,“the adaptation offers an opportunityfor filmmakers to reread a narrative from another age throughthe lens of their own time andto project onto that narrative their own sense of the world”(195). Because it is so open tointerpretation, Jane Austen’ s work becomes a perfectchoice, malleable, easily yielding to theadaptors’ desires, but always recognizablyAustenian. Obviously, filmic adaptationsare firstand foremost economic pursuits. Austen’s story hasproven to be economically viable andthis is largely due to Austen’ s own cult status aswell as the focus on economics within thenovel, the character based narrative, theflexibility of the text, and the easily accessiblethemes, such as love, wealth and class, thattranslate to any time and any place and remainrelevant in present time.Notes1See, for example, Louise Flavin’s take on Austen adaptations on film.2For those that are unfamiliar, Legally Blonde (Robert Luketic)was a surprisingly successful 2001 film thattells the story of Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon), a sororitygirl who decides to go to Harvard law school.Email to Author from Mr. Ben Silverman, 20 June 2007.Email to Author from Ms. Kate Harwood, 29 May2007.910Chapter Two: Adaptation and its Issues“A list of words making a poem and a set of apparently equivalent pictures forminga photoplay may haveentirely different outcomes. It may be like trying to see a perfumeor listen to a taste.”- Vachel Lindsay, The Art of the Moving PictureThe Oxford English Dictionary states that to adapt is to “make suitable fora new useor purpose, to alter or modify, adjust one thing to another or, to becomeadjusted to newconditions.” This seems to be a simple enough definition, straightforwardand clear.Adaptation involves the alteration of one entity into another, and changeis inherent in thisprocess. However, issues surrounding adaptations in our contemporarysociety are rarelyviewed in such uncomplicated terms. Can this literal definition reallydo justice to such acomplicated pursuit? I would argue that it can, but that many are unwillingto look at it thisway, or to accept the adaptation as a creature that hasa place and importance outside of itssource material. Thinking of adaptation in the more scientific sense of the word would allowus to not only become more emotionally distanced from the source material,but also to seethe process as a phenomenon that is deeply imbedded in cultural studies, onethat is growingand changing, literally adapting to different times and places.Adaptation in film has the potential to be doubly appealing to producers becauseitcan attract regular filmgoers, as well as those who are curious about theway in which thesource has been transformed. Who will play our favorite character? Howwill they showvisually what the author has only been able do with words? Adaptation,in this respect, seemsas if it might be a freeing medium as it allows for the creationof a visual representation ofthe text. Yet, we are rarely truly happy with adaptations. One needs onlyto survey anaudience leaving a screening of an adaptationto find a number of critical opinions. Eventhose who liked the film will often have a few nitpicks, bethey with regards to casting orcutting, among other things. Perhaps the director’s vision didn’t matchour own, or we feel11that something of the utmost importance was left out. It’s certainly true that stories are oftenaltered when they move from the word to the screen. According to George Bluestone, in asample of twenty four adaptations, forty percent altered the story in order to achieve a happyending (42). These kinds of alterations are what enrage those invested in fidelity criticism. Ido agree that dramatic story changes should be avoided, because changing the story in itsentirety defeats the whole purpose of adaptation. Why adapt if you aren’t planning on usingthe outline of the source material to shape your text? However, this is not to say that thesource has to be followed to the letter as certain changes cannot be helped and things cannotalways be represented the same way on film as they are in literature. The task ofliterature, inthe oft quoted words of Joseph Conrad is, “by the powers of the written word, tomake youhear, to make you feel — before all, is to make you see” (Conrad qtd. in Bluestone1). In thissense, film seems to be the perfect way to put pictures to words.However, as Christian Metzpoints out in The Imaginary Signfier, this can lead to a certain amount of discontenton thepart of the viewer as he “will not always find his film, sincewhat he has before him in theactual film is now somebody else’s fantasy” (12).This idea is a prevalent issue in adaptation studies, asreading requires us to create ourown images and our own concepts of characters and scenes. So,as Joyce Boyum notes, apreference for the novel over the film may have less to do with thenovel itself and more todo with the film not matching perfectly with ourown imagination of it (60). It is notnecessarily the words of the text that move us; indeed,according to James Griffith, “we aremoved by things that the words stand for” (Griffith 37). Perhapsthen, the perfect spectatorwould be one who had not read the book at all. Theywill see the film like any other film andnot like an adaptation. I would argue that, while these viewersmay have fewer issues withthe film, they are not truly experiencing it asit was meant to be experienced. The adaptation12chooses to promote its source material for a reason and it relies on references to that source.This is not to say that someone who hasn’t read the book cannot enjoy the film, far from it,only that in order to experience the film as an adaptation you must have some degree offamiliarity with the source material. However, it is something of a catch twenty-two, becausethe closer people are to the source text, the more fully formed their version of thattext willbe. As a result, these spectators will likely be less open to other interpretations. Nomatterhow informed or well thought out a film is, our specific vision is not likely to matchperfectlywith someone else’s and the film adaptation forces us to see things in a fixed andveryspecific way. As Bluestone states, “if the history of aesthetics provesanything, it is that agiven set of myths, symbols, conventions is unable to satisfy allspectators at all times in allplaces” (31).Something that holds such a high position in society, like a classic novel,is going tobe more plagued by issues of fidelity, as the adaptation becomes arepresentation of thischerished text. People seem to be much more inclined to accept an adaptationof a novel thatexists within popular culture, as there is a pervasive thoughtthat “great literature seldommakes great movies. But very good pulp makes very goodmovies” (Levy qtd. in Griffith 17).While what makes a good novel or a good film is somewhatsubjective, one could concedethat, generally, something like serialized detectivefiction can be adapted without fail. Yourarely hear the fidelity question raised with regard tothe BBC television adaptations of theRuth Rendell Mysteries or the InspectorMorse series. In fact, they are rarely even describedas adaptations. Even the high profileJames Bond series usually appears to avoid thiskind ofcriticism. It seems that it is, generally,adaptations of high profile literature that are expectedto remain faithful to the letter.13This idea raises a lot of questions that Bluestone addresses in his seminalwork,Novels into Film (1966). While much of Bluestone’ s work centers on astudy of eachindividual medium, he does make some interesting observations, especiallythe idea that oncea film has become a critical and economic success, issuesof fidelity are often placed on theback burner (114). Bluestone also asks some important questions like: should afilm befaithful, and to what exactly? Or, can the way the novel is narrated (suchas first person) beadequately conveyed in a film? Certainly, the voice-overis an oft used technique, but it isfrequently distracting, providing a quick fix to narrativeissues that the film cannot find awayto deal with visually. Though Bluestone does notfind definitive answers to his questions, andeventually seems to come to the conclusion that filmcannot recreate the intricacies of thenovel, engaging with the subject at all did raiseawareness about adaptation and the issues offidelity that usually surround it. As a result, his work holdsan important place in adaptationtheory.’ Adaptation theory, though, continues to occupya place at the margins partiallybecause, in the words of Cartmell and Whelehan, “literature onscreen was too literary forfilm studies and too film-based for literary studies” (2007a: 1).Concentrating on adaptations from novel to film,one constantly encounters thefidelity argument. When one takes a classic piece ofliterature, or a well loved book, andadapts it for the screen there is rarely unanimouspraise. Instead, adaptations are criticizedforstraying from the book, being different or not being as‘good.’ This idea of inherent‘goodness’ is almost impossible to measure and wemight wonder why the novel isconstantly praised as a superior art form, as thereis nothing to say that the stories foundtherein are entirely original. In the words ofWalter Benjamin, “storytelling is alwaysthe artof repeating stories” (90). The way weexperience these two mediums can alsonever beentirely united. In general, film-going (andfilmmaking as well) is a collective experience.214We sit in seats in a theatre surrounded by other people and, while we eachhave our ownindividual experience, it is done in a communal setting. A novel, onthe other hand, we rarelyexperience collectively. It is a much more solitary experience. We canchoose how slowly thestory is revealed simply by closing the book. People can discuss novelsin book clubs or withfriends, but we rarely experience a novel in a group setting in the sameway that we see afilm.Clearly, film is also a visual medium, and it must show its story tothe audience. Theinner monologue or perspective of a character cannot be written in; it mustbe shownvisually, or else the character must literally speak what they arefeeling. For these reasonsalone, a film cannot be exactly like the novel from whichit was adapted. While Morris Bejainsists that film and literature are two modes of the same art form, heis one of the few whoargues this and he fails to adequately account for the differencesbetween the two mediums.Certainly, film and literature are both narrative mediums but they arealso, as I havementioned, vastly different. So, bearing in mind thedifference between story and plot, whilenovel and film adaptations can share the “same story,the same ‘raw materials,’ [they] aredistinguished by means of different plot strategieswhich alter sequence, highlight differentemphases, which — in a word — defamiliarize the story.In this respect, of course, the use oftwo separate systems of significationwill play a crucial distinguishing role” (McFarlane2007b: 23). While a metaphor cannot possibly bethe same in a film as it is in a novel, theidea of metaphor can be conveyed through camerawork and, more importantly, throughediting. In some sense, film style becomes theprose. In this case, in the words of AndreBazin, “the style is in service of the narrative: itis a reflection of it, so to speak. And itis notimpossible for the artistic soul to manifest itselfthrough another incarnation” (23). It is thesekinds of alterations and attempts toachieve a similar effect through different means that15make the study of adaptation interesting, and they should not beused to damn the wholeprocess. As Brian McFarlane says, “literature and film might be seen, if notas siblings, atleast as first cousins, sometimes bickering but at heart having a good deal of commonheritage” (2007b: 28). Unlike most representational arts, filmand the novel both take time tounfold. While the time involved is different, neither medium gives us all of theinformationall at once. This sets film and literature apart from something likepainting or photography,where all the information is available right away. Film can alsobe aligned with the novel inthat both can be seen as a means of escape for the viewer or reader.As Joyce Boyum states,we read and watch films for the same reasons,“for the opportunity to identif’ with — even totransform ourselves into — other human beings for awhileand vicariously participate in theirlives” (39). So, film and literature can have asimilar effect and a similar narrative structure,but they present their material in different waysand through a somewhat different language.According to Bluestone, states of mind, memory,imagination and dreams “cannot beas adequately represented by film as by language”(47). I would argue that adequate is thewrong word to use. Film can be used to representall kinds of states of mind and the waythatthis is accomplished demonstrates the artistryof the filmmaker. However, I would agreethatthe way these states of mind are depicted isextremely different from the way they aredepicted in a novel. These differencesare, in my mind, a good thing as theyallow forcreativity and artistry to exist in two differentmediums. Bluestone states that, film“can leadus to infer thought, but it cannotshow us thought directly. It can show uscharacters thinking,feeling, and speaking, but it cannotshow us their thoughts and feelings.A film is notthought; it is perceived” (48). For Bluestone,this fact is to the detriment offilm, makingadaptations an impossibility. But, film canshow thoughts and feelings. Showing isexactlywhat film does, as opposed to the novel,which tells. For my purposes, as someonelooking at16multiple adaptations of the same source, differentchoices with regards to showing whatcanseemingly not be shown are of theutmost importance, and reflective ofthe filmmaker’scontext of production as well as theirown creative inklings. Film truly is adifferent medium;so, the expectation that the filmwill perfectly resemble the book isan impossibility that cancause nothing but harm. Film mayhave its own language, but it is vastlydifferent than thewritten word. As Boyum notes,“it has no permanent vocabulary;it has no fixed grammar;and though its syntax is characterized bycertain rules of usage, it can’t, inthe manner ofverbal language, be referred back to anypre-existent code” (21). Perhaps thisis a good thing,as film becomes much freer andcan then represent whatthe novel cannot, or at leastrepresent it in new anddifferent ways. Film is able to bring usimages, as well as soundsandmusic, something the novel couldnever do. Before print culture,stories were told by thehuman voice. So film, with its ability torepresent the human voice, can beseen as a way totake us back to the earliest formof storytelling. As James Griffithsays, “the issue of filmadaptations from novels becomesa very simple matter: the adaptationcannot be the samething” (30), but that does notmean that it has less value from acritical standpoint.It would be easy to pick apartevery adaptation because while pictureand word canconvey the same thingsthey must do so in different ways.Film obviously cannot directlysay, “it is a truth universallyacknowledged, that a single manin possession of a goodfortune, must be in want of awife” (Austen 51). True, the sentencecould be uttered in voiceover, but a heavy reliance onvoice over is usually a device thatfilmmakers try to avoidbecause it is often distracting,taking away from a medium thatwas designed to be visual.However, through creativity, thisexact message can be conveyed.The filmmaker, then,“becomes not a translator for anestablished author, but a new authorin his own right”(Bluestone 62). Adaptation by itsvery definition involves a change, soif we long for a17process that will replicate a novel perhaps we should refer to it as translation. Liketranslators, adaptors have a double task. They must show faithfulness to the source,or, asBoyum states, “why bother using it at all?” (70). At the same time, theymust createsomething new in a new language. In the adaptor’s case, thisnew language is that of thecinema. However, translation also has its share of problemsand issues, as a translation cannever be entirely accurate and the translator often falls victimto the same types of criticismas the adaptor. This is because certain thingssimply cannot be translated accurately. AsRobert Stam states, perhaps a more productiveway to look at adaptation is “to see it as amatter of a source novel’s hypotextbeing transformed by a complex series of operations:selection, amplification, concretization,actualization, critique, extrapolation, analogization,popularization and reculturalization” (68). Adaptationthen becomes a very complex processthat cannot be reduced to faithful or unfaithful as,with each adaptation, the emphasis placedon each of these different operationswill shift slightly. Regardless, adaptation isalwayssomething of an alteration process,taking a text and engaging with it in new anddifferentways.So, if adaptation implies change, why doesit create such controversy? Perhapsthereis a fear that the film will replace thebook in some way. The fact that these are twovastlydifferent mediums makes that an unlikelyidea and, often, film adaptations end upboostingthe sales of the source novel. Indeed, novelsare often re-released when they’vebeen adaptedfor the screen with new covers thatfeature stills from the film. This is donein the hopes that,after seeing the film, you willreturn to the source material and read(or re-read) the book. Infact, after the 1939 film releaseof Wuthering Heights (WilliamWyler), more copies of thenovel were sold than in the entiretime since its initial publication (Boyum16). Despite allthis, there still remains a fear thatfilm will replace the novel as the foremostnarrative18medium. While novels continue to be published andthe written word remains part of oureveryday lives (the fact that I’m writing thisis proof of that fact), I do not think thesefearsare entirely unfounded. I think it’s fairly obvious that,in modem societies, at any onemoment, more of the population is watchingtelevision or going to the movies thanreading abook. That being said, I do not think you canargue that adaptation is the cause of thisfact.According to studies done by the IBA Researchdepartment in 1985, 46% of a groupof 3000respondents stated that they purchased thebook as a direct result of seeingthe adaptation(Giddings, Selby and Wensley 22). As Hutcheon argues,adaptation can breathe new lifeintoa book. It does not “leave it dyingor dead, nor is it paler than the adaptedwork. It may, onthe contrary, keep the prior workalive, giving it an afterlife it would neverhave hadotherwise” (176). It is cross promotion at itsbest.Yet, regardless of these cross promotionaltendencies, the novel is almostalways seenas the higher art form. It is theoriginal that should be altered as little aspossible and, as aresult, cuts to or changes from the book arerarely viewed favorably. Some,like Robert B.Ray, even go so far as to refer to filmadaptations as “citations grafted into a newcontext”(Ray 45). Why is the novel privileged, onemight ask, since it is not a more superiormediumwhen it comes to representingreality. According to Bluestone,“language cannot conveynon-verbal experience.. .reality cannotbe conveyed — only the illusionof it” (12), perhapscreating a new reality of its own.According to Robert Stam, thenovel remains the privilegedsource because of a hierarchicalapproach that exists in our society, “theassumption is, thatthe older arts are necessarilybetter arts” (4), and that thenovel contains some sort ofsuperioressence that is impossible totranscribe. Stam also rightly questionshow filmmakers couldever possibly be faithful to thisessence, or to the intentions thatthe author may not evenhave been aware of. Yet, accordingto Thomas Leitch, it is only by doingexactly this, that the19fidelity critics can be appeased (16), although, he does not necessarilyagree with thosecritics. For Leitch, “fidelity makes sense as a criterion of value onlywhen we can be certainthat the model is more valuable than the copy” (19). Thisis a virtually impossible task, so weend up going around in circles and the debate in adaptationtheory continues without actuallygoing anywhere. We cannot move away from fidelity becausewe keep engaging with it.Obviously, I too am guilty of this because it hasbecome out of the question to discussadaptation theory’s past (or even the act ofadaptation in general) without evoking it. Yet,scholars are not the only ones who bring upissues of fidelity. While the scholarswho I havediscussed engage with these ideas from a criticalperspective, and while McFarlane insiststhat those with a literary background aremore likely to be sticklers for fidelity(2007a: 4), itis often the general public who are the mostfidelity conscious, desiring that their favoritenovel be perfectly represented on the screen.One has only to go to a movie theatre onanygiven night to hear statementslike ‘I liked the book better’ or ‘she wassupposed to havebrown hair.’Yet, the question that continues to emergewith regards to fidelity is what does thefilm need to be faithful to? And, how doesit go about this? Many argue that absolutefidelityis impossible because of the differencesbetween the two mediums and, forsome, this is anindication that adaptation should not occur,3while for others (myself included) itis merely astatement of fact that does not detractfrom the cultural value of these films.Certainly, thereare different degrees of faithfulnessand different intentions with regardsto this. DudleyAndrew points to three differentmethods of adaptation and calls themborrowing,intersection and transforming(98-104). Each of these, according to Andrewhas a differentgoal in mind. Borrowing seeksto take only the shell of the original andto place it in a newcontext in an attempt to create somethingentirely new out of the sourcematerial. In terms of20Pride and Prejudice, something like Bridget Jones ‘s Diary (Sharon Maguire2001) would fitinto this category. Even something like Bride and Prejudice(Gurinder Chadha 2001) orPride and Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy (Andrew Black 2003)could be said to occupythis place. Andrew defines intersection as coming from adesire to preserve the unique natureof the source material, mixing modem techniques withperiod aesthetics. Finally,transformation embodies a desire for the utmost fidelity,a literal attempt to transform thenovel from page to screen and this is clearlywhere we would place the BBC adaptationsofclassic novels. While Andrew’s categoriesare far too simplistic and general, it is usefultobreak down adaptation and to examine themotivations behind them. Still, one must becareful not to allow these classifications toturn into value judgments. We shouldavoid, forexample, seeing ‘borrowing’ asbetter, or worse, than ‘intersection’ or ‘transformation;’theyare merely different. While all adaptationsdraw from a source, they each havedifferentintentions for that source, as I hope my lateranalysis of Pride and Prejudicewill reveal.However, intentions are rarely privileged, and we oftenchoose to pan a film becauseit did not perfectly recreate our perceptionof the book. As a result, adaptationswill never beable to avoid comparison withtheir source material as they openly state theirrelationshipwith the novels from which they areadapted. The source material isobviously a huge part ofan adaptation, but it is not profitableto think of them solely as productsof the novels fromwhich they were derived becausethen they are reduced to nothing morethan duplications,and it is this mode of thinkingthat allows adaptations to be (oftenunfairly) scrutinized.Some, like David L. Kranz, arguethat “literary source andcinematic adaptation should bemeasured not in terms of each other butin comparison to similarworks in the medium ofeach” (85). Sarah Cardwell, too,champions “a non-comparativeapproach to adaptations,rejecting comparison with source books”(2007a: 52). Eliminating comparisonentirely,21however, is going too far. Adaptations are adaptations and for this reason they remain foreverconnected with their source material, whether we choose to see it or not. If we do notacknowledge the source text, what is to set an adaptation apart from any other film?Certainly, all films have elements of adaptation in them and we are constantlyborrowing from what we have previously seen and heard, both consciously andsubconsciously. Yet, if we see all films as adaptations of previous sources, then adaptationsthemselves become non-existent, and they lose their identity. These filmsare differentbecause they make a conscious choice to adapt a specific source. Placingthem in the samecontext as all other films is like, in the words of David L. Kranz, “sayingthat because mostfeature films include music on the soundtrack that all films are musicals”(98). Privilegingthe source above all else can do little more than damnthe whole process of adaptation.Nevertheless, the source remains an important part of the finished film asthere wasobviously a reason why the filmmaker chose to adapt that novel, at thattime. Studies ofadaptations need to find a balance between a comparisonof source material and film and anexamination of the cultural and socio-economic environment thatexisted at the time of thefilm’s production. We need to look for external factorsthat may have shaped the finalproduct, as well as the decision to adapt in the first place.In the words of Beja, “what a filmtakes from a book matters; but so does what it bringsto a book” (88).So, if adaptations fall under suchcritical scrutiny, why does the practice continuetobe so popular? And, why do these films marketthemselves as having been based on abookwhen, as Bertolt Brecht insists, theprocess of adaptation puts writers in “the positionof aman who lets his laundry bewashed in a dirty gutter” (qtd. in Giddings,Selby and Wensley3). The answer to this question undoubtedlylies in economics. Adaptations of admiredtextsconsistently perform well and taking a popular noveland adapting it into a film is usually a22‘safe bet.’ It eliminates the element of risk, as much as that is possible.As a result, one mightfind an increase in the number of adaptations thatare produced “at times of economicdownturn” (Hutcheon 5), as these are times when safe choicesare privileged. Financial gainis clearly the goal here and, as Hutcheon points out, “abestselling book may reach onemillion readers.. .but a movie or television adaptation willfind an audience of many millionmore” (5). True, a film will likely reach a large audience,but there is also added pressurebecause of this. So, in the words of Donald Larsson,adaptation is the product of multiplefactors, such as “the aesthetic intent of theadaptor in conjunction with market pressures toproduce a saleable commodity” (71).It may not be a wholly economic pursuit, butnor is it anentirely aesthetic one, and this fact needs tobe acknowledged when adaptations arestudied.Adaptation Theory is a field that hasbeen well traversed, especially since filmhasvirtually replaced the novel as our “society’smost popular narrative form” (Elliott13).Indeed, if we are concentrating onmost of the developed world, films aremuch more heavilypromoted than most books, and filmculture has a strong and firmly establishedposition inour society. According to Boyum, filmhas become, “not only the dominantnarrativemedium of our century, but its dominant artisticform” (31). Yet, many films continue todraw upon the novel for source material,which, depending on the novel chosen, setsupcertain expectations on the part of theviewer. Is this phenomenon a“representation of crasscommercialism or high minded respectfor literary works?” (McFarlane 7).More than likely,it is motivated by a mixture of both.Regardless, the issue of adaptationraises a number ofquestions. How is a novel adaptedinto a film? Can it be done at all?According to many,including Vachel Lindsay with whosewords I opened this chapter, itcannot. For him, theprocess of adaptation underminesfilm as a unique medium. For others, likeVirginia Woo1fthe process is “unnatural anddisastrous” (qtd. in Boyum 6). JonathanMiller is in agreement,23stating that “most novels are irreversibly damaged by being dramatized”(qtd. in Hutcheon36). Others go so far as to damn theprocess of adaptation for showing what the novel cannot,as for them “to visualize the character, destroys the very subtletywith which the novelcreates this particular character in the first place” (Giddings, Selbyand Wensley 81)•4It isclear that a tension exists between novel and film, perhapssimilar to one that exists betweenpainting and photography. In both cases, the newer artappears to lack the respectability ofthe former. Though it is important to address this material,as it has its place in the evolutionof adaptation theory, it seems to be something of a mootpoint. Arguing that a film cannotadapt a novel, or that it destroys the novelin the process, takes us nowhere productive.Adaptations have been a part of cinema since its inception,and it is unlikely that scholars orcritics will be able to convince thepowers that be to stop adapting for the good of thenovel.This line of criticism, then, becomes woefully unproductive.Instead, we should be focusingon what we can learn from these adaptations.Questions of fidelity pervade almost every text thatdeals with issues of adaptation. Infact, every text that I consulted mentioned it in somedegree of detail. However, whatseemsto be missing from the field is a more in-depthlook at the issue of multiple adaptationsof thesame source. This would allow us to see howadaptations change, depending ontheir contextof production and to examine why culturallydiverse groups might choose to workwith thesame source material. Many adaptationstudies examine films and look at them inrelation tothe novel form. Often,however, issues of fidelity take precedenceand, while this can befruitful in some cases, it tends to placethe film in a box and does notlook beyond the novelto examine the contextof production. In these sorts of studies,the film usually emerges aslacking originality or as having ruinedthe book, which remains theauthority. It becomes a‘dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t’scenario. Even those who discount thefidelity24argument still engage with it in order to prove itsunimportance.5The fidelity argument,then,becomes a circular one, going nowhere andoffering nothing more than evaluative,and oftensubjective, judgments. All this being said,what do we focus on if not fidelity? Forme, theanswer lies in the economic, cultural and societal motivationsthat surround the decision toadapt, a decision that is rarely based on fidelity toa novel.Erwin Panofsky states that, “filmsare a product of a genuine folk art” (qtd.inBluestone 6). What he means hereis that those who originally createdfilm technology didnot consider themselves to be artists;instead, they were inventors and observers,deeplyimbedded in their own cultural history.Early films like La Sortie des usinesLumière or Repas debébé (Louis Lumière 1895)were hardly motivated by any sort ofartistic desire. They werefilms that showed people in theirown specific cultural contexts. I wouldargue that film hasnot strayed all that far from these origins.Granted, artistry has found a placein film but, inorder for a film to succeed in frontof a mass audience, it has to possesssomething that isattractive to that particular groupof people. Culture grows and changesand what is popularat one time will not necessarilybe popular ten years (or even twoyears) later. So, thesuccessful films tell us a lot aboutthe context of their productionand the general preferencesof the audiences. In this respect,film is still very much about culture.Adaptations are no exception.In fact, a story that is so popularin one medium that itfinds a place in another shouldgive us an idea of the kind of narrativesthat speak to aparticular society. In thewords of Walter Benjamin, anadaptation has its own “presenceintime and space, its uniqueexistence at the place where ithappens to be” (qtd. in Hutcheon6).It is clearly connected to theculture out of which it emerges.Hutcheon perfectly sumsup thisidea when she notes that:We engage in time and in space,within a particular societyand a general culture. The25contexts of creation and reception are material, public, and economic as muchas theyarecultural, personal and aesthetic. This explains why, even in today’s globalizedworld,major shifts in a story’s context — that is, for example, in a national setting or timeperiod —can change radically how the transposed story is interpreted, ideologically andliterally(28).It is these cultural contexts that prove to be the most fascinating. One is ableto examine whatin the core of that story speaks to those people at that time, as wewill all have differingresponses to an adaptation because of our own cultural conditioning.When something isadapted on multiple occasions, and in many different contexts,there must be somethinginherently appealing about that story to a variety of cultures. Determiningwhat exactly thatis, is predominantly where my own interests lie as thesemultiple adaptations prove the ageold adage that the more things change, the more theyremain the same. We cannot argue thatour experiences do not change our perception of the world.So, it makes sense that historicalor cultural experiences will have an effect on the adapterand the overall production of anadapted screenplay. Thus I argue foran approach to adaptation that views it in morescientific terms, something that changes to suit aparticular environment. In biology, it istheorganisms that adapt to their surroundings whosurvive. I would argue that, with regards tofilmic adaptations, it is the adjustments to the cultureand history out of which they emergethat allows films to become economicallysuccessful within their target demographic.Afterall, the majority of people look for materialthat is going to resonate with their ownlives, atleast in some way.Fidelity criticism sees the novel as holding themeaning that must be transcribed infilm. We need to look at therelationship between the film andthe novel, but this does notnecessarily need to be done in evaluativeterms. The novel is a resource and it doesnot needto be followed to the letter.Certainly, if something is drastically altered wemay want to26investigate why this is the case. If Lizzie Bennett runs off with Mr. Wickliam and Mr.Darcydeclares his love for Mr. Collins then we probably need to figure out a wayto adequatelyaccount for this change. However, this kind of dramatic re-writing rarelyoccurs. It is usuallyslight departures from the novel that reveal the most about the contextof production, as willhopefully become evident in my subsequent analysis of the variousadaptations of Pride andPrejudice. No one today upholds the lifestyle andvalues of19thCentury England; yet, Prideand Prejudice adaptations do not suffer as a result. Thenovel continues to take on manydiffering shapes and forms and remains a popular choicefor adaptation. These adaptationsare not continuations of the storyof Elizabeth Bennet (although those doexist); they areretellings of the same story over andover again, a story that continues to have massappeal.What is it about this novel, these charactersand these themes that speak to so many,almosttwo hundred years after its initial publication?Obviously, filmic adaptations of this storyhave proven to be economically viableand this is largely due to the focus oneconomicswithin the novel, the character based narrativeand the easily accessible themes, such aswealth and class, that translate to anytime and any place. This story has beenshifted andaltered and its retellings helps to remind usthat, in Hutcheon’s words, adaptations showusthat “there is no such thing as anautonomous text or an original genius thatcan transcendhistory, either public or private”(111). I, too, am reading these films fromwithin my owncultural positioning, which will admittedlycolor my perception of them in adifferent waythan someone viewing the MGMfilm in 1940, but these sortsof factors cannot be helped andI do not think they make a study ofthese films any less revealing.What we must not forget though isthat, in general, adaptation is an economicpursuitand the intertextuality ofadaptation would indicate that people arewell aware of its potentialto be financially lucrative. Film adaptationsare well placed within the economicframework.27In the early days of cinema, adaptations were used as a means of legitimizing cinemaandbringing artistic credo to the medium by borrowing the cultural capitalof a previouslyestablished work. While we are less explicit today, I would argue thatmany adaptations ofclassic novels are still attempting to use the status of the source material toelevate theposition of the film. It is clearly a practice that works,which becomes apparent if one looksat the sheer number of Academy Award winning filmsthat were adapted from so-called‘novels of quality.’ Adapting novels and short storiesalso creates material for films andproduces a product that can be distributed in the hopesof making a profit. According toLarson, “once it was discovered that stories on film drewaudiences, there arose a need formore and more stories to consume” (76). For themost part, early adaptations were generallygreeted with praise and did notencounter the hostility of fidelity criticism.Primarily aimed atthe lower classes, adaptations of classic novels wereseen almost as educational. In the wordsof a 1911 critic, “the word classic has somemeaning. It implies the approval of thebestpeople in the most enlightened times. The meritsof a classic subject are nonetheless certainbecause known and appreciated by comparativelyfew men. It is the business of the movingpicture to make them known to all” (Bush qtd. inBoyum 4). These adaptations onlyincreased with the coming of sound because,with the new technology, dialogue couldberecreated (Corrigan 36). Technologyhas been an important aspect of adaptations,as changesin the medium mean that the filmsthemselves will become very differentproducts. Forexample, the 1 940s version of Pride andPrejudice will be startlingly different fromthe 2005version; both because of changes inculture, but also for the simple fact thatlocationshooting, widescreen, surround sound andcolor film have all been perfectedin the timebetween the two productions.28Adaptations of novels were also often chosen because of their ability to attract awidespread audience, consisting of both readers of the book and curious spectators.However,in terms of economics, literary fiction and film are vastly different. Because ofthe costs ofproduction and promotion (among other things) there is much more at stake in afilm and,according to Bluestone, while “a novel can sell 20000 volumes andmake a substantial profit,the film must reach millions” (Bluestone 33). Bluestone wrote thesewords in 1957 and thefigures have obviously increased, but the idea still remains the same.Film is a mass medium,and requires a mass audience to sustain its costs. As a result,filmmakers who adapt tend toprivilege materials that constantly put people in the seats.In general, mainstream films aretoo expensive to allow for a great deal of experimentation.Unlike authors, who have thefreedom to write what they want, filmmakers aremuch more restricted by studios’ desires tostick with the tried and true storylines that have workedin the past. Century adaptationsusually fit into this category, especiallybecause of the ‘quality programming’ label that isconsistently attached to them. As James Naremore states,“1 9” century classics have alwaysbeen the best sources for prestige movies” (11). Filmhistorians have seen early adaptationsof classic literature and drama as a way ofjustifying cinema as an art form and making itmore legitimate. As Hutcheon observes, “today’s televisionadaptations of British l8 and19thcentury novels may also want to benefit fromtheir adapted works’ cultural cachet”(Hutcheon 91). If, as McFarlane argues, “film early embracedthe representational realism ofthe nineteenth century novel” (2007b:23), then adapting these novels for the screen wouldseem like an easy task, a perfect fit.It is clear that Jane Austen’s stories fit this tried andtrue mold, as she has been apopular commodity since the 1900s. All of her novels,Pride and Prejudice being noexception, are texts motivated by character, makingthem well suited for a film adaptation.29Characters “are crucial to the rhetorical and aesthetic effects of both narrative andperformance texts because they engage the receiver’s imagination throughrecognition,alignment, and allegiance” (Murry Smith qtd. in Hutcheon 1 1). Strongly developedcharacters can be easily transferred from literature to film, making upfor the differencesbetween the mediums and allowing viewers to see beyond thesimple act of showing asopposed to telling. According to Bazin, cinema adoptscharacters from literature and “bringsthem into play; according to the talents of the screenwriter andthe director, the characters areintegrated as much as possible into their new aestheticcontext. If they are not so integrated,we naturally get these mediocrefilms that one is right to condemn, provided one doesnotconfuse this mediocrity with the very principle of cinematicadaptation” (24). So, for Bazin,it is the way characters are used that determines the qualityof the adaptation. Certainly, inthe many adaptations, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennethave been shaped in different ways,but they remain essentially the same characters, asit is character that is the fundamentalfocus of Austen’s novel. Economically, Austen is also aclear choice as she has been dead forlong enough that her work is now in the public domainand the studio adapting her work willnot have to pay the same kind of royalties as theywould if they were adapting a best seller bya living author. All this, combined with her continuallyresonant themes and fully developedcharacters, helps to explain why Austen’s workhas been adapted for film and televisiononmore than thirty three different occasions.30Notes1The fact the Bluestone’s work remains the most oft-quoted textwith regard to adaptation studies indicateshow little progress has been made in the field since the late 1 950s.2Although, DVD and home theatre culture arechanging this to a certain extent.example, both Virginia Woolf and Vachel Lindsay, amongothers, were vehemently opposed to thepractice of adaptation.“Giddings, Selby and Wensley do not feel thisway. In the above quotation, they are merely referring tootherswho do.Kamilla Elliott and Brian McFarlane are justtwo examples among many.31Chapter Three: The Appeal of the Past and the Cult ofJane Austen“It’s a very select Society, an’ you’ve got to be a Janeite in your ‘eart, or you won’t have any success.”- Rudyard Kipling, The JaneitesWe cannot discount the place of the past in the present. Our own apprehensions aboutthe present often result in a turn to the past, examining past events, perhaps in an attempt todetermine where we went wrong. Returning to past classics, and the nostalgia that oftenaccompanies them, is not a new discovery and it is not limited to the Victorian era (althoughadaptations of Victorian novels do make up a large part of the BBC classic serials). Even asearly as 1662, people were looking to the past for inspiration. For example,in 1662 ThomasFuller wrote The Worthies of England, which attempted to preserve and describe the Englishpast for the benefit of contemporary readers (Giddings, Selby and Wensley 34). Later, in themid 1 800s, it became a trend to set operas in medieval times. In more contemporary times,we appear to have turned to the Victorian era for inspiration, and to the idea of heritage.However, this is not the only time period that has received nostalgic attention. We havealsoseen 50s nostalgia run rampant in America during the final years (and beyond) of theVietnam War, with movies like American Graffiti (George Lucas 1973) and television showslike Happy Days (Garry Marshall 1974-1984). Even fashion trends reflect a look back, with80s styles creeping back into contemporary culture.Fashion is a good way of illustrating the return to the past because, while we maysport those 1980s legwarmers, they are given a modern twist. In short, they are not exactly asthey were during their initial existence. The same can be said of period adaptations. Whilethere is an overwhelming desire to be true to the times (which is a staple of BBCadaptations), it seems impossible to avoid some modernization. As Giddings, Selby andWensley point out, “the past shared neither our obsession with the crisp cleanliness of32clothes, nor the chemistry and technology to daily indulge in such mania. Yet ourclassicserials show people all dressed in (seemingly) their Sunday best” (x). Theyalso address thefact that people likely would have worn old clothes that were out of fashion,despite the factthat period adaptations always clothe their characters in perfectly contemporarystyles, rarelyhaving them wear the same gowii on more than one occasion. Whilethis may seem likesomething of a straying point, it serves to emphasize how much ourown cultural preferencescreep in, even when we do not want them to.We are constantly “projecting onto the past the assumptionsof the present” (Giddingsxi). The past, then, has more in common with the presentthan we might at first acknowledge.So, the constant adaptations of period dramas can beseen as embodying nostalgia for asimpler time, but we must be aware that the pastholds a mirror up to the present. AsGiddings, Selby and Wensley note, “the past can never betranscribed, it always has to bereinvented. And it is never innocently reinvented but willalways bear the fingerprints anddistortions of the time which reinvented it” (50). Storiesabout the past remain popular andwill likely continue to do so. Perhaps this is because,in our complex world often madeimpersonal by our continual reliance ontechnology for communication, a return tothe pastbecomes something of a safe-haven,an escape to a time where human interactionseemed tooccur more frequently. However, we cannotignore the fact that the delights and usesof thepast are often economic in nature.As Robert Hewison notes, “instead of manufacturinggoods, we are manufacturing heritage,a commodity which nobody seemsable to define butwhich everybody is eager to sell” (9).In this respect, the heritage industrybecomes aneconomic superpower, a veritablesignpost for capitalism, telling viewers thathistory iswhatever we want it to have been. Accordingto Eckart Voigts-Virchow, these “heritageindustries re-establish the past as a propertyor possession which.. .by rightof birth, belongs33to the present, or, to be more precise, to certain interests or concernsactive in the present”(123). We have found a modem day use for the past, as a way to makemoney.The nineteenth century novel has been, and still remains, afavorite among adaptors inthe twentieth and twenty first centuries. These novels are immenselypopular because of theirrich stories that contain narrative devices that seem to fitperfectly with cinematic adaptation.The films that they inspire “emotionalize space andtime by constructing a cultural memory”(Voigts-Virchow 128); in other words, they forge aconnection to the past through thepresent. The novels are also famous intheir own right, and filmmakers do not hesitatetocapitalize on this. Finally, and perhaps mostimportantly, they are out of copyright. So,theseadaptations are financially lucrative, but whatis the appeal for the spectator? Why do wewatch these types of films over and overagain? What makes these films so popular istheirability to appeal to a wide cross section of thepopulation. For some, in the words of LindaTroost, “historical films and serialsprovide entertainment, allowing a temporaryescape froma modem world of care, predictability, ordullness. For others, they provide fare moreintellectual than the blockbuster films thatdominate the multiplex cinema” (75).Period adaptations are usually lavishly presented withhigh production values andthey typically focus on the visual,making them a perfect means of demonstratingnewtechnologies, such as color or widescreen.Obviously, film is a visual medium, butthesefilms tend to focus quiteexplicitly on cinematography, and oncreating beautiful pictures. Asa result of this, visual aspectsare usually privileged over anyreal sense of historicalaccuracy. What looks best iswhat is done. This is not to say that thesefilms are notconscious of historical inaccuracies,but that small things (such as theabove costumeexamples) are placed by the wayside inan attempt to create a ‘prettierpicture,’ an image of atime that was more pure and beautifulthan our own. The grittier, dirtier sideof the past is34rarely showcased. According to Kathryn Sutherland,the heritage movie “producessumptuous affairs drenched with material significance: not justglamorous costumes butgrand sets crammed indoors with priceless art objectsand antique furniture, and out of doorspainstaking period style tableaux” (343). It is almostas if these films are, in and ofthemselves, an attempt to package and brand high culture.If any author is evocative of this factit is Jane Austen, whose popularity has grown tooverwhelming proportions in the nearly twohundred years since her death.Her six novelshave been adapted for film andtelevision on thirty three occasions,1and noneof her novelshave ever been out of print. Peoplesimply do not seem to tire of seeing thesestories reenacted again and again. According to JohnWiltshire, “each generation producesits ownworks of art, but not entirely out of theirown materials. Rewritings of JaneAusten areprimary examples of this process” (5). Thefact that she is a known name andthat her work isin the public domain clearly has aplace in the decision to adapt. But, thereis obviouslysomething more in her work that keeps audiencesreturning, a combination of economicviability and well-written, well-developedstorylines. As Douglas McGrath (directorof the1995 production of Emma) jokingly states,“I thought Jane Austen wouldbe a goodcollaborator because she writes, youknow, superb dialogue, she createsmemorablecharacters, she has an extremelyclever skill for plotting — and she’s dead,which means, youknow, there’s none of that tiresomearguing over who gets the biggerbun at coffee time”(qtd. in Parrill 3).Austen wrote during a time oftransition, occupying a position betweenthe18thandi9’ century styles of novel writing.In the l8 century, Samuel Richardsonand HenryFielding presented readers with twodifferent styles. Richardson focusedon complex andindividual characters, while Fieldingis known for the commentary ofhis omniscient35narrators (Moler 3). Jane Austen is very much a partof this18thcentury tradition, starting herjuvenilia with Sir Charles Grandison (l790s), basedon Richardson’s historical work andthen continuing on to create something distinct byblending Richardson and Fielding’sstyles.In doing so, she created deeply defined characters andjoined them with a strong narrativevoice that, in the words of Kenneth L. Moler,“opens the door to modern fiction” (4).So, inthis respect, and for her use of the Englishlanguage, Austen remains an importantfigure.Despite the fame of both Richardson and Fielding,Austen is a name that is associatedwithmore than just18thCentury writing. Certainly, Richardsonand Fielding’s novels remain wellknown. In terms of film, Tom Jones hasbeen adapted five times, Joseph Andrewsonce andRichardson’s Clarissa and Pamela havealso found a place on the screen.However, whatthese authors lack is Jane Austen’ s cult status,a status that ensures that, thirtythreeadaptations later, audiences continueto be enthralled by her texts. So much so,that the BBChas just released new adaptations of fourof her six novels.2Google JaneAusten and you get10,800,000 hits, a number that topsany other female literary figure, with theexception of JKRowling of Harry Potter fame. Consideringthe years since Austen’s death, thisis quite animpressive feat. A search on Richardsonor Fielding yields only 634,000 and2,060,000 hits,respectively. Admittedly, Britney Spearstops both Austen and Shakespeareat 92,200,000hits. While Google is far from an academicresource, it is indicative ofmass popularity andAusten continually ranks highly.Austen was popular in her own timeand her contemporaries praisedher. Just eightyears after her death, WalterScott was quoted as saying “theexquisite touch which rendersordinary commonplacethings and characters interestingfrom the truth and descriptionof thesentiment. What a pity such agifted creature died so early!” ( Jones 11). Yet Austen’ swork never sold on the same levelas Scott’s. Pride and Prejudice soldsomewhere in the36range of 3000 copies, doing well on a limited scale. However,Walter Scott’s novels were,according to Moler, “selling out in editions of 10,000copies” (8). While Austen’s novelswere always popular and well received, Janewould never earn widespread and overarchingacclaim until years after her death in 1817. Certainly,she had her fans, like ThomasMacaulay and George Lewes, but it was not until thelate 1 800s with the publication of J.E.Austen Leigh’s A Memoir ofJane Austen (1870) thatshe began to be more criticallyacknowledged (Johnson 211), eventuallybecoming a household name. Walter Stafford,theEarl of Iddesleigh, said in 1900, “it would be a delightfulthing if a magazine could bestarted which should be devotedentirely to Miss Austen.. .We are never tiredof talking abouther; should we ever grow weary of readingor writing about her” (qtd. inStovel 227). Itseems that little has changed since Stafford’stime.In 1923, a scholarly edition ofher novels was released by R.W.Chapman and interestbegan to grow. In this edition, Chapman includes avariety of contemporaneous additions,from almanac pages to dancing manuals, andonto copies of the original titlepages.According to Claudia L. Johnson, thisplaces “Austen safely within thenational past thebetter to secure her there as a refugefrom the present” (218). By 1923 peoplehad alreadyexperienced the horrors of the FirstWorld War, so the idea of the past as aform of refugewas steadily becoming a prominenttheme. The return to Austen couldalso be seen as anattempt to look back to England’spre-war torn glory days. From1923 Austen’s popularitygrows exponentially, and1939 marks both the start of the SecondWorld War, and, accordingto Moler (10), the yearof modern Austen scholarship,brought on by the publicationof MaryLascelles’s Jane Austen andher Art. This was also, not coincidentally,the year that the firstfilm adaptation of Austen’s workwent into production, MGM’sPride and Prejudice. Thereare now countless critical books,biographies and essays on Austen,with more continuing to37be published. One has only to look at the Austen sectionin any library to becomeoverwhelmed by choice, as I myself have discovered first hand.She has become, in thewords of Moler, “a veritable scholarly industry” (13).It seems that regardless of whether ornot there is anything new to say about her, books continue to bepublished. As a result of thiscontinued interest, Austen’s novels, and her life as well,have become marketable sourcematerial.Austen has been embraced for being ahead ofher time, and her irony and socialcritiques are at the forefront of academiccriticism. Yet, she is also the author of genericproducts. I do not mean this in the derogatorysense, but one must acknowledge Austen’suseof the marriage and courtship plot totell love stories that always end happilyfor theprotagonists by their marriage to a good,loving, and (usually) wealthy man. This iscertainlynot a storyline invented by Austenand her plots are far from revolutionary.In Austen’s time,it would have been extremely difficult fora woman writer to publish anythingthat strayedtoo far from the marriage/romanceplot and, while Austen did sometimespublish her novelsunder the moniker “by a lady,” shenever attempted to disguise her genderwith a pseudonym.So, within that genre, Austen shapesher material to display her ownworldview, lining hertexts with a grain of irony that liesjust beneath the surface. In the same waythat the writersof Cahiers du Cinema praisedHitchcock for his ability to besomewhat subversive within thetightly regulated studio system,so, too, do contemporary criticspraise Austen for her abilityto both embrace andundercut the romance plot thatshaped her gothic predecessors.Withinthese romances, we oftenfind a cynical narrator and a heavyemphasis on the economicsofthe time. As Darryl Jonesnotes, there is a “fundamentaleconomic basis” (18) in all ofAusten’ s work, especially withregards to women. It is no surprisethat Elizabeth Bennetonlyrealizes that she loves Mr. Darcyafter she sees Pemberley. Whilethis statement is presented38in a humorous light during her exchange with Jane, there appears to be an underlying truth toit.Despite the fact that she only published six novels and has been dead for almosttwohundred years, Jane Austen is a veritable celebrity. While her antics may beless exciting thanLindsay Lohan or Britney Spears, she remains in the public eye. In fact,in 1995 she waslisted as one of People Magazine’s most intriguing people and,in January 1996, Timepublished an article with the headline “Sick of Jane Austenyet?” (Looser 159). She hasspawned a cult of self-proclaimed “j aneites” whocelebrate all things Austen. Each of hernovels have been adapted for the screen on multipleoccasions in the sixty eight year periodfrom 1939 to 2OO7; the two mostpopular being Pride and Prejudice and Emma, atten andeight respectively. The adaptations tend to focuson the comforting gentility of the past,largely removing the satire and irony (with the possibleexception of Amy Heckerling’sClueless, which was released in 1995)and remaining in keeping with the heritagetradition.Economics obviously continues to play a role in theseadaptations as they tend to attempt tocapitalize upon, in the words of Harriet Margolis,“people’s desire for a stable,recognizableworld — a cultured world — such as we associatewith Austen” (23). This is a world ofstructure and rules, where the line betweengood and bad is always black and white,andwhere decorum and common sense arealways rewarded with happiness and profitablemarriage. There is never any doubtthat these films will end happily, an appealingthought inuncertain times.Economically speaking, the films havebeen more than successful and JaneAusten’sname “seems to authorizegreen-lighting.., and has come to functionlike a license to printmoney” (Margolis 39). Sense and Sensibility(Ang Lee 1996), for example, has grossedmorethan $125 million worldwide, costing only$15.5 million to make (Kaplan178). The success39of these films is evocative of Austen’s presence in our own time, a time when we, accordingto Suzanne R. Pucci and James Thompson, “consume culture” (5).Now, the film adaptationshave become representations of the novels. James Thompson drawsattention to the fact that a2000 edition of Emma “comes with a sticker that announces ‘now a major motionpicture”(13).While there are those who cry out against the, so-called,commodification, or“harlequinization” (Bowles 15) of Austen, these filmsare largely well received. As JohnWiltshire notes, “their romantic nostalgia is hard toresist” (135), so hard, in fact, that eventhe janeites seem to approve.The term ‘Janeite’ actually entered the English languagein 1896 (Johnson 224), as away of describing enthusiastic followers of all thingsJane Austen. One need only look atRudyard Kipling’s “The Janeites”(1922) to discover the widespread appeal of her novels.Through the “Janeites,” the notion emerged that, in the wordsof Brownstein, “Austen couldbe therapy for people whom history has madesick, [which] has an origin in global crisisandin a profound yearning for a world still sufficientto its own forms and rituals” (217). Thesecharacters exist in a time of the First World War andAusten’ s novels are something that theyall cling to. This was, or so the thinking goes, atime before war, before morals, rules anddecorum lost their place. As Humberstall says,in “The Janeites,” “there’s no one totouchJane when you’re in a tight spot” (137), asentiment that has been echoed in the filmadaptations of Austen’s work, especially thoseproduced during times of war.While Kipling’s story is more than 80 yearsold, the obsession with Austen has notwaned, by any means. In our own contemporarytimes, the internet has become a wayforfellow janeites to communicate,chatting to each other at the extensive “RepublicofPemberley” website,4which classifiesitself as “your haven in a world programmedtomisunderstand obsession with things Austen.”Here, since 1995, one can encounterAusten40fans from The Philippines, Italy, The USA, England,China, Canada, New Zealand,Malaysia, and everything in between. Thesite is largely made up of discussion boardsdevoted to the novels, but also to fan fiction wheremembers can create their own storiesusing Austen’s characters. These fans then,are both consuming Austen and reproducingherat the same time. Readers are remaking Austenin the same way she remade texts whichinfluenced her, which is evident in the gothiccomponents of Northanger Abbey, amongotherthings. Because we cannot know authorialintent, remaking and imitation becomewhat fans,and also adaptors, have come to do. JaneAusten has transcended her sixnovels and hasbecome a created cultural figure. Loveher or hate her, she is somewhatunavoidable. ThisAusten persona, this performance, has overshadowedthe real Austen, who we arguably couldnever have known.Austen’s work is not as far removed from performanceas one might at first assume.In her own time, novels were,in the words of Moler, “written notonly with an eye to thesolitary reader but with an ear tothe listener” (68). They were designed tobe read aloud,aligning her novels with the morecollective experience that one encountersin the cinema orthe theatre. Despite all this, adaptationsof Austen’ s novels do encounterthe difficulties that Idiscussed in the first chapter. Obviously,the omniscient narrator cannotexist in anadaptation, unless a filmmaker wasto rely predominantly on voiceover, which is unlikely.However, the filmmakers havefound ways around these sorts ofdifficulties. With regard tothe issue of the omniscientnarrator, many of the narrativestatements can be translatedintostage directions for theactors. Statements such as“Mr. Darcy smiled; but Elizabeththoughtshe could perceive that he wasrather offended; and therefore checkedher laughter” (Austen95) are not be spoken;instead, they are conveyed visuallythrough the performances oftheactors. Audiences appear to have beenable to see beyond these changes asAusten41adaptations have been highly successful and generallywell received, with the possibleexception of Patricia Rozema’s politically chargedMansfield Park (1999). Rozema makesthe background theme of slavery explicit in her adaptation,removing the film from theheritage escapism category that Austen’s work usuallyoccupies. Perhaps, this explains whyit was largely rejected by viewers.As a woman who was so concernedwith money, in both her writing and her ownlife,it is interesting to note that Jane Austen hasherself become a commodity. Infact, many ofthe complaints that Austen adaptations receiveare centered on the fact that Austen hasbecomes a marketer of “heritage products”(Troost 80). We do not merelyhave books by andabout Austen. There are Jane Austen dolls,mugs, tote bags, action figures, t-shirts,a Prideand Prejudice Board game, and a slew of otherAusten related products. Some evenequatedthe return of high-waisted regency style dresses,seen in collections from designerslike JohnGalliano, to the proliferation of Austenadaptations in the 1990s (Troost and Greenfield11).Even houses used as locations inthe film adaptations have spawned a sizabletravel/tourismindustry, allowing fans tovisit them. These have been so popularthat film locations are nowfeatured in the official travel guideto Britain and the official travelwebsite devotes multiplesections to Britain on film.5 In fact,the 1995 Pride and Prejudice serialspawned a ‘Darcymania’ so large that “Lyme Park,the national trust property thatserved as Pemberley, wasjammed with hundreds ofpaying visitors” (Troost 84), anxious,I’m sure, to see the infamouspond where Darcy swam.This Darcy-mania reached suchheights that screenwriter AndrewDavies is quoted as sayingthat the thing he is probably bestknown for in his “whole careerisputting Mr. Darcy in a wet shirt”(qtd. in Cartmell and Whelehan246). The Guardian evenreported ‘Darcy Parties,’ wherewomen gathered to watch that scene overand over again(Looser 160). There is very little todo with Jane Austen that hasnot become a marketable42commodity. It seems that Henry James was right when he said that people have found“theirdear, our dear, everybody’s dear Jane so infinitely to their material purpose” (qtd. inJones200).She has become a cultural presence, appealing to scholars for the complexityof herwork, but also retaining mass popularity. In this respect, contemporary Austen is abletotraverse two different worlds, simultaneously existing in high cultureand popular culture.Not only is Austen able to move between high and low art, but she isalso representative ofboth traditional and liberal values, depending on how you choose toread her works. On theone hand, her work is evocative of tradition, conformityand convention, glorifying themanners and decorum of1gthicentury England. On the other hand, Austen is a revolutionary,undercutting her own society through irony as well asstrong female protagonists who appearto defy convention. There is, to use the clichéd phrase,something for everyone in her work.In the words of Wiltshire, “Jane Austen is a signifierwith multiple meanings” (12). As aresult of this widespread appeal, Austen is an extremelymarketable commodity, as thenumber of films that reference her would indicate. JaneAusten Mafia! (Jim Abrahams1998) is clearly a parody film, but its use of Austen’sname is relevant in that it demonstratesan overt awareness of her cultural and economiccapital in the film industry, and beyond.Tobe the subject of parody is also a symbol ofmarketability.6Certainly, with the releaseofmultiple Austen adaptations, in the early to midI 990s, she became more of a householdname than ever. According to James M. Welsh,“Austen is a special case, appealing,on theone hand, to an academic audiencefor her splendid wit and irony and, onthe other, to a farwider readership drawn to Austen for reasonshaving to do with romance, courtship and‘heritage’ nostalgia” (xvi).43Austen’s ability to ‘sell’ a film is evident in the number of commerciallyviableadaptations of her work, especially those that useher name, for example, Jane Austen ‘sEmma (Diarmuid Lawrence 1996) and Jane Austen Persuasion (RogerMichell 1995).However, it is also relevant to look at the number of recentfilms that focus on her own life.2002’s The Real Jane Austen (Nicky Pattison), combinesdocumentary and fiction to provideus with an account of Jane’s life as she mighthave lived it. Miss Austen Regrets (JeremyLovering 2008) and Becoming Jane (Julian Jarrold2007) both use what are left of Austen’ sletters to attempt to piece together different portions of herlife. Both of these filmsromanticize Austen, turning her life into a narrativefrom one of her books, admittedlywithout the storybook ending. Regardlessof the endings, these biographical films embraceheritage and nostalgia in the same way thatadaptations of her novels do, focusing on theromance and spectacle of regency England.By burning her sister’s letters, Cassandra Austenhas created a creative enterprise thatcenters on the mystery of Jane Austen’s life, a mystery that is continuallybeing re-interpretedthrough biographies (of which there are somany that I could fill pages and pageswith theirtitles alone) and films. Perhaps this elementof mystery has added to her popularity,as wecontinue to strive to know ‘thereal Jane Austen,’ in the same waythat scholars and fansattempt to know the real Shakespeare.Both authors remain popular yearsafter their deathand very little is known about eitherof them. They have also both becomesymbols of‘Englishness,’ almost becomingtrademarks by their familiarity alone.While they are bothfamiliar, neither is truly known.There is an overwhelmingdesire to know Austen’ s innerlife,which prevents the novels and theauthor from remaining entirelyseparate. Biography,then,according to Wiltshire, occupies a“transitional space” (21) between factand fiction, made uplargely of speculation (andoften ridiculous speculation at that).For example, Claire44Tomalin’s statement that Austen would likely haveenjoyed wearing trousers if she hadlivedin modem times (121) is both impossibleto prove and largely irrelevant. Because solittle isactually known of Austen’s life, many of these biographiesbecome fictionalized, asBecoming Jane and Miss Austen Regrets demonstrate.The popularity of such narratives andthe desire to know as much as possible about Austenis indicative of her cult status.There are, as well, at least three forthcoming filmsthat incorporate elements ofAusten into their narrative. Lost in Austen(Dan Zeff 2008) is a television film,made forBritain’s ITV, which centers on a modemwoman who switches places with ElizabethBennet, in what can only be described asa cross between Freaky Friday (GaryNelson 1976)and Anne-Marie Macdonald’s play,Goodnight Desdemona, Good morningJuliet (1988).Sense and Sensibilidad (Fina Torres 2008)is a modem retelling of Sense andSensibility setin a Latino community in Los Angeles andJane Austen Handheld (TristramShapeero 2008)is a modem retelling of Pride and Prejudice astold by a documentary film crew,which is, initself, a nod to Pride and Prejudice’s overwhelmingpresence on film. Even somethinglikeThe Jane Austen Book Club (RobinSwicord 2007) is evocative of Austen’splace in amodem, specifically American, context,with each character living out a differentaspect ofone of her novels. It is evident thatAusten’s popularity is not declining byany means. ForSutherland, “Jane’s power lies inher familiarity; whether recognizedor not, she is alreadypart of a wider cultural systemwith a common set of conventions” (21).In this day and age,you would be hard pressed tofind an adult who had not atleast heard of Jane Austen.Sharon Maguire’s Bridget Jones’sDiary (2001) is a useful exampleto illustrate‘Austen-mania.’ The filmwas adapted from HelenFielding’s novel of the samename, whichowes its basic plot to Prideand Prejudice.7In this sense,the film becomes an adaptationofan adaptation, which complicatesit, but also serves to emphasize themagnitude of the ‘cult45of Jane’. Jane Austen has become such a common cultural icon thatreferences to her turninto inside jokes that almost everyone is in on. The presence of CohnFirth (famous for hisportrayal of Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC version) inthe role of Mark Darcy is just oneinstance where previous adaptations are evoked. Even theinfamous pond scene is recreatedwhen Mark Darcy emerges from a fountainafter fighting with Daniel (Hugh Grant) near theend of the film. Hugh Grant and Gemma Joneswere also known for their roles in Lee’s Senseand Sensibility and screenwriter Andrew Davies alsowrote the screenplay for the 1995adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Embeth Davidtz playedMary Crawford in Rozema’sMansfield Park and Crispen BonhamCarter played Bingley alongside CohnFirth’ s Darcy.Despite being ‘once removed’ from Austen’snovel, Bridget Jones ‘s Diary is indicativeofthe familiarity that surrounds Austen’stext, and its marketability, perhaps sharingsomethingwith Amy Heckerhing’s Clueless (1995). Inthis sense, Bridget Jones Diary canbe read as apostmodern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice,playing with notions “of pastiche andnostalgia” (Brooker 110) that Brookerevokes with regard to remakes and periodfilms.It is also interesting to note that Renee Zellweger(who plays Bridget) is actuallyanAmerican actress, a fact that connects thefilm with Jennifer M. Jeffers’ thoughtssurroundingthe Americanization of British fiction.This phenomenon is alsoapparent in direct Austenadaptations, like Emma (DouglasMcGrath 1996) which starred Gwyneth Paltrow.Evenadaptations that featured a cast ofentirely British actors (such as AngLee’s 1995 productionof Sense and Sensibility,among others) have notonly received distribution but beenhighlysuccessful in the US. Usingadaptations such as these, thatwere extremely popular intheStates, Jeffers points to “theAmerican film industry’s inventionof a tradition of BritishLiterature for the American viewingpublic” (3). British fiction adaptationbecomes a genre46in itself which is something that goes back to the 1940 MGM version ofPrideandPrejudice, and well beyond.According to Harriet Margolis, we are now living in an age wherea film’s openingweekend numbers do more to draw people into the theatres than a goodcritical review.Culture, which was once aesthetically controlled, is now largely tied up ineconomics (30-31). Economics and culture have become interchangeable, making theline between high andlow culture somewhat blurry. Austen, then, has become both acultural and an economicconstruct. Because of the economics of filmmaking and the costinvolved in production andmarketing, films have to, according to Paul Willemen, attemptto appeal to an “internationalmarket, or at least a very large domestic one” ( Jeffers 13). America is still the superpower of filmmaking and film consumption. With such a large population,many of whomare living in a fairly high economic bracket, an American audience isone that filmmakerswant, and often need, to recoup their costs. So, marketinga film to an American audienceseems to be a wise choice, a choice which many British filmmakersmake, even delving intoco-productions financed by American studios. Capitalismappears to requireAmericanization, at least to a certain extent.Why are American audiences interested in theseEnglish literary figures and these English narratives?According to Jeffers, “Americans takevoyeuristic pleasure from watchingthe English upper class struggle with their pure white,upper class problems in the fantasy time-capsuleof the English past” (6). Although, if theelement of the past is removed, one could arguethat any American teen drama functionson asomewhat similar level, easily reducedto ‘pretty, white, rich kids, with problems.’It is thepast that acts as a differential andbecomes of the utmost importance. Thepast is a place ofBritish dominance, perhaps appealingto American audiences both because theyhave nowreplaced Britain as superpower, but alsobecause of the element of escape. This is aforeign47and more simple time and, while there are differences, language commonalities preventthesestories, and these authors, from being alienating.According to Brian McFarlane, mainstream cinema owes muchof its popularity torepresentational tendencies that it shares with the19thcentury English novel (4). While this isperhaps something of a sweeping claim, it does help to explain the prevalence ofperioddramas on contemporary screens. However, it does not explain why Austenherself is sopopular. What is it in these novels that allows them to be so easily lentto a filmicrepresentation? Andrew Davies, who is one of the few screenwriters toachieve celebritystatus thanks, in a large part, to his penning the 1995 BBC serialof Pride and Prejudice,states that the writer whom he respects the most is JaneAusten. According to Davies, “youdon’t notice how crappy these plots are until you try to adapt them, butyou don’t ever haveto worry about hers. Everything happens accordingto the right season and the timing isperfect, like the time it takes to get from x to y is alwaysright” (qtd. in Cartmell andWhelehan 244). She is described as making theadaptor’s role as easy as possible with hervisual language and witty dialogue. As Davies notes:If she said the apple trees were in blossom, you would be bangin the right month, allthosethings work perfectly. A second reason is that herdialogue is so sharp and witty anddramatic, you can just copy it out and one doesthat quite a lot.. .and it’s so funny andalso,she is so dramatic, she builds up her drama. She setsup her little jokes and time bombsandbig dramatic surprises and then she pays themoff at just the right moment, like greatcomedy writers are supposed to do ( Cartmell and Whelehan 248).While this is clearly a statementfrom a casual interview, it does point to some ofthe areas inAusten’s writing that make her such a popular choicefor adaptation.Austen is, first and foremost, interested inpeople and their relationships and sheengages her audience “both intellectually andemotionally” (Moler 7). These novels areabout48people and, while it may be clichéd to say so,that makes them timeless. Human interaction,and the various difficulties and pleasures involved therein,is part of our daily lives. They are,according to Moler, “eternal elements in the humancondition” (7). Austen then is ableto dowhat Samuel Johnson encourages. She is able to “disregardpresent laws and opinions, andrise to general and transcendental truths, whichwill always be the same... [writing] as abeingsuperior to time and place” (qtd. in Moler 49).There is a simplicity to her work thatremainsrelevant, despite being dated. As Austenherself said, “three or four families in a countryvillage is the very thing to work on” ( Crang 114). These are not epicnovels; they dealwith the ordinary and the everyday, lookingat money, love, and marriage, themeswhichhave changed remarkablylittle in the almost two hundred years sinceAusten’s death.Adaptations, then, become reflective of theseissues in our own time. As EmmaThompsonargues, “people are still concernedwith marriage, money, romance, findinga partner” ( Dole 58). I would also argue thatthe somewhat dysfunctional families presentin all ofAusten’ s novels also resonate withcontemporary readers. These are themesthat every personcan relate to and there is no one correct wayto read Austen’s work. As Sutherlandnotes,“meaning never finally settles, but remainsat play across a range of possibilities”(354).These novels are open to interpretation, avery attractive quality for an adaptor.Austen was a careful observerand this is evident in her stories,which are made up ofdetailed character studies,perhaps helping to explain theircontinued popularity. It is easytobecome absorbed by these characterswho, according to Sutherland, “eraseall signs ofproduction” (16). Even backgroundcharacters, such as Charlotte Lucasor Mr. Collins, forexample, are stronglydeveloped and given importantmoments in the novel. Withinthesecharacter studies, Austen alsoprovides a sense of escapism associatedwith heritage products.These novels do not tackle largeissues or try to explain the meaningof life, nor do the49characters within them. Because she tackles themes of theeveryday, it is easy to see whyVirginia Woolf said, “of all great writers she is the mostdifficult to catch in the act ofgreatness” (qtd. in Stovel 231). Hernovels are concerned with the characters themselves.While these characters do seek knowledge,it is self-knowledge rather than knowledgeof theworld in general.Winston Churchill is quoted as saying: “what calmlives they had, those people! Noworries about the French revolution, or the crashingstruggle of the Napoleonic Wars. Onlymanners controlling passion so far as theycould, together with cultured explanationsof anymisehances” (qtd. in Jones 29). Despite theprecarious political climate in whichAusten waswriting, she does not directly engagewith this material, instead finding escapein country lifeand the aristocracy. These novels take placeduring a time of war, Pride and Prejudicespecifically. Here, although it is never madeexplicit, officers and the arrival of themilitia inMeryton do indicate the theme of war thatoccupies the background of the novel.AsBluestone notes, Austen was aware of therealities of war, but chose more light-heartedfareas the focus of her works (144).Perhaps this, along with the sense ofescapism, explains whythis novel has been adapted during timesof war. This escapism allowsviewers to fantasizeabout seemingly simpler and lessstressful times. In fact, according toClaudia Johnson,Austen’ s novels were prescribedfor shell shocked war victims as a formof therapy (217), ameans of escaping thehorrors of their situations and finding solacein the pleasures of thepast. In our own time ofdesensitization and reality television showslike Big Brother or TheReal World (which tend tocapitalize on the drunken antics oftheir ‘stars’), the polish andmanners of Austen’s worldbecome a welcome and refreshingother.Of all of Austen’ s novels, Pride andPrejudice has been the most oftenadapted, and itis adaptations of this text thatI choose to focus on in the comingchapter. It is, arguably,50Austen’s most famous work, and it is certainly oneof the most quoted. As well as the tenfilm and television adaptations, it has also inspired a numberof plays and novels thatcontinue the stories of the characters. HelenHaistead’ s novel Mr. Darcy Presents his Bride:A Sequel to Jane Austen ‘s Pride and Prejudiceis just one of a number of similar titles.Austen’ s novel was first begun under the title of FirstImpressions in 1796, but publisherswere uninterested. It was not until 1813,after much revision, that the Pride and Prejudicewehave come to know was published. At thetime of its initial publication, thenovel was wellreceived, described in an unsigned reviewas being “far superior to almost allthe publicationsof the kind...the story is well told,the characters remarkably well drawn andsupported, andwritten with great spirit as well as vigor”(qtd. in Southam 41). This ideaof well drawncharacters was not limited to thisone review. In general, Austen has beenpraised for hercharacter development, and anotherunsigned 1813 review mentionsthat “the fair author ofthe present introduced us at onceto a whole family, every individual ofwhich excited theinterest and very agreeably dividesthe attention of the reader” ( Southam 43).This is a novel that “demonstratesthe difficulty of evaluatingplausible but conflictingrepresentations of reality” (GhoshalWallace 15) and teaches readers theconsequences ofjudging too quickly. Austen alternatelydefends and criticizes the socialcustoms of her time;yet, she is neither toorevolutionary, nor too traditionalfor mainstream audiences. InPrideand Prejudice, as in allof her novels, the final momentsfind the status quo maintained.Elizabeth may question societyand forge her own path, to a certainextent, but she findsherself happy in a traditional(and economically beneficial)marriage at the end of the novel.As a result, this textbecomes a perfect one for mainstream,or even more conservative,filmand television, becauseit does not, ultimately, challengeideological norms. This isalso a textthat relies on a blendingof form and content, making it aperfect choice for the needsof51narrative cinema. According to Jan Fergus,“so well do they mesh and so perfect is theeffect:absolute absorption in the world is created”(120). For those who view cinema as anescape, atrait often associated with heritage products,this absorbing power is very appealing.Pride and Prejudice gives us multiplecharacters and multiple stories, leavingadaptors with a rich variety of choices.While the characters are well developed, thereis littledescription of their looks. Other than knowingthat he is handsome, we knownext to nothingabout Darcy’s physical features. The sameis true of Elizabeth and the othercharacters. Thisleaves adaptors a lot of room for interpretation,knowing that they can cast the productionwithout the fear of audience members complainingbecause Elizabeth had blondehair in thebook. Austen’s novels avoidsuch details completely. As the six adaptationsdiscussed in thefollowing chapter show, there are manydifferent ways of seeing these characters.AsWiltshire points out, “knowledgeof a man like Darcy is an interpretationand a construction,not a simple absolute” (108). Iwould argue that the same could be said ofany of thecharacters. Setting, too, could beanywhere. Longbourn, Pemberley andNetherfield arecertainly described in thenovel, but their location is not madeexplicit, nor are their interiorsexhaustively described. We getno account of colors, designs,furnishings or generaldecor(Moler 64). This is in keeping withSamuel Johnson’s idea that the jobof the author is “toexamine not the individual, butthe species; to remarkgeneral properties and largeappearances: he does not numberthe streaks of the tulip...andmust neglect the minuterdiscriminations” (qtd. in Moler 66).Despite this seeming lack ofexplicit details, the novelcontinues to, as Sue Parrill states,“appeal to readers’ andviewers’ nostalgic longingfor theorder and beauty of thepast” (6).Pride and Prejudice is a fairy-tale,or so argues Darryl Jones (93),and in many ways,he is correct. Austenherself described thenovel as “rather too light and bright,and52sparkling” (qtd. in Wiltshire 107).Certainly, the first adaptationof the novel (the 1940 MGMproduction) does attempt to embody acertain fairy-tale quality, as domost of those thatfollow. However, in terms of genre,I would be more inclined to placethis novel within thetradition of the romantic comedy,perhaps a prototype for thehighly developed contemporarymodel. The theme of misjudgmentis obviously at the core ofthis text, as it is in allromanticcomedies and Harlequinromance novels alike. Thesecharacters are blind to eachother andcompletely unaware of thefallacy of their own judgments.These are two intelligentcharacters, but they are, asMoler states, “profoundlyignorant about importantaspects ofthemselves” (34). In theend, Elizabeth and Darcylearn and grow as theycome to knowthemselves and each other.Elizabeth states, “till thismoment, I never knewmyself’ (Austen208). This is a moral thatfinds its way into the coreof every adaptation ofthe novel. If onewas searching for theso-called ‘essence’ of thetext, this would likely beit.It is a romantic comedy,but it is also a novelabout sex and money. Itis about seeing,blindness and misrecognition.Themes of self discovery,courtship and marriage,businessand property, pride and prejudice(obviously), wealth andclass, feminism and education,andmamiers and morals,all find a place in thisnovel (Flavin 56-60) andforce adaptors to make achoice regarding what theywish to focus on.A different focus can createan entirely differentfilm, as the followingchapter will hopefullyreveal in more detail.These are all themesthatcan have relevancein our contemporary world.Love and marriage remainsan importantaspect of our society.Recent campaigns (anda subsequent win)to lift the ban on gaymarriage in Californiaindicate that theinstitution of marriage isstill relevant andimportant.Business, propertyand economy remain significantwithin our contemporarycapitaliststructure, and theties between economicsand marriage stillexist. Feminism, educationandmorals are all stillpertinent themes aswell. I am not attempting toargue that nothing has53changed since the early 1 800s. However, I domaintain that these themes are still relevant,and will continue to be as pertinent twohundred years from now as they were twohundredyears ago.54NotesThirty four, if one were to include a 1997 episode of the children’s cartoon seriesWishbone, entitled “FurstImpressions.”2New adaptations of Northanger Abbey (Jon Jones), Senseand Sensibility (John Alexander), Persuasion(Adrian Shergold) and Mansfield Park (lain B. MacDonald) were all producedfor a special Austen series thatbegan airing in 2007 in Britain, and 2008 in the US and Canada. Thisseries also included Miss Austen Regrets(Jeremy Lovering), a fictionalized account of Austen’s life.This number excludes the theatre productions based on her work, ofwhich there are many. Unfortunately,neither time, nor space allow me to discuss the theatre adaptations, so, when I speakof the number ofadaptations, I am only addressing film and television.www.pemberley.comFound here: http://www.visitbritain.calthings-to-see-and-do/interests/films/index.aspx6Austen herself began her writing career producing parodies of famousliterary works for her friends and family,so she was no stranger to the process of adaptation.The sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge ofReason (Beeban Kidron2004), is known for its connection toMansfield Park.55Chapter Four: Six Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice“The third requisite in our poet or maker is imitation, imitation, to be able to convert the substanceor riches ofanother poet to his own use, not as a creature that swallows what it takes in, crude, raw or undigested;but thatfeeds with an appetite, and hath a stomach to concoct, divide, and turn all to nourishment”— Ben Jonson, Timber or Discoveries, being Observations on Men and MannersSome novels are clearly more difficult to adapt than others. Taking on somethingsuch as Laurence Steme’ s Tristram Shandy is obviously going to be a far more challengingtask than adapting a more linear story like Pride and Prejudice. But, even beyond itslinearity, there is something in Austen’ s work that makes it readily adaptable.All six of thefollowing films are based on Pride and Prejudice, yet they are not the samefilm by anymeans.It is clear that a change in genre can create a change in expectation. We do notexpect a Bollywood film to resemble a BBC heritage miniseries; yet, we expect both toresemble their source material in some way. Since most are (at least to somedegree) familiarwith this story and because Austen has such a fan following, there is likely tobe a higherexpectation for fidelity than in an adaptation of a lesser known work by a lesser knownauthor. This raises various authorial questions. Who is the author? The Director? TheScreenwriter? The Editor? Jane Austen? The Cinematographer? All these are viable options,but it is impossible to truly assign that role to any individual. Thefilm becomes acollaborative effort, a product of the time out of which it emerged.There is also the issue of quotation here. Not quotation from the novel directly, butquotation from other adaptations. One cannot underestimate the influence of the adaptationsthat have come before. Cohn Firth’ s Darcy, for example, no doubt altered people’sperception of the character and the overwhelming popularity of his take on Darcy issure tohave influenced later adaptations. In all the adaptations, Darcy begins as an unknowableentity for Elizabeth; he is made this way by his social and economic standing, as well as his56aloof nature. However, each adaptation has a different way of constructingthe characters,their conflicts and the overall story of the text, an interpretation whichis directly related totheir own historical or cultural moment.Genre, too, has an effect on the adaptations and it is clearthat, in the words of SarahCardwell, “the genre provides its framework, its ground rules, and aset of expectations forthe audience. Most viewers will know this genre betterthan they will know the source book.They will have preconceptions about representationsof the past, of gender and class in thisgenre” (Cardwell 2007a: 56). If the actors in a BBCminiseries suddenly broke out into alavish, and seemingly unmotivated, song and dance number, viewerswould likely be shockedand confused. However, most people wouldn’t bat an eyeif they saw this in a Bollywoodfeature. Different adaptations will appeal to differentpeople, that much is obvious. As LindaHutcheon notes, “British televised versions of classicnovels now generate in their viewersexpectations about style. These expectations are not reallydictated by the adapted literarytexts, but rather by the television medium’sdesire to signal artistry through specificallycinematic markers of quality” (124). Cardwell addressesa similar idea and evokes techniquessuch as the long take, long shots, slow tracking shotsand orchestral music, all of which wesee ad-nauseum in both the 1980 and 1995 BBCadaptations. However, regardless ofgenre,as Cardwell notes, “Austen’s novels are mostlyadapted into whimsical, light-hearted,gentlyironic romances” (184).One might question how filmmakers not ofBritish origin deal with anovel set inanother country. Should they attempt to matchthat particular place and time?Or, should theyalter the material to fit their own culturalsituation? In the six screen adaptationscoveredhere, we find examples of both. Certainly,none of these films are exactlylike the novel. Forexample, some choose to stray from Elizabeth’sperspective and show us scenes ofDarcy and57Bingley alone, scenes that Elizabeth could not have witnessedand which the narrator doesnot explicitly mention. The most oft mentionedof these is to be found in the 1995 BBCproduction wherein Darcy jumps, fully clothed, intoa pond in an attempt to cool hispassions. These scenes are used as a device toallow the viewer to get to know the charactersin a more intimate sense, to humanize Darcy andmake him into the silent, but romantic,herothat the 1995 BBC version would have him be.Whether this is true to the Darcy in the bookis beside the point. Viewers at this time wanted a passionategentleman, and this is what theyreceived. Despite their differences, all six filmsremain similar in their source material,proving Hutcheon’ s point that throughthe re-telling of a story “the conservativecomfort offamiliarity is countered by the unpredictablepleasure in difference” (173).584.1 Television AdaptationsAccording to John Caughie, “television drama is a central component of postwarBritish culture, and its arguments and debates are both an extensionand a complication ofsocial, political, aesthetic and cultural debates” (2). If any broadcast networkis synonymouswith British television drama, it is the BBC. BBC television adaptations have become linkedwith classic literature, and they continue to produce countless fidelity conscious serials ofmany19thcentury works, where viewers delight in watching stories that they are usuallysomewhat familiar with, slowly unfold on screen. Jane Austen’s works havebeen aparticularly favorable choice. Serials were preferred, in part, because, in Caughie’ s wordsthey “had the advantage of economies of scale” (204), meaning that the cost was less perepisode than broadcasting a new piece of work each week. As a result,the classic serial hasbecome a staple of the BBC since the end of the Second World War and was one of the fewfilm-related products that Britain could sell on the international market, tempting viewerswith, as Caughie states, “the national past captured like a butterflyon a pin in a museum ofgleaming spires, tennis on the lawn, and the faded memory of empire” (209). Certainly,serials like The Forsythe Saga (James Cellan Jones 1967) set the stagefor the wave ofhistorical dramas that would gain popularity in the 1980s and 90s.There is something familiar about these films, which all have a similar look andfollow the same sets of conventions, such as: “high production values, authentic detailedcostumes and sets; great British actors; light classical music; slow pace; steady, oftensymmetrical framing; an interest in landscapes, buildings and interiors as well as characters;strong, gradually developed protagonists accompanied by entertaining cameo roles;andintelligent, faithful dialogue” (Cardwell 189). They tend to be slow moving, standing inopposition to the frenetic pace of a typical, Hollywood-produced, action blockbuster. This59often makes them more theatrical in nature, and allowsfor the focus to remain on thevisualas, for Andrew Higson, the goal is to “transform narrativespace into heritage space: thatis, aspace for the display of heritage propertiesrather than for the enactment of drama” (39).These films are filled with romance,lavish costumes, balls and grand houses. Spectacle is ofthe utmost importance. Pride and Prejudice, with itselaborate settings and cultural capital,becomes a perfect choice for this genre offilms.For Sarah Cardwell, it is the frequencyof production that yields “the establishmentofa more clearly defined and longstandinggenre of classic-novel adaptations thanoneencounters in the cinema” (182). The fact that sixof the ten adaptations of Pride andPrejudice have been for television only furtherstrengthens this statement. Whilethe firstadaptation may not have been for television,all of those that were releasedbetween 1941 and2003 existed on the small screen alone, and fewwere preserved. Many of these adaptations,including the hour-long Philco TelevisionPlayhouse adaptation (1949) aswell as the 1952,1958 and 1967 BBC versions are virtuallyimpossible to find today. This haspartially to dowith the fact that television technology was not asadvanced as that of film. Televisionshowswere not able to be recorded until 1947(Cardwell 185) and, even beyondthis, few of theserecordings were kept. As a result, my focushere is on the surviving 1980 and 1995BBCadaptations, which demonstrate thetelevision serial’s “proclivity forBritish classic novels,reflecting the prevailing notion of educatingand informing the publicabout British CulturalHeritage” (Cardwell 182). Somethinglike Pride and Prejudice that dealswith the everydayand domesticity seemsperfectly suited to television, amedium that is consumed fromwithina domestic environment.Television adaptations of the BBC bringwith them a particular standardstemmingfrom the ideals of Lord John Reith (itsfirst director general) whowanted the BBC “to60inform, educate and entertain” (Cardwell 187). This is a corporation that is wrapped up in theidea of quality programs, programming that encourages education and cultural growth, whichis a tradition of state sponsored networks. This desire to educate and to use programming forpublic growth, explains the more fidelity conscious productions that come out of the BBC, asthese serials are expected to be more than just mere entertainment. They are designed tobetter their viewers, occupying the space in between mainstream and art-house, andattempting to appeal to both markets.Both the 1980 and 1995 adaptations are made up of multiple episodes,increasingtheir running time and allowing for more material to be included, whichwill naturally placethem in a more fidelity conscious position. In fact, the BBC avoids theterm adaptationcompletely, preferring instead to refer to these serials as ‘dramatizations,’implying that theoriginal text has not been extensively altered. Obviously, by adaptingfor television and usinga mini-series format, the creators have a larger amountof time to play with. It goes withoutsaying that more detail can go into a five hour mini-series than atwo hour film. By splittingthe story into parts, the films will also more closelyresemble the way that readers firstengaged with these texts, as most literature in the19thcentury (and before) was published inserial form, with the various parts being released over time. As MorrisBeja notes, watching aserial adaptation will undoubtedly “be closer to readingmost novels than a feature film canbe; for it will be something we can come back toperiodically, rather than something wecomplete in a single sitting” (84).Television became a very important medium for Britainin the late 1 970s (andbeyond) when, in the words of Hill, “television wasdestined to play an increasinglysignificant role in the maintenance of British filmproduction” (53). In fact, John Hill andMartin McLoone are quoted as saying that “television has more or less becomethe film61industry” (1). Director Mike Leighwas in agreement and claimed that inBritain in the 1 970sand 1980s, “all serious flimmakingwas done for television” (qtd. in Giles58). As Paul Gilespoints out, this is likely somethingof an exaggeration, but it doesindicate that Britishtelevision occupies a higher criticalposition than most North American TV.The BBC, forexample, has been on the airsince 1936, is government financedand has no advertising.BBC-2 was set up in 1964, and,for a long time, these were the onlychoices for viewers.Even by the late 1980s Britishcable was limited to a few stations,with none of the kind ofchoice that Americans wouldhave been used to by this time.According to Giles, anywherefrom three to twelve millionwould watch a program in anevening (59). With limited choice,the amount of people that wouldsee a film broadcast ontelevision was significantlyhigherthan it would have been inNorth America. These programswere, in the words of AlanBenneff, “addressing the nation”(qtd. in Giles 59).While the BBC serials are generallypraised from a fidelitypoint of view, theyhavenot been immune tocriticism. They are very muchevocative of the heritage filmmovementthat helped to commodifyBritain. Throughout these films,Britain is portrayed notonly as acountry with a rich and heroicpast, but also as a country thatwas willing to put that pastupfor sale. These heritage adaptations,then, have often beenconnected with the marketingofthe past. The past was, inthe words of Higson, “packagedas artifacts andimages that couldbe sold to contemporaryconsumers, or experiences thatcould be bought into bytourists”(51). Thatcher’s governmentsaw the potential in thefilm industry but, forthe most part, anychanges that the governmentmade to film funding during thistime were commercially,andnot artistically, motivated.According to Linda Troost, andmany others, theseserials presentan unrealistic view of lifein England by, “privileging theupper class, showing amonocultural society, indulgingin nostalgia for an Englandthat never existed, andespousing62conservative Thatcherite values” (80). Certainly, in1980’s Pride and Prejudice, weare neverallowed to forget Darcy’ s aristocratic background, afact that does not have nearly somuchimportance in any of the other adaptations.Britain would continue to be associated withheritage and past glories, from the 1 980s untilthe late 1 990s when the image of ‘coolBritannia’ would emerge with films likeTrainspotting (Danny Boyle 1996).In an attempt toprove that Britain could do more than justheritage, this cycle of films attemptedto re-inventthe British film industry, usually focusingon the decidedly unglamorous lives ofurban,working class, contemporary youth. Thisstands in stark opposition to theheritage film, withits focus on country landscapesand the aristocracy. The 1980 Prideand Prejudice, then, wasreleased at the beginningof this heritage movement, paving the wayfor later serials such asBrideshead Revisited (Charles Sturridge1981). Premiering on January13th,1980, the seriesran in five parts on BBC-2.The 1980 film emerged out of a particularhistorical period, one of ageneral 1980sBritish Conservatism that camewith the Thatcher era. So, we needto consider the film notonly as an adaptation of Pride andPrejudice, but also as a productof the BBC, and, as anearly example of the heritage cinemathat became popular in the 1 980swith titles likeChariots ofFire (Hugh Hudson1981). This was a prolific time forBritish films, with morebeing made than in any decadesince the 1950s and many of themattracted internationalacclaim (Elsaesser 45). Adaptedfor the screen by Fay Weldon,this serial was shot onvideotape and released just afterthe National Heritage Act wasestablished. The HeritageActwas drafted by MP Norman St.John Stevas in order to “defend orconserve the naturalenvironment against the encroachmentof industry and big business”(Dobie 258). However,the act was lined withconservatism and Madeleine Dobie,among others, read itspurpose as63“to defend the inherited propertyrights of the rural aristocracy against the anticipatedencroachments of the urban workingclass” (258).Margaret Thatcher was elected in May 1979and dominated British politics untilshewas forced to resign as party leader inNovember 1990. Committed to reversing thedeclineof the British economy, Thatcherbrought about change in many areas,including weakeningunions by passing anti-unionlaws, and introducing free-marketeconomic policies (Cooke4)in an attempt to increase industrycompetition. Marketing and commodificationbecame ofthe utmost importance. In general,Thatcher’s government turned tothe radical conservativewing and brought aboutan increase in class division withan emphasis on individualismwhere, according to Quart, “acquisitionof wealth and the consumption ofgoods became theprime values” (19). It makes sense,then, that in the 1980s adaptation, theimportance offamily is downplayed. Elizabethis an individual with needs and goalsthat do not reflect thelarger family unit, a choice thatdiffers greatly from the 1940, 2005and Bollywoodadaptations. As a result, Mr.Bennet is closest to the Mr. Bennetthat we encounter in thenovel and is not given the redeemingqualities that he has in thethree aforementionedversions. He does not need to be redeemed,because family is not stressedin this series. Thisis also the case in the1995 version, which is slightly lesstraditional and made withaheightened sense of thesexuality of the lead characters inmind, as I will discuss later.During the 1 980s, traditional,conservative ideals werestressed in both EnglandandAmerica.2Thatcher herselfcalled for a return to Victorianvalues (Cooke 129),and whatbetter way to emphasizethis than through adaptations ofVictorian, or proto-Victorian,texts?3Heritage films, then,presented traditionalist idealsand extreme wealth,all set againsta lavishly constructed andcomforting backdrop of thepast. These films functioned,in thewords of Dobie, as “a palliative,promoting a sense of unbrokentradition and reaffirming64national identity” (247), providingrefuge and stability during times of changethrough areinvented (or invented) national history.Obviously, Pride and Prejudice isa perfect choicefor adaptation. It is a novel that can be easilyserialized, it is representative of Britain’sgreatliterary tradition, and it is ultimatelyquite conservative in its values. Becauseof this return toa privileging of traditional values, itis of no surprise that, in this version,Darcy’ s aristocraticties are constantly made apparent,and the fact that he is from a “respectable,honorable andancient family” (Austen 356), is frequentlydrawn attention to.This film is probably the mostfaithful, as it rarely strays from thetext, even makinguse of multiple voice-overs toconvey Elizabeth’s thoughts asthey were written by thenovel’s omniscient narrator.Generally, it was well received andin keeping with BBCbroadcasts of the time, even earningtwo BAFTA TV nominationsfor lighting and costumedesign. However, it was not the internationalsuccess that the 1995 versionwould go on tobe. In terms of location, this 1980production made great stridesand was the first adaptationof Pride and Prejudice to utilizelocation shooting, allowing for theuse of real historicalprops and properties. Theseemingly ‘genuine’ look furtherimbeds the film withintheheritage tradition. This is also trueof the 1995 version, wherelocations were rigorouslyscouted and considered to be anothercharacter in the film. In theseheritage films, theemphasis on landscape creates a“ruralist nostalgia” that harkensback to the picturesquetradition, while savoring theidea of “the past utopia” (Voigts-Virchow130). However,despite several scenes shot onlocation, the 1980 version remainsmore concerned withconversations taking place in fixedinterior settings, giving it astaged appearancethat is notparticularly exciting to watch,but is perhaps morein keeping with the traditionsout of whichthe novel emerged. DavidRintoul’s Darcy, while lessengaging than Cohn Firth’s,isprobably more evocative of the Darcyof the novel. Because oftechnological limitations and65perhaps funding as well, the film looks less polishedthan other productions, taking on ahome video quality that was typical of 1 980s televisionproductions. In general, the sets arelimited and the lighting is similar to that of a contemporarytelevision soap-opera. Aswell,the decision to film predominately indoorswas likely motivated less by artisticchoice andmore by economic constraints, aslocation shooting is always more expensiveand this seriescertainly did not have the budgetthat the 1995 production did. While I haveslipped into adiscussion of fidelity here (something thatI advocated against in the earlierchapters), it isonly to prove that this productionis especially fidelity conscious, whichis likely due to itscultural moment and its placewithin the heritage movement of theThatcher era.Because the film embodies a ‘nostalgiclook back,’ the time period must bepresentedas magnificent, and representativeof Britain’s past glory. So, the potentiallypolitical andsatirical nature of Austen’ s workis largely eliminated. The importanceof Darcy’ s aristocraticties is played up in this version, insteadof viewed with a certain degreeof irony. As AndrewHigson notes, “in this version of history, a criticalperspective is replaced by decorationanddisplay, a fascination with surfaces,an obsessive accumulation ofcomfortably archival detailin which a fascination with style displacesthe material dimensions of historicalcontext” ( Jeffers 46). The past must beportrayed as a more perfect time. Asa result, Longbournbecomes a perfect heritagebuilding and any indication thatthe Bennets are strugglingon aworking farm (which the novel doesmention) is removed. Thebuilding is there to be lookedat and the more staticcamera movement, which is traditionalof heritage cinema,is reflectiveof this. In this version, we are alwaysgiven an establishingshot of a great building beforemoving inside. The filmworks from the outside in, but itnever delves too far beneaththefacade, preferring, instead, toconcentrate on the beauty of pristinesurfaces, not wanting togo too deep, or look too closely,for fear of the grime that mightbe revealed.66The two BBC mini-series of Austen’s novel are separated byjust 15 years (which isnot all that long, in the grander scheme ofthings). The 1995 Pride and Prejudice (SimonLangton) was co-funded by A&E andit premiered on September24thon BBC-1, ran 300minutes, and was described by The SundayTelegraph as “a lovely day out in someNationalTrust Property” (qtd. in Higson 57). It would goon to receive international acclaim, earningnominations (and often winning) for BAFTATV awards, as well as Emmys, amongotherthings. While the 1980 adaptation isvery clearly a television adaptation in terms ofaesthetics, it was also marketed to a wideaudience. In the early 1 980s (and before),due to thelack of choice in British television channels,filmmakers could expect a mass audience.Bythe 1 990s British television productions hadbegun to utilize the resources of film andtobegin to operate more in terms of the freemarket principles that Thatcher’sgovernment putinto effect. Because of the advent of channelfour, viewers now had morechoice, sotelevision programs marketed themselvesmore in terms of niche audiences, appealingtospecific groups determined by age, gender,etc., as opposed to the generalviewer. These laterfilms, which Claire Monk dubs “postheritage” (qtd. in Dobie 248) tendedto differ from theirpredecessors because they no longer attempted totarget broad groups by appealing totheirsense of national identity (among otherthings, of course). They were alsomore concernedwith gender and sexual identity,which the 1995 adaption is certainlyevocative of. Accordingto Lez Cooke, there was a “post modernshift away from the idea of aproducer — led culture,in which broadcasters delivered to a massaudience what, on the whole, theyfelt the publicneeded, towards a consumer — ledculture where the broadcasterswere forced to competewith an increasing numberof competitors for a share of theaudience” (162). 1995’sPrideand Prejudice reflects this,attempting to appeal to the romantic natureof what was likely apredominantly female audience, andultimately ending up as, in thewords of Cooke, “a good67old-fashioned love story, a high culturesoap opera with its romance updatedfor a 1 990saudience” (168).The differences between the1980 and 1995 versions proves MalcolmBradbury’ spoint that “even without any temporalupdating or any alterations to nationalor culturalsetting, it can take very little time forcontext to change how a storyis received. Not onlywhat is re-accentuated but moreimportantly how a story can bere-interpreted can alterradically” (qtd. in Hutcheon 142).So, time plays an issue as muchas place and culture do.On the 22’ of November, 1990,Thatcher’s time as a leader came toa close, and herpreference for ‘traditionalvalues’ began to hold less weight.While the 1980 versionfunctioned to re-inscribe conventionalstandards associated with heritage,the 1995 versionhad different goals, despitethe fact that it still operated as aheritage text. What is it thatthe1995 adaptation is trying to tellviewers? According to BrianMcFarlane, it is “that sexualattraction is more potent than classor wealth” (2007a: 8). While Ithink that this is somewhatof an over generalization, McFarlaneprobably has a point, as the emphasiscertainly lies onthe sexuality of our heroand heroine. The focus, in this adaptation,has shifted from theThatcherite values of the1980 serial, to a mode of flimmakingmore concerned withattracting an internationalaudience, as well as maintaininga more specificallytargeteddomestic one.Moving away from the Darcyof 1980, this Darcy’s aristocraticposition is no longerwhat defines him; it is his passionand masculinity. This is inkeeping with the trendin 1 990sBritish cinema, which seemed,according to Claire Monk,“preoccupied with menandmasculinity in crisis” (157),a preoccupation that perhapsemerged out of “growingsexualliberalism, greater female participationand achievement in theworld of work and increasingfluidity of gender roles” (158).Out of this anxiety emerged adifferent standard of68masculinity, of which this Darcy is aprime example. He is both physicallystrong andemotionally sensitive. This Darcy isjust steps away from becoming a characterin aHarlequin romance, and he is clearlydesigned with a female audience in mind,much more sothan Rintoul’s Darcy. This shift isrepresentative of the attempt to targetniche audiencemarkets, a shift which began inthe 1990s as a result of the advent ofmultiple televisionchannels.As screenwriter Andrew Daviesstated, he was “very consciouslyrepresenting thebooks for a contemporary audience,trying to bring out the themes of thescenes and theundercurrents in the books that mostspeak to us today” (qtd. inCartmell and Whelehan 244).In keeping with the many 1990sfilms that began to offer up the malebody as the object ofthe gaze,4Pride and Prejudiceoffers Darcy up as an objectfor consumption. In fact, themajority of scenes added to thisfilm, which are not directlyderived from the novel, involveDarcy. More specifically, theyinvolve Darcy engaging in somesort of physical activity,from fencing, to billiards, tobathing. Darcy (and Elizabethas well) is also costumed ina waythat draws attention to his physique,often seen clad in tight breeches.It is no surprise thatthis Darcy is most known for hisvarious physical displays andhas been aptly christened“wett-shirt Darcy” by scholars and the mediaalike (Jones 189). This isfurther illustrated inBridget Jones ‘s Diary,when Bridget is describedwatching the famous pondscene over andover again, swooning over CohnFirth’s Darcy. This is, verymuch, Darcy’s film, and heisfar more present in the storythan David Rintoul’s Darcyis. Where, in the 1980version, weget a voice over of Elizabethreading Darcy’ s letter,here, we see Darcy act.While Elizabethreads, the viewer is given flashbacksof Darcy intervening asWickham attempts toseduceGeorgiana, and of Darcy advisingBingley to leave Jane. Welater see his role in Wickham’smarriage to Lydia and his placeat the ceremony. While, in thenovel, we know Darcy is69responsible for persuadingWickham to marry Lydia, hisrole is not so actively described.Perhaps because this version isso Darcy-centric, Wickham’ s flawsare much more heavilyemphasized. In most versions,we only hear of Wickham’s nefariousways; however, here,the viewer actually gets visualconfirmation of these actsthrough the flashbacks. InAusten’swork, the reader is clearlyaligned with Elizabeth and themajority of the text is writtenwithregard to her perspective.The 1980 version followsthe same general trend. Inthis version,however, we often get Darcy’sperspective; we see into hismind, and we watch as hewatches Elizabeth, whichhe often does. In the 1940 version,viewers watch Elizabethlooking out of windows.5In this production, we watchDarcy do the same, indicatinga shiftin emphasis. In fact, watchingDarcy struggle with his represseddesires is the crux of thefilm.In general, this is a productionthat is most concerned withphysicality, and withthesexuality of its protagonists.In the words of Hutcheon,“a personal crisis is madeto replace apolitical one” (12). For Hutcheon,the political could, forexample, be representedby thesharp social commentarythat one finds in Austen’s work, something thatis, largely, absentfrom this production. Here,then, the political undertonesof the novel are removedandreplaced with personal criseson the part of the characters.This version is lessabout classdivision and more aboutindividual characters andtheir desires. As AndrewDavies remarks,“the central motor whichdrives the story forwardis Darcy’ s sexual attractionto Elizabeth”(qtd. in Wiltshire 115).Darcy is much more athleticthan previous Darcys,and he is seen asan active male fromthe very opening of thefilm where he and Bingleygallop up toNetherfield. This is aDarcy offered up to the femalegaze and fetishized;the camera isconstantly focused on him.He is representativeof man as commodity,which Austenherselftouches upon when she writes,“however little knownthe feelings or viewsof such a man70may be on his first entering a neighborhood, this truthis so well fixed in the minds of thesurrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property ofsome one or other oftheir daughters” (51, emphasis mine). Certainly, the1995 version wholeheartedly adopts theidea of Darcy, through his various activities, as aproduct to be looked at and consumed. Thatbeing said, Elizabeth, too, is more physically active, constantlypictured walking throughfields, even from the opening of the film. Not only this,but she is also an active participant inher relationship with Darcy, perhaps reflective of in the words of EllenBelton, “1990spreoccupation with equality in romantic attachments”(192). She is connected to nature,earthy even, in a way that Elizabeth Garvie’s Elizabethis not. This is a film that focuses onthe physical, which is made evident through its marketing strategy,advertizing itself as “a sixpart adaptation of simply the sexiest book ever written”(qtd. in Flavin 67). While the mini-series does not contain the sex scenes that wererumored to be included at the time ofproduction, viewers do catch glimpses of Darcy swimming,Darcy in the bath, Darcy andElizabeth kissing and Wickham and Lydia in bed, amongother things. The costumes, too, aremuch less demure than in previous adaptations aswe find the men in tight breeches andthewomen in low cut dresses, something that is never presentin the 1980 production. Comparedwith that highly conservative adaptation, thisone seems almost racy.The focus of this film centers on thelove theme, specifically on the tortured andsexually charged relationship between Elizabethand Darcy. It is about Elizabeth andDarcyfinding love and fulfillment, having it all. This isperhaps why the film seems toconcentrateon their individual needs and desires,eliminating the focus on the familyunit that drives the1940 version, for example. Jane and Elizabeth arelargely separate from their family,bothvisually and through the way the narrative is constructed•6There is really no sense offamilyunity; instead, this is a film about individual desires. Throughher connection with Darcy,71Elizabeth finds her fulfillment in a utopian relationshipperhaps reflecting, in the words ofBelton, “the late twentieth century assumption thatthe needs and desires of the individualtake precedence over other values” (194).Davies’ script conveys a sense of intense desire onDarcy’ s part, a desire that issimply not present in the 1980 version.While the 1980 film gave us Darcy as anaristocrat, aman of tradition, the 1995 version gives usDarcy as a man of action and a man of passion,perhaps in keeping with changes in masculinity that wereoccurring in the 1990s. As LindaTroost and Sayre Greenfield note, this versionof Darcy “tells us more about our currentdecade’s obsession with physical perfectionand acceptance of gratuitous nudity thanit doesabout Austen’s Darcy, but the image carves anew facet into the text” (6). While physicalfeatures remained important, the hard-bodied,emotionless, Reaganite hero was fadingawayto be replaced by the man of sentiment andintellect, who still retained his inherentmasculinity and a sense of mystery.Darcy is not just a body, as Cheryl L.Nixon notes, he is“a medium of emotional expression”(24) and his relationship with Elizabethcenters onromance, and not courtship (as the novel andthe 1980 version do). He is evocative ofthedesire to have everything. As MartineVoiret puts it, “we now want men tobe egalitarian,sensitive, nurturing, and expressive.We, in other words, expect men to possesstwo sets ofsomewhat irreconcilable differences...Jane Austen’s movie adaptations reflectthisambivalence. They translate contemporarydesires for a type of masculinitythat happilyembodies those conflicting features”(238). Perhaps, for this reason, this1995 Darcy remainssomething of an enigma, not entirely knowable.When Elizabeth visits Pemberleyin thenovel, she finds a portrait of Darcywhere he is pictured as open and smiling.However, inthis adaptation, Darcy’ s expression in theportrait is pensive, almostmysterious. As a result,this Darcy became the perfect embodimentof the ideal man of mysterywho was both active72and sensitive, a fact that is evidenced by theDarcy-mania that swept much of the westernworld.7This adaptation is known for its grand locationscenes, and the heavy reliance onoutdoor locations, which perhapsexplains why the characters seem more active.Regardless,these outdoor scenes are meant to capturethe glory and beauty of the Englishcountryside inthe early19thcentury. This, two hundred years later, isclearly an impossibility. After all,landscapes and architecture can, and do, change.However, there is a prevalent idea thatlocation shooting somehow lends to theauthenticity of the project, despitethe fact that wecan have no idea which houses Austen used asthe inspiration for Pemberley or Longbourn,ifshe used any at all. Regardless, thisremains a visual novel, written at a timewhen bothlandscape painting and domestic tourismwere becoming increasingly popular. TheEnglishcountryside was becoming a spectacle forconsumption, as evidenced by the rise intheguidebook industry during the l8 century(Ellington 95-96). Clearly,the visual elementsfound in the novel translate well into film.From the very opening of this series,landscape is stressed as we watchDarcy andBingley gallop across an openfield, eventually glimpsing Netherfieldin a long-shot thatemphasizes its grand scale. AsBingley and Darcy race away, we cut toElizabeth who iswatching them from atop a hill. We thenfollow her through fields to revealthe beautifullymanicured Longbourn. Onceagain, we start with an establishingshot of the exterior, beforemoving inside. In this version, accordingto H. Elisabeth Ellington,“landscape.. .becomes thesign of desire” (90). Certainly,this becomes evident in Elizabeth’svisit, and subsequentreaction, to the grounds atPemberley. She and Darcy are joined,partially, through theirshared love of the outdoors. AsDavies has mentioned on a numberof occasions, Englisharchitecture and landscape become anothercharacter in the film, aligning theproduction with73the commodification of the pastoften associated with heritage productions.Here, weconcentrate on the beautiful landscape andany social problems fade into thebackground. AsFay Weldon (the screenwriter ofthe 1980 adaptation) states, “experiencetells filmmakersyou can sell English heritage allover the world, and get your money back”(qtd. in Ellington94).However, this film is also much morehumorous than its BBC predecessor,with theBennet and Bingley sisters played muchmore for comic effect. The film,then, becomesreflective of fading conservative values inthe wake of Thatcher’sprime-ministry and theelection of more liberal leaders inboth Britain and the US. This version’sintense popularityproves that it was what audienceswanted at that particular time.In fact, approximately 10.1million watched the final episode on theBBC, and 3.7 millionwatched the adaptation in theUnited States on A&E (Parrill61). As of 2002, this productionhad earned 1,620,255poundssterling for the BBC and, in 1995 alone,video copies of the series sold150,000 copies(Parrill 5), to be matched only by thenumber of copies of the book thatwere sold after theserial’s release. Membership in theJane Austen society of North America(JASNA) was alsoaffected by this production, jumping fiftypercent in 1996. With itsmassive success, thisminiseries paved the way for, as LisaMullen notes, “the megabucksclassical adaptation,[whichihas been the definition ofprofitable flagship programming— gobbling up budgets,sure, but paying outbig-time in overseas revenue andglobal prestige” (qtd. inMargolis 28).744.2 Star Powered AdaptationsIn adaptation studies, performers are rarely discussed, but we must not forget that, asRobert Stam writes, “in cinema the performer also brings along a kind of baggage, a thespianintertext formed by the totality of antecedent roles. Thus Laurence Olivier brings with himthe intertextual memory of his Shakespearian performances” (60). This idea ties into starpower, which remains a driving force behind big budget studio films, regardless of whetherthey are adaptations, or original screenplays. The 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice mighteasily have been dubbed Keira Knightley ‘s Pride and Prejudice, as opposed to Jane Austen ‘sPride and Prejudice (the title of the 1980 version). Similarly, although perhaps not to such awidespread extent, Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier, both established stars in their ownright, were clearly the main selling points behind the 1940 studio era MGM feature.These versions also seem wrapped up in the idea of escape, of thepast as an innocentsafe haven where contemporary audiences could escape from the horrorsof war. In 1940, aNew York Times reviewer described MGM’ s Pride and Prejudice as, “a picture of a charmingand mannered little English world which has long since been tucked away in ancienthaircloth trunks” (Crowther qtd. in McFarlane 2007a: 5). However, there isa different side tothe MGM version. Appearing at the start of the Second World War, it was likely not acoincidence that MGM chose to adapt a British novel, especially one that portrayed Brits aspeople with a strong and glorious past, and who had the same, day to day, dilemmas as theAmerican people. Mrs. Bennet even briefly mentions the battle of Waterloo, a statement thatis absent from the novel, and which reinforces Britain’s strong military history. This filmbecame one, in the words of Linda Troost, “designed to strengthen the British and Americanalliance at a fragile moment” (76), demonstrating, according to JenniferJeffers, “the modernEnglish language need for popular narratives to bind a diverse nation of people” (4). In this75particular case, the Americanization of a British text is being usedto bind two diversenations, and to create a sense of allegiance between them. In fact, the termHeritage wasactually coined with regard to a number of films in the late 1930s andearly 1940s (of whichPride and Prejudice is clearly one) that drew from aspects of Englishnational heritage in anattempt to rally support for Britain’s War effort (Jeffers 45).MGM’s Pride and Prejudice was certainly not an anomalyfor the studio era.According to George Bluestone, in 1935 alone, one third of the featurefilms produced wereadapted from full length novels (3). Classic literature was a safe choice,as these stories easilyadhered to the content constraints of the Hollywood Production codes,which were inexistence at that time. In general, the industry “showed a strong preferencefor films derivedfrom novels, films which persistently rated among topquality productions” (Bluestone 3). Inthe studio era, fidelity criticism was not as prevalentas it is today, so films were still eager toexplicitly utilize the cultural cache of thenovel in an attempt to legitimize the film. PrideandPrejudice was no exception to this trend. These films,often based on British texts or culture,feature “grand manor houses and idyllic villages thathave not been touched by the modemage” (Glancy 3). Certainly, Pride and Prejudice isevocative of this, but it is also evocativeofthe lightness and frivolity that often accompany studioera comedy films. Even the marketingcampaign is in keeping with this playful quality, wamingviewers, “bachelors beware! Fivegorgeous beauties are on a Madcap Manhunt!” ( Pan-ill 49). This is not a campaignthatwe would ever expect to find accompanyinga BBC adaptation.Between 1930 and 1945, over 150British-inspired movies were made inHollywood(Glancy 1). These films celebrated British cultureand history, featured British castand crewmembers, and many were even shot in Britain atpartner studios.8MGM British, for example,shot at Denham studios. British actors wereestablished there and then recruited to76Hollywood, when the time was right. Greer Garsonis a prime example of this practice, whichinvolved taking established foreign actors and putting them in genrefilms with strong foreignappeal (Glancy 69). MGM, in particular, was known for its British-inspiredfilms in thisperiod. Louis B. Mayer and MGM had been aimingto garner a reputation as a studioassociated with prestige products. They were knownfor their big budget pictures, broughttogether by top stars and high production values (Margolis27), and films such as Mutiny onthe Bounty (Frank Lloyd 1935) and David Copperfield(George Cukor 1934) are strongexamples of this. These types of films were made again andagain, with increasingly biggerbudgets. This fact alone is a testament to their popularity.This appears to have been a timewhen Americans were particularly interested in Britishhistory and culture, or at least filmicrepresentations of it, and MGM capitalized on this.Pride and Prejudice was a perfect film for the studio,completely in keeping withitsdesired image as a studio that was, in the wordsof Harriet Margolis, “proud of makingwholesome family entertainment, films in line withconservative (US) Republican values,butentertaining — and commercially successful — nonetheless”(28). The idea behind thisproduction is said to have come about in 1935when Harpo Marx attended a performanceofHelen Jerome’s Pride and Prejudice:A Sentimental Comedy. He thought the playwould dowell on film and set out to bring it tothe screen as a light comedy with NormaShearer (thewife of producer Irving Thalberg) andClark Gable in the lead roles(Belton 177). Obviously,the film was always meant to be astar vehicle. However, the project fellapart because ofShearer’s initial hesitations and Thalberg’ssubsequent illness and death inSeptember of1936. The project was shelveduntil 1939, when it was picked up byRobert Z. Leonard.British actors Laurence Olivier and GreerGarson were signed to the lead roles.Whencontracts were signed, war had already brokenout in Europe (Belton 178).Choosing to hire77the highly successful British author AldousHuxley and MGM’s Jane Murfin (who wasknown for writing romantic comedies) asco-script writers, was certainly no co-incidence. It,in a sense, created a symbolic union betweenBritish and American ideals, inkeeping withthe project’s goal to rally support for the BritishWar effort. The film itself opens with atitlethat reads, “It happened in OLD ENGLAND,in the Village of Meryton,” which stressesEnglish heritage and the fairy-tale qualityof the story. This line is followed by thecast, whoare listed by house, “those living atNetherfield, those living at Longboum,” etc.Thisopening introduces viewers to the heritagetale that is about to unfold andreplaces “it is atruth universally acknowledged, that a singleman in possession of a good fortune,must be inwant of a wife” (Austen 51), the famousline that opens the text.9One cannot ignore that these ‘British’ filmswere largely economically motivatedand, at this time, the Americanfilm industry was dependent, according toH. Mark Glancy“upon foreign earnings” (7). These filmshad to appeal to a wide audience,one that stretchedbeyond the domestic market. Because ofthe war, and the language barrierscaused by theadvent of talking pictures before that, Hollywoodhad a more limited foreign marketavailable to them. For this reason, makingfilms that would seem to appealto both Americanand British audiences was a choicethat would allow for maximumexposure, and, one wouldhope, maximum profitability. Thewar years, when most of these‘British’ films were made,actually proved to be an era of exceptionalsuccess for the film industry(Glancy 9), as thesetypes of films proved popularin multiple markets. MGM, forexample, had foreign earningsof roughly 34% on the majority of its‘British’ pictures (Glancy 69).This would explain thehigh budgets that were continuallyallocated for British costume dramas.This was, however,a time of great changefor Hollywood. The hiring of Will Hays (aMidwestern Republican ofhigh standing in the protestant Church) tohead the MPPDA was a consciousmove to attempt78to increase Hollywood’s respectability.By the mid 193 Os, the production codewas in fullforce, and high moral values were constantlystressed. As a result, a novel like PrideandPrejudice, which is nothing if not inkeeping with moral conservatism,becomes a perfectchoice for adaptation on multiple fronts.The Hays office was also in charge of,according toGlancy, “protecting the industry’s collectiveinterests abroad” (41). Whatbetter way to dothis than by adapting classicBritish literature, producing filmsthat were both pro-British andpassed the censorship guidelineswith flying colors, due to their focuson traditional andarchaic aspects of British heritage,aspects that proved appealing toAmerican audiences.Pride and Prejudice was popular inits time; when it openedat Radio City MusicHall in August 1940, it drew the largestaudience (during the month ofAugust) that thetheatre had ever seen, ultimately earning $1,849,000(Parrill 56). While it was notone of thelargest successes for MGM, thefilm did well and was rewardedwith an Academy Awardforcostume design at the 1940 ceremony.The film became a symbolfor a perfect past. As EllenBelton notes, “the fact thatsuch a world never existedeither in history or in the novelsofJane Austen only adds tothe poignancy of the inventedmemory and to the intensityof anaudience’s longing to recoverit” (178). Generally, thefilm was critically praised aswell andconsidered to be in the spiritof the novel, using dialogue,spoken with Englishaccents, thatAusten herself might havewritten, despite fairly significantdepartures from the storyas awhole.These departures could be explained,to a certain extent, by thefact that the film isbased on both HelenJerome’s more comedic stageadaptation, and theoriginal text. As aresult of this, and because ofthe fact that the film was marketedas a studioera comedy,comedic elements are playedup. Kitty and Lydia areplayed more for comedy,drunkenlystumbling around the MayDay garden party that replacesthe Netherfield Ball.Mrs. Bennet,79while always an over the top character, isalso heightened in this film, which may,again,have more to do with the actingstyle of the period. In terms of more significantdepartures, inthis film Elizabeth falls in love with Darcyafter her return from Rosings, buther interestbegins at the May Day garden party whichis, in itself, demonstrative of seeminglydelightfulBritish pastimes. As a result, there is no needfor her journey to Pemberley and it,along withthe Gardiners, is omitted. This alsomeans that viewers do not see an overt exampleofDarcy’ s wealth, a display that might,according to Belton, “be unpalatable to a 1940audience” (182), an audience that had justbeen through the Great Depression. Thefilm isquite fast paced and Elizabeth takeslittle time to fall in love with Darcy,which is in keepingwith the studio era comedies. Obviously,the film is fairly short in comparisonto theminiseries, running at just under two hoursand elements of the novel, suchas this visit toPemberley, had to be cut in the interest oftime. Budget concerns would alsohave been anissue, as reproducing Pemberleyin a studio would have been adaunting task.A less obviously explainable departureis found in Lady Catherine’s finalexchangewith Elizabeth. In this film, Lady Catherinevisits Elizabeth at Longbourn, notin an attemptto dissuade her from marrying Darcy, but,instead, to try to determine hertrue feelings. Here,she acts on Darcy’s behalf. Thischange could be attributed to anumber of different factors,the most popular theory beingthat Edna May Oliver (who playedLady Catherine) wanted toremain true to the stern but good heartedcharacters that audiences had cometo expect her toplay (Bluestone 142). It also allowsfor the class barrier betweenElizabeth and Darcy,whichis created at the opening ball, tobe more completely demolished.In this film, the line“I amin no humor to give consequenceto young ladies who are slightedby other men” (Austen 59)is replaced with “I am inno humor tonight to give consequenceto the middle classes atplay,” emphasizing thedifferences in their standing. Ultimately,Darcy comes to realizethat80it is his haughty treatment ofothers that makes him reprehensible. In thisrespect, LadyCatherine’s final act speaks to the attemptsto create a sense of allegiancebetween Americaand England. Elizabeth comes tostand in for America, and Darcy forEngland. In thisversion, in the end everyone is happywith their union, and any class barriers havebeendispelled. Overall, it is a filmtied up in ideals associated with the MGMlabel, stressingfamily values in a way that the novelreally does not.While Elizabeth remains independent,the importance of the familyunit is stressedfrom the opening shot, which has allthe girls and Mrs. Bennet shoppingtogether, to theclosing shot, which pictures Mrs. Bennetlooking out on her girls (who areall with suitablepartners) and uttering, “think of it.Three of them married, and the othertwo just tottering onthe brink.” Throughout the film,the family travels in a pack,which we see even from thecarriage race early on, a scene whichstresses the family as a cohesive unit,while remainingin keeping with the fast-pacedexcitement of studio era films.Elizabeth is much moreprotective of her family than sheis in the BBC versions, even spoon-feedingher mother afterLydia runs away with Wickham,and defending her family to MissBingley at the May Dayparty. Despite the fact that it isDarcy overhearing Mrs. Bennetbragging about Jane andBingley’s union that hinders their blossomingromance, this Elizabethremains very familyoriented. This is not a production thatis about individual fulfillment;it is about what is goodfor the family as a whole,and society by association, anidea that is evocative ofthe conceptof unity in a time of war. Theallies, then, become a family,banding together for thecommongood. Elizabeth is less independent thanshe is in other productions,and independence here isreplaced by a certain degree of masculinization.She often wears ties andher mother choosesa blue dress for Lizzie,and a pink one for Jane. Theseare minimal details,but they do stand81out as a way of setting Elizabeth apart from theother members of her family, while stillmaintaining the more tight-knit family unit.One of the more famous added scenes inthis adaptation occurs when Darcy andElizabeth challenge each other at thearchery range, with Elizabeth ultimately betteringDarcy. Interestingly enough, this filmwould be quoted in the 1996 version of Emma(Douglas McGrath). This is indicativeof the way that adaptations are often shapedby otheradaptations, as opposed to the text itself.For example, it seems clear that there areechoes ofCohn Firth’s Darcy in Matthew MacFadyen’s2005 portrayal. The MGM film is also notimmune to an allusion to other films, as we can seein the choice of costumes. The full skirtsand bonnets are significantly closer to the costumesone finds in the highly successfulGonewith the Wind (Victor Fleming 1939). Thesecostumes become distinctly American,furtherforging the connection between Britain andAmerica, and translating a British sourceinto anAmerican context. This film is, inthe words of Jeffers, modeled “on theAmerican public’sviewing tastes.. .replac[ing] cultural ‘foreignness’with American citations” (13).Accordingto Michael Klein, the women in Prideand Prejudice have more incommon with“conventional Midwestern small towndaughters and matrons” (10) thanthe BritishAristocracy. This attempt to appeal to bothsides is evocative of the Britishwar-time films ofstudios like MGM, films that,according to Glancy, “found favor on bothsides of theAtlantic” (96), as evidenced by their abilityto recoup the high productioncosts. However,after the war, these types of filmswaned, likely because a strong alliancebetween Americaand Britain was no longer necessary,and the return of alarger overseas market meantthatHollywood was no longer entirely dependenton Britain for foreign distribution.The 2005 Pride and Prejudice remainstrue to the tradition of Americanfinanciersproducing ‘British’ products. Thefilm was produced by Working Title’0byway of Focus82Features, which is owned by NBC Universal and is an exampleof a ‘major independent’ filmcompany. In this respect, the film is evocative ofthe American power over the film industry,potentially leaving, according to Higson, “its Britishfilmmakers with little control overthedecision-making process, and may ensurethat much of the revenue generated at theboxoffice goes back to the USA” (7). As in the studioera, many of these studios set upproduction in the UK because of the clear costadvantages. According to Neil Watson,shooting in the UK “is up to thirty percentcheaper than the US” (81). These savingsarefurther increased by various tax write-offs,which act as major incentives. Certainly,American backers profited from the widespreadsuccess of 2005’s Pride and Prejudice,and it is an example of what Tino Balio describesas, “expanding horizontally to tapemerging markets worldwide, by expandingvertically to form alliances withindependentproducers to enlarge their rosters, and bypartnering with foreign investorsto secure newsources of funding. English costumedramas is just one small strand tosuch developments inmedia economy” (qtd in Higson 88).While it seems like a contradictionin terms, Hollywoodhas now commercialized the independentsector and all of the major studiosnow ownoffshoots responsible for independent‘quality’ productions. Heritage filmsare almost alwaysreleased under these independent subsidiaries,perhaps in an attempt to appeal tothoserebelling against big budget studio pictures.These films straddle the linebetweencommercial and independent cinema, at oncebeing financed by largestudios, but appealingto the seemingly independentlyminded.The film is certainly reflective ofso-called ‘quality’ drama,and it was treated as suchby critics, earning award nominationsfrom a variety of different sources,including fourAcademy Award nominationsfor: Best Actress (for Knightley),Best Costume, Best OriginalScore and Best Art Direction. DirectorJoe Wright, who began hiscareer in British television83drama, took home a BAFTA award for MostPromising Newcomer. The film was alsonominated for two Teen Choice Awards for ChoiceDrama and Choice Actress (Knightley).Award nominations tend to indicate which groups ofpeople value a certain film. So,whilethese Teen Choice nominations mayseem to pale in comparison to Oscar nods, they dodrawattention to the younger audience to whichWright’s film was marketed, which explainssomeof the alterations made to Austen’snovel. After all, period adaptations of classicliteraturerarely, if ever, show up on the radar of theTeen Choice Awards. The fact that this onedoes,is significant.In terms of cuts, the film compressesElizabeth’s visit to Rosings and HunsfordParsonage, as well as Pemberley. Lydia’selopement is also dealt with in a very shortperiodof time. In the interest of time, minorcharacters like Maria Lucas, LouisaHurst, Mr. Hurst,and Mr. and Mrs. Phillips, amongothers, are eliminated altogether.The film also altersseveral scenes to contribute to its image asa romantic love story. As a result,the ratherordinary interior location of Darcy’s firstproposal (which takes place insideHunsfordParsonage) becomes an epicoutdoor scene amidst a torrentialdownpour. Similarly, his finalproposal takes place at daybreak on a mistymoor, with Darcy emerging outof the shadows,which is certainly more epically romantic thanthe setting of the country pathin mid-afternoon that one encounters inthe novel. Darcy is pictured quitealone here, in harmonywith nature, connecting him tothe romantic hero who, accordingto Sarah Ailwood, is“solitary and socially detached”(1), and who “seeks self-fulfillmentin nature” (1).Significantly, when we first seeDarcy at Rosings, he is shotlooking out the windownext to abird in a cage (Ailwood 2), emphasizingthe fact that he is trapped,and indicating hispreference for the outdoors, which furtherstresses his position as a romantichero. Perhapsthe most significant example ofromanticism occurs at the end ofthe film, where viewers84watch an intimate moment between Darcy and Lizzie while they sit on the terrace atPemberley. Here, he refers to Lizzie as Mrs. Darcy over and over, which is what hepromisesto call her whenever he is filled with happiness. Like the 1995 series, the final momentof thefilm is a freeze frame shot as the two kiss. While the shots may be similar, the effect isdifferent, as this final shot is far more steeped in romanticism as a result of the scene thatprecedes it. It becomes almost like something out of a teen romance. Interestingly enough,this scene was reserved for American audiences only. It was removed from the Britishversion after test audiences found it to be too sentimental. The theatricalBritish version, then,ends with Mr. Bennet saying, “let them come in, for I am quite at leisure,”which undercutsthe romantic plot as a whole and leaves the final emphasis on thebusiness-side of marriage.The film opens with a shot of the misty English countryside asthe sun rises and, as aresult, the romanticism of the film is firmly established from the outset.The camera thenbegins to track, somewhat expectedly, with Knightley, who is readingas she walks home toLongbourn, dressed in fashions from 1797, the period when Austen firstdrafted the story.Here, as in most of the film, Elizabeth is dressed inearth tones, signifying her connectionwith nature and indicating that she is somewhat wildand unpredictable, very much acharacter in her youth. Tracking shots lead us into a feminine space,the messy, but oncegrand, Longbourn. This is not the Longbourn of the heritageadaptations, or of the MGMversion. This Longbourn, like that of Bride and Prefudice, is messyand unkempt, and it isobviously a farm. Geese and pigs wander around outside(and inside as well, on occasion),workers tend to fields, hay is gathered, laundry hangsto dry; this is a realist take on thetimeperiod. These are certainly not sights that one wouldexpect to find in the earlier BBCadaptations, which sought to glorify the past as a timeof perfection for Britain. There isnothing glorious about the realities of life on a farm.Only after the family and the interior is85established does the camera pull back toreveal the exterior of the house, drawingattention tothe way heritage films portray landscapeand architecture, by doing just theopposite. Here,we work from the inside out, not theoutside in. This is a grittier, althoughnot entirely lessattractive, version, and the Bennets’more rural Longboum makes Pemberleyseem all themore grand. The wealth of the Bennets’is significantly downplayed whenwe compare it tothe 1995 and the 1980 versions (andeven to the novel), allowing the relationshipbetweenDarcy and Elizabeth to take onCinderella-like, fairytale proportions.Like the 1995 version, the film concentrateson the sexual attraction betweenDarcyand Elizabeth, but it does sowithin a realist aesthetic, while stillmanaging to remain true tothe beautiful landscapes and grandhouses of the heritage adaptations.The portrayal of thissexual attraction also shifts slightly.While the 1995 series concentratedon Darcy, thisversion concentrates on Elizabeth.This makes sense in light ofKnightley’ s star status andher ability to draw in ayounger audience, which is what thefilm attempts to do. In thisrespect, according to Carol M. Dole, thefilm takes on elements ofthe teen reworking thatone encounters in BazLulirmann’s 1996 production, Romeo+ Juliet (2007: 1). The title saysit all, just as Romeo andJuliet becomes Romeo+ Juliet, so too does Pride and Prejudicebecome Pride & Prejudice. It is aslight modification, to besure, but it does indicate ashift,and a departure from the original.While this version is notmodernized, and it doesremainconnected to heritage,there is also the sense that it is tryingto be a ‘young andhip’ renditionof the tale. Why else wouldthe film’s advertizing campaignhave used the fact thatit wasbrought to us “by theproducers of Bridget Jones’s Diary”(qtd. in Dole 2007;1), before evenmentioning Austen? ChoosingJoe Wright to direct wasclearly another attempt tocreate ayounger version of the text. Wrightwas just thirty-two at thetime of filming, andhisprevious work (of whichthere was little) was in contemporaryBritish TV drama.With86regard to Pride & Prejudice, Wright is quoted as saying, that he “wanted tomake it real andgritty and be as honest as possible” (qtd. in Dole 2007;1).While the film does have realistic elements, it is stilla romance, and one oftenimbued with elements borrowed from the teen genre. At the assemblyball, for example,Elizabeth overhears Darcy’s slight against her becauseshe and Charlotte are hiding under ableacher-like structure, reminiscent of something outof a John Hughes film, a fact thatWright himself acknowledges on the DVD commentary.There is also more of a sense ofimmaturity in Bingley, something that connects him tothe buddy character of the teen film,the sidekick of the more confident and mysterious Darcy.Like the modern-day Bingley ofPride and Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy (a film clearlymarketed to a younger audience),this Bingley is slightly more simple and bumbling,not altogether confident in his pursuitofJane. Even in the final moments, Bingley isawkward, needing Darcy to help him practicehisproposal speech as they are pictured against the beautifulBritish landscape. This sceneemphasizes both their friendship, and the grandeur ofthe countryside. It is just one ofmanyinstances of, in the words of Dole, “youth oriented filmmakingtechniques, balanced with thevisual pleasures of the heritage film” (2007:1). The large budget, according toJessicaDurgan, allowed Wright to “interpret thenovel more broadly and place greateremphasis onthe grand romantic scope of the story” (1).Elizabeth’s sexual awakening is also inkeeping with the idea of youth. Unlike,forexample, Jennifer Ehie’ s mature womanlyElizabeth of the 1995 version, or GreerGarson’ s,for that matter, Knightley’s Elizabethis still very much a girl, and the storycenters on hergrowth and maturation. Even from theopening, Elizabeth laughs with hersisters and joinsthem in listening in on her parents. She mocksthem slightly, but she is still affectionateandvery much a part of this world, lacking thedecorum of maturity in a way thatJennifer Ehie’s87Elizabeth simply does not. This Elizabeth is often giggling, as we witness whenshe first seesDarcy at the Netherfield Ball, and later, when she catches a glimpse ofPemberley in thedistance. There is an innocence about her and she is not yet sureof how to conduct herself.Knightley is, in fact, the first actress to actually be the correct age toplay Elizabeth Bennet.Interestingly enough, in this version, instead of telling Lady Catherineher age (twenty, inAusten’s novel), she skirts around the issue and, throughout thefilm, she seems muchyounger. This is likely done in an attempt to have her character resonatewith a youngeraudience. Here, we are given an almost teenage Elizabeth, who shoutsat her parents, saying,“for once in your life, leave me alone,” as shestruggles in her move toward independence.She is, quite literally, a younger Elizabeth and, as CatherineStewart-Beer notes, she “has anair of contemporary tomboy about her” (2). She is oftendressed in a more male manner,occasionally seen wearing a vest and collared shirtthat is evocative of Greer Garson’s moremasculine clothed Elizabeth. As in the 1940 production,this costume choice is used as a wayof setting Elizabeth apart from the rest of thefamily without losing a sense of famingunity.There is a focus, in this version, on the anxieties connectedwith moving fromchildhood to adulthood. As Catherine Stewart-Beercomments, “perhaps this anxiety isreflective of the times we live in — undoubtedly acircumspect, uncertain era, when comparedto the past securities and smugness of the optimisticmid-1990s” (2). Ultimately, thisElizabeth does come of age, coming to termswith adulthood and all that it entails.Here,touch awakens feelings that Elizabeth wasinitially not aware of. When Lizzie returns toLongbourn after Jane’s illness, the camera takes aclose up shot of both her, and Darcy’s,hands as he helps her into the carriage. Thecamera then cuts to a close up of Elizabeth,visibly shaken. This is the first moment ofLizzie’s coming of age, awakening tohersexuality, in a reverse of the 1995 series. This is culminatedin her trip to Pemberley. In this88version, when Elizabeth sees Darcy’ s statue (the change from painting to statue, makesit allthe more tangible) she is finally able to realize her attraction to Darcy, and to understandit.She later misinterprets a hug between Darcy and Georgiana and becomesjealous at thethought of Darcy with someone else. This adaptation, then, is about Elizabethcoming toterms with her desire for Darcy, as opposed to Darcy dealing with hisdesire for Elizabeth,which we encountered in the 1995 series. It is also significant that thefilm begins and ends insunrise, showcasing the circle of her growth, from childhood to adulthood.In keeping with the fact that this is Elizabeth’s tale, we oftenwitness shots from herpoint of view, or close ups of her looking, which she isalmost always doing. The sweepingtracking shots of the opening sequence align us with Elizabeth’sperspective and attempt toreplace the novel’s prose, but they also distance usfrom the more static camera of theheritage adaptations. While the viewer of the heritagefilm looks at a distance, in this film,the viewer becomes a more active participant in the film. JoyceGoggin links thisinvestigative perspective to the contemporary video game,where viewers are provided “withthe kinesthetic illusion that they have entered a projectedspace and may explore andparticipate in this technologically mediated space”(4). Wright himself states that he“wanteda 360-degree world, where you could look around anycorner.. .you’re then able to go inandout of doors and in and out of windows and reallysee and feel the environment for a full360-degrees rather than something very static and stage-bound”(qtd. in Goggin 4), which we findin heritage adaptations. This connection to theworld of gaming is just another indicationthatthis film is targeted at a younger demographic, one thatwould see the video gameperspective as the norm.Cinematography also functions as a way of speakingthe narrative. For example, wewatch the servants cover furniture at Netherfieldand know that Bingley is gone without89having to be told explicitly. In this version, the camerais often moving, peaking aroundcorners and into rooms in a behind-the-scenes stylethat stands in opposition to the surface ofthe 1995 and 1980 series. Heritage adaptations are almost photographicin theircinematography, allowing the subject to present itselfwith minimal distraction by using longtakes and deep focus. Here, however, the camerararely stops moving, depth perceptionshifts, and things are always coming in and out offocus. This is reflective of Elizabethherself, and the alteration between her seeing thingsclearly and unclearly. When Lizziediscovers that Darcy is responsible forending the relationship between Bingley andJane, theshot focuses on Lizzie, and Darcy goes out of focus,re-enforcing Elizabeth’s statement thatshe never wishes to see him again and indicating thatshe is shutting him out. According toJessica Durgan, this more creative shootingstyle allows the film to distance itselffromheritage adaptations, “gain its edge, andappeal to a younger and wider audience”(4). Thecamera does look, there is no denying this, but,for example, in the opening sequence,itfocuses on the mess, rather than the grandeurof the Bennet’s possessions. Onewouldcertainly find no messy quarters or scatteredbonnets in the heritage adaptations.Later in thefilm, there is also a sequence where thecamera spins about Elizabethwhile she is on a swing.From her perspective we see the passingof time, and the changing of theseasons, as thecamera continues to spin. This is reflectiveof Elizabeth’s position on theswing, an actwhich, in the words of Durgan, “rejectsthe static pictorialism of theheritage genre and callsattention to the technical aspects of flimmaking”(5). Here, the art offilmmaking is tied to theart ofpainting and Wright oftensets up shots that echo Vermeer’spaintings. The openingscene with Mary at the piano forteis a prime example, and onewhich calls to mind 1662’s,The Music Lesson. These shots emphasizefemale domesticity, whileheightening the artisticmerit of the cinematography.90On the other hand, the film does continue to romanticize thelandscape of Englandand romanticism is certainly a large part of the production. It is, moreoften than not,landscape that is the focus, as opposed to the heritageproductions which tend to focus onarchitecture. Cinematography remains of the utmost importance, but itis about showcasinglandscape and intimacy of space, though it does still often reflect the‘glory of England’aesthetic of the heritage films. The very opening of thefilm, with sunlight slowly filling amisty moor, is deeply embedded in the romantic tradition. This is justone of many scenesthat make use of dusk, or dawn, allowing the camera toshowcase the beauty of light hittingbuildings, or crossing landscapes, but also seeming to bereflective of Elizabeth’s growth andher movement from youth to enlightenment, from darkness to light. Inthe final moments,Darcy and Elizabeth embrace as the sun comes up between them and theyare bathed in lighttogether, indicating that the transformation is complete. The inclusionof scenes of Elizabethon a cliff, looking out as her dress billows in the wind, and of Darcy,emerging from the miston the moors, clearly employ the romantic tradition,emphasizing the sheer beauty of thelandscape. Another example of this occurs asLizzie walks to Netherfield to see Jane. Sheispictured in an extreme long-shot, walking across the frame against acloudy sky, with only alone tree occupying the background. When Elizabetharrives at Netherfield she is disheveledand muddy, with her hair loose and tangled fromthe walk. She looks wild, connectedwithnature in the same way that the romantic herois. The use of overt romanticism andidealismgives the film an escapist feel, aligningit with the 1940 version, both of whichemphasize theimportance of unity in a time of war, and providethe means of escape from theharsh realitiesof the contemporary world. In the end, Durganasserts that Working Title’s coolnew exports“really just reflect old, conservative ideologies,updated and repackaged to attract anew91generation” (8). It is true that the status quo is not ultimately challengedin Austen’s text, soit is unsurprising that the film ultimately reinforces a fantasy that is somewhatconservative.Like the MGM version, the film was made during a time of war, providinga means ofescape to a seemingly simpler place, which might be necessary at such atime. The filmremains true to the relationships between the characters, and in thesame way that the 1940version focused on the importance of family, so, too, does this adaptation.Lizzie and Janebond under the covers and Lizzie laughs and plays with her sisters. Everything isdone toconvey the fact that she is part of a unit, not a complete individual. As isthe case in Chadha’sBride and Prejudice, Mr. Bennet is softer and less abrasive than Austen’sMr. Bennet, or theMr. Bennet that we encounter in both the BBC miniseries. He is oftenshown tending toplants, illustrating the fact that he, like Elizabeth, is close to nature,although his is a morecontained nature that comes with the maturity of age. As Barbara K.Seeber notes, theseproductions “downplay his parental shortcomings. ..and these changesto Austen’s textproduce a family which serves as an image of the nation:united, affectionate, and headed bya benevolent and wise father figure” (1). Thissense of family unity is in keeping withtheemphasis on togetherness during the ‘war on terror,’ atogetherness that is well illustrated byBritain’s support of America, and subsequent entry intothe war in Iraq and Afghanistan, as agesture of unity. The scene of the military parade, ascene that does not exist in any of theother adaptations, is also in keeping with this theme,drawing attention to the heroism of thetroops, a telling message in a time of war.In accordance with the idea of family unity,here, Donald Sutherland, who is nostranger to playing the sympathetic father, as his role inOrdinary People (Robert Redford1980) would indicate, creates a Mr. Bennet who loveshis wife and his family. Added scenesshow him lovingly embracing Mrs. Bennet as thecamera peers through windows to92voyeuristically reveal them in bed together (significantly, with two lovebirds in a cage bytheir window), or comforting Mary after he asks her to stop playing at the Netherfield ball,scenes that are decidedly absent from the novel. Even in the final moments of the film, weare presented with an altogether different Mr. Bennet. When he discovers that Mr. Darcyisresponsible for the marriage between Wickham and Lydia, he says, “my God, I mustpay himback.” This is in stark opposition to the Mr. Bennet of the novel who delights atthe thoughtof not having to pay Darcy back, saying, “it will save me a world of troubleand economy.Had it been your uncle’s doing, I must and would have paid him; but these violentyounglovers carry everything their own way. I shall offer to pay him tomorrow; he willrant andstorm about his love for you, and there will be an end of the matter”(Austen 385). Mr.Bennet is changed, so that a close-knit family dynamic can be privileged.The film also softens its portrayal of Mrs. Bennet. Certainly, she is stillmeddling, butshe becomes significantly less abrasive and she and Mr. Bennet arepresented, for the mostpart, as a unit, as opposed to, in the words of Seeber, “drawing attention tothe separationbetween them by making Mrs. Bennet the butt ofjokes” (3). In thenovel, Mr. Bennet marriesMrs. Bennet because he is “captivated by youth and beauty”(Austen 236), an affection thatfaded when he discovered his wife’s inadequacies of intellect.Here, he is anything butunaffectionate with his wife. This is a family that has cometogether and there is no sense thatElizabeth is ever ashamed of them as she is in the 1995 series (atthe Netherfield Ball, forexample), partly, because she has less reason to be. Mrs.Bennet is not consciously braggingabout Jane’s marriage at the ball, as sheis in earlier versions. Instead, it is presented as a slipof the tongue after having too much todrink, a fact that is re-enforced by her beingvisiblyhung-over in the next scene.’2Even Mr. Collins becomeshis most sympathetic, as one cannothelp but feel sorry for him as he awkwardly stands alone atthe Netherfield ball.93Significantly, the speech wherein he tells Mrs. Bennet that, in light of the situation withWickham, Lydia would be better off dead, is removed completely. Instead, in this moment,the importance of family is once again stressed as the viewer only sees the remaining girlscomforting Mrs. Bennet. This Elizabeth is much more accepting of her family, but her familyis also portrayed as a much more closely knit group. Gone is the individualism thatdominated the BBC adaptations.Here, we are presented with a film designed to showcase Keira Knightley and, as aresult, the production is more heavily skewed towards Elizabeth and changes between the1995 and 2005 versions emphasize the shift from a story about Darcy, to one about Elizabeth.Because of Knightley’ s star status in both the US and the UK, there is no doubt thatthedecision to cast her was, at least partly, economically motivated, as Knightley has proven thatshe can fill theatres. Even in the poster, Knightley is prominent in the foreground,whileDarcy remains somewhat blurry in the background. The DVD cover for the 1995 seriesfeatures Darcy in the foreground, with Elizabeth and Jane seated behind him. In Wright’sfilm, Elizabeth controls the camera, not Darcy, in large part becauseKnightley is a star andMacfadyen is largely unknown. This is a Keira Knightley film, and while I’d guess thatmostpeople asked could tell you that she’d starred in this adaptation, you’d likely behard-pressedto find those who could name the director and screenwriter (Joe Wrightand DeborahMoggach respectively). She becomes the ‘brand name’ associated withthe film. Certainly, asPeter Brooker states, “average flim-goers probably takemore notice of a film’s star than ofits director. Stars or actors are, after all, visible on screenfor approximately two hours,whereas the director merely fronts or ends the credits” (107).Because Knightley is thedriving force behind this production it becomes geared to a slightly youngeraudience, onewho may not be familiar with the 1995 version. Since the 1995version had such a large94following of fans who believed that it would be sacrilege to try and improve upon it,attempting to appeal to a different demographic seems to be a wise choice. However, theseviewers will likely be less familiar with the novel and, as a result, “Austen’ s verbal satirevanishes, to be replaced by jokey or naughty one-liners from the mouths of comic or minorcharacters” (Troost 87). I do not mean for this observation to be a damning one, for the filmis still very clearly Pride and Prejudice; it is simply a different Pride andPrejudice, for adifferent audience, at a different time.The film is also representative of the Americanization of a British text thatwas sopredominant in the MGM version. As Higson states, one way in which “heritagefilms aretailored for American audiences is by inserting ‘America’ into the filmsthemselves” (143).In this case, the presence of American actress Jena Malone, known for her rolesin films likeStepmom (Chris Columbus 1998), as well as more independent fairlike the cult favorite,Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly 2001), yields a distinctly American presence.DonaldSutherland in the role of Mr. Bennet is another non-British connection. Whilehe was born inCanada, he is an actor who has gained an overwhelmingly large presencein Hollywood overthe course of more than fifty years in the industry. Keira Knightly also fits intothis categoryto a certain extent. She was born in the UKand got her start there, but has since achievedfame in Hollywood with films like Pirates ofthe Caribbean(Gore Verbinksi 2003), makingher a household name in both the US and the UK. So,the film remains British, but there is anunderlying American presence.Moving beyond the film as a star vehicle, it isimportant to see it as a product of itstime. While it is challenging to examine something socontemporary, the fact that the film isnostalgic should come as no surprise. Like the MGM production,this film was produced at atime of war. Because this is predominantly America’swar, the desire to create allegiance95between Britain and America, that was so present in the MGM version, is less of a focus.This version is much more centered on a sense of escapism, likely forged in “the context ofpresent fears, discontents, anxieties or uncertainties” (Jeffers 43). Yet, the film remainseconomically driven. In this case, British roots are transformed by non-British funding, andsuccess is measured by performance within the American commercial market.964.3 Contemporary AdaptationsWhen looking at contemporary adaptations, we move awayfrom the setting of theEnglish countryside (where all the other adaptations are set). However, thisshift only provesthat “Englishness does not crumble, it migrates” (Voigts-Virchow 130). WhileBride andPrejudice (Gurinder Chadha 2004) and Pride and Prejudice: A Latter DayComedy (AndrewBlack 2003) appear to move away from the heritage films,there are still connections to bemade. Both films are startlingly different, but both are evocative of John Wiltshire’sdiscussion of the modification of an original text. For Wiltshire,“the end result will not beimitation or mimicking of the original, but a new independent work ofart that can stand incomparison, which perhaps prompts in readers a sense ofdeep similitude or affinity, butwhich rarely resembles the original in any obvious way”(70). Bride and Prejudice can beplaced within the small scale trend of blending Bollywoodand Heritage, of which MiraNair’s Vanity Fair (2004) is another prime example, while Prideand Prejudice: Latter DayComedy blends Mormon filmmaking with the ‘chick-lit’ genre.These films both come out of cultures that value the demure, so the more conservativeaspects of Austen’s work would undoubtedly be appealing. There is nothing racyabout hernovels, and even Charlotte Bronte stated that “passions are perfectlyunknown to her” (qtd. inJones 191). While the 1995 version clearly disagrees with this idea,constantly stressing thesexual tension between Elizabeth and Darcy, it is still fairly conservative in termsof actualphysical intimacy and this is something that works within the more traditionalistvaluesystem contained in both Bollywood and Mormon films. In fact,the films even share similartaglines, emphasizing that Elizabeth and Darcy are a perfect match, albeitin different ways.Andrew Black’s version is a simple and direct, “love has met its match,”while Chadha’s filmsays, “Bollywood meets Hollywood and it’s a perfect match,” emphasizing thecross cultural97nature of the romance. Both stress the significance of marriage, which is of the utmostimportance, both in Bollywood films, and in the Mormon Church. In these taglines,it is theendpoint that is the focus, not the journey. These stand in opposition to the more somberandromanticized tagline of Wright’s version which reads, “sometimes the last person onearthyou want to be with, is the one person you can’t be without,” actually stressingthe fact thatDarcy and Lizzie are, seemingly anyway, an inappropriate match.Bollywood is an adaptive vehicle, adapting everything fromMadame Bovary to theGodfather, and creating an industry that produces an average of 400 filmsa year for a weeklyaudience of 35 million (Nayar 73). Like the world of Austen’s Pride andPrejudice,Bollywood films offer their audiences perfect stories inwhich all conflicts are resolved,leaving only a fairy-tale worthy happily ever after. They, like the heritagefilms, are alsooften concerned with tradition and the past. While Bollywood seemslike a departure fromthe other films, Gurinder Chadha’s Bollywood inspired Bride andPrejudice (2004) has aplace in my argument, as it is a production that is financially connectedto the US and theUK, and is artistically connected to its own cultural milieu. The film wasfinanced by UK andUS backers (including the UK film council) and it is representative ofthe western‘trendification’ of eastern culture which emerged in the film industryin the early 2000s.’3Thepairing of a distinctly British novel with a specific styleof Indian flimmaking is interesting,as it is representative of the global nature of flimmakingculture and indicative of the waythat different cultures can be blended. This filmtakes place across a global stage and was,infact, filmed in both English and Hindi.’4The actionis not confined to Netherfield,Longbourn and Pemberley, but to Amritsar, Londonand Los Angeles. The Bennets becomethe Bakshis, living in a city that was once colonized bythe British. The film plays with theidea of a global culture, and the global film discoursethat began to find importance in the98‘new millennium.’ This becomes apparent in Lalita (Elizabeth) and Darcy’s relationship.Here, the conflict between the two is largely cultural, but the more economic elementsofAusten’ s text remain as the Bakshis (like the Bennets) are a family ofsome importance, whohave suffered economically. The film opens with the Bakshis’ ‘Longbourn,’which is fallinginto disrepair, but was obviously once glorious. While she and her sisters15 preparefor thewedding that stands in for the assembly ball, Lalita is given Austen’s famousopening line,saying, “all mothers think that every single guy with big bucks mustbe shopping for a wife.”From the wedding at the very beginning of the film, the song and dancenumbers ofBollywood cinema are emphasized. The film isclearly a hybrid, blending Bollywoodspectacle with the conservative ideals of Austen’s regency England.However, these twoideals are not as diametrically opposed as one might imagine.The film, then, becomes connected to Edward Said’s theory ofOrientalism, and alsoto the ‘trendification’ of the west, or, as Ananda Mitra puts it,“the browning of the west”(14). The film was made at a time when Indian culture wasextremely popular and isreflective of the romanticization of the ‘other’ that is a staple of Orientalism.Morespecifically, the film becomes reflective of Bollywood’ s westernpopularity, as, according toRuth La Ferla, many are now “embracing Bollywood style,which they might once havedismissed as kitsch” (2). La Ferla also cites theopening of Andrew Lloyd Webber’ s musical,Bombay Dreams, and M.A.C. cosmetics lineof Bollywood inspired make-up, as otherindications of contemporary eastern popularity(2). One might also look to the popularityofpashmina scarves and henna tattoos, amongother things, as examples of theprominence ofelements of the east, in western culture. This trend hasnot lessened since the film’srelease in2004, and Bollywood stars have become morerecognizable forces in the west, manyeventaking part in a tour of Canadian cities thissummer, where tickets sold for as muchas $1000.99In the same way that British talent was coveted by Hollywood during the studio era, so, too,are Bollywood filmmakers and actors becoming desirable international commodities. InMarch 2006, Newsweek’s cover read “India Rising” and a June 2006 issue of Time carriedthe cover “India Inc.” Both magazines devoted a significant amount of space to storiesthatdealt with the popularity of Indian culture and the economic growth ofIndia as a country(Malik 98). Just this year, the popular American show, So you Think you Can Dance,featured multiple Bollywood dance numbers for the first time, and even Canadian-bornMikeMyers has recently expressed a desire to be a part of a Bollywood film (Warner 1). AsAdrian M. Athique observes, “Bollywood is a trend that is taking over the wholeworld”(304).This is certainly not the first time that depictions of India havebeen popular. Duringthe 1 980s, when heritage films flourished, there was also, in the wordsof Hill, a “Rajrevival” (99), perhaps inspired by the Merchant-Ivory productions that began to bemade inthe early 60s.’6This was in keeping with the ideaof depicting Britain as a country that onceruled over a great and powerful empire, of which India was a part. In thesefilms, such as APassage to India (David Lean 1984), there is an emphasis on visualdisplay and theromanticized beauty of India. This remains the case in Bride andPrejudice; however, thisversion is a blending of three different cultures and itis evocative of the more globaldiscourse that surrounds filmmaking. While foreignfilms always found some screen timeinAmerica, there is more and more hybridity and cultural blendingthat occurs in contemporaryfilms, producing products that are suitable for distribution inmultiple markets. In fact, in2002, the British Film Institute organized ImagineAsia,which showcased Bollywood filmsaspart of an Indian summer festival that took placethroughout the nation (Athique 301). Asimilar film festival is taking place within Bride andPrejudice when Lucky and Wickham100run off together. Darcy and Lalita discover them in the theatre and, as the characters onscreen fight, so, too do Wickham and Darcy. Interestingly enough, the film that is playing inthe background is Purab Aur Pachhim (Manoj Kumar 1970), which translates as East andWest, an interesting commentary on the cultural divide that shapes the film.Certainly, this Bollywood film festival does not seem out of place in contemporaryBritain. In fact, the official British travel website even has a section that it devotes to“Bollywood Britain,”7complete with a guide to the UK locations used in Bollywoodfilms,which is similar to another guide on the site that is devoted to the locations used inheritagefilms. Like the heritage films of the 1980s and 90s, these Bollywood inspired festivalsandattractions were designed to, in the words of Athique, promote“the consumption of Indiancultural products by the United Kingdom’s majority white population (301),” and,in doingdo, they became another example of the trendification of the east. Here multiculturalismtranslates to capitalism. Bride and Prejudice, then, seemed like a perfect way tocapitalize onboth the popularity of Austen and heritage and the popularity of, and fascinationwith, allthings Indian.According to Angelique Melitta McHodgkins, “heritage films have becomethe newcarriers of Englishness, and thus bring within them the continuance of England’simperialistmission, selling a glorified history of England from a period when England’sempire was atits height and strength” (3). Bride and Prejudice mixes the heritageproject with Bollywood,in an attempt to produce a film that is neither wholly one thing, nor the other. Thefilm starsthe so-called ‘Queen of Bollywood,’ Aishwarya Ray, inher first English speaking role and italso uses the dance numbers of the Bollywood tradition; yet,it remains, quite clearly, Prideand Prejudice. According to Chadha, she was “onlyinterested in making a Bollywood-styleHindi movie that somehow interacted wholeheartedly with anothercultural tradition, in this101case it was English literary tradition” (qtd. in McHodgkins 20). Chadha herself occupiesthese two worlds, as a woman of Punjabi decent who grew up in Southhall, a suburb ofLondon.The film was marketed as “Hollywood’s first major attempt at integrating the essenceof Bollywood into a feature film” (McHodgkins 22) and, in many ways, according toMcHodgkins, “Bride and Prejudice successfully forces Western audiences to recognize thatanother film tradition exists and is independent of Hollywood” (49). It is significant thatChadha chose to place the Bakshi’s home in Amritsar, rather than somewhere morerecognizable for western audiences, like Mumbai. Those who are familiar withIndian historywill surely know Arnritsar as the site of the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, where,on April13th,three hundred and seventy nine peaceful demonstrators were killed, and anothertwelvehundred were wounded. This occurred when British Indian Army officer ReginaldDyercommanded his troops to open fire on a group of unarmed civilians. More than twentyyearslater, in an attempt to avenge this wrong, Udham Singh assassinated Michael O’Dwyer,(whohad been the Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab during the massacre) whomhe deemed to belargely responsible. While this may seem like a digression, it is interesting thatit finds aplace in Chadha’ s film, as a way of implicating Britain, in itsrole in India’s troubled past.The Bakshis, after all, live on Udham Singh Road. This, then, becomes a Prideand Prejudicethat is not about class, but about culture.Initially, Darcy and his mother Catherine (who is this film’s embodimentof LadyCatherine de Bourgh), see India as a commodity and, in this respect, asMcHodgkins pointsout, they align themselves with “the colonial occupiersof nineteenth and twentieth-centuryIndia” (23), occupiers that do not understand, or care tolearn about, the traditions of India. InDarcy’ s case, this is more about ignorance than anythingelse, but Catherine remains102unconvinced, seeing no reason to visit the real India, since America now has all the Indianthings she needs. Instead, from the comfort of her Beverley Hills hotel,18 Catherine states thatchai lattes and Deepak Chopra are as much India as she wants, or needs. Darcy is ultimatelyshown the virtues of India, but he, too, is initially prejudiced, saying that he “[doesn’t] knowhow business functions [there],” which is indicative of his inability to see beyond his ownfamiliar business practices. It is Darcy’s refusal to be open to new experiences that initiallyfrustrates Lalita. Similarly, it is British Wickham’ s knowledge of India that attracts her tohim. He is eager to learn and has a vast knowledge of the history of Amritsar, andIndianculture. Interestingly enough, when Lalita dreams about Wickham,the dream takes place inthe English countryside, complete with a maypole in the background. She is alsodressed inperiod costume, in an overt reference to Austen’s time, and the heritage adaptationsthatpreceded this film. By the end of the film, Darcy has embraced Indian culture,and is picturedplaying a traditional drum before he and Lalita are married.Throughout the film, characters are painted in a poor light by their rejectionof India.In the novel, Lady Catherine is a social snob and Caroline Bingley and Mr. Collins arebothsocial climbers, longing for a place in the upper class world. In Chadha’s tale,Caroline andMr. Collins (who becomes Mr. Kohli) are made unpleasant orridiculous, as the case may be,by their denial of their cultural heritage, in favor of somethingelse. Caroline sees India asdirty and valueless, preferring her stately, heritage-worthy,British home. When they visitGoa, she is pictured wearing a Burberrybathing suit and visor, which both portray her asridiculous, and emphasizes her preference for British material goods.Kohli, on the otherhand, chooses America, where he thinks anything ispossible. When Kohli arrives at theBakshi’s house, the daughters are lined up, as they are in theheritage adaptations, before theysit down to dinner. Here, instead of preaching morality, Kohli(who owns three Subway103franchises) preaches the value of America, where he believes anyone can succeed. Later,when he asks Lalita to dance, he prefaces it by saying, “I prefer American hip-hop, but,in thewords of Gloria Estefan, the rhythm is going to get you.” At one point Kohli even says,“these Indians, they don’t know how to treat tourists,” to which Lalita responds, “theseIndians? Are you not Indian anymore?” Kohli is made ridiculous by his rejection of hisownheritage, in favor of an American one. Both Kohli and Caroline deny their roots andadoptother cultures, which is a large part of what vilifies them in the eyes of this adaptation,echoing their behavior in the novel but twisting it slightly in order to create a newcontext.In North America and Britain, Bride and Prejudice wasgenerally well received for anindependent film, earning $24 million worldwide’9and receivingtwo British IndependentFilm Award nominations, for achievement in costumes, and production. As inotheradaptations of the text, in this Bollywood-inspired adaptation, place remains amotivator forthe plot, but it is a different place. Not any less romanticized, butdifferent all the same. InOrientalist texts, place becomes as important as character, used as a wayof illustrating the‘otherness.’ I would argue that heritage adaptations of Pride andPrejudice function in thesame way, using the local of Austen’ s England as acharacter itself. Pride and Prejudice,then, is a text well versed in representing ‘otherness’ or, atthe very least, alternativehistories, on screen. Here, instead of the enigma of Pemberley,viewers are presented with“the enigma that India represents” (Mitra 60). There remainsa fascination with the other and,in the words of John Hill, “an interest in the clash ofcultures and the possibility ofovercoming social and cultural barriers” (103).For Said, Orientalism is about Western dominationover ‘the other,’ allowing thewesterner to have a relationship with the East, withoutlosing “the relative upper hand” (Said7). However, while I agree that this applies to many filmsthat portray India, I’m not sure that104it is the case with Bride and Prejudice, a film that was made by a director of Indian decent,and one that features an Indian woman in the leading role. While Darcy’ s perspective isclearly important, Elizabeth is ultimately who the audience is aligned with, as it is herperspective that we see. Darcy sees India as an uncivilized, old fashioned country and Lalitathinks that Darcy could never understand her country, or her culture, and that he is only thereto profit from it. The East is not portrayed as “a site of eroticism, decadence and sexualgratification” (Hill 105), as it often was in previous texts. Instead, Chada is attempting to usethe popularity of Indian culture in the late 1 990s, and early 2000s, as a way of making a filmthat attempts to break down stereotypes about India and its people.Certainly, not all critics felt this way, and for many, in the words of AdrianM.Athique, it is “all about authenticity: that the real experience of Indian cinema can only beaccessed by those who are steeped in its cultural context and its history” (299), and not bythose who are only able to catch a glimpse of it for two hours at a time. Regardless, the filmindustry (in both Bollywood, and Hollywood) remains economically motivated and theIndian film industry is making more efforts to sell itself globally, while Hollywoodattemptsto capitalize on Eastern popularity. By using Pride and Prejudice, a classicalBritish text, andplacing it in a Bollywood context (that also uses both English and American spaces),the filmbegins to occupy a transnational space, evocative of a growing global film discourse.Anything that might inhibit international harmony, on a long term scale, isremoved. Forexample, while Lalita and Darcy’s relationship is initially filled with obstacles, theyare allthings that can be overcome quite easily, with a slight change ofperspective. Larger issues,such as differing religious practices, that might hinder Darcy and Lalita’ sunion, arenoticeably absent from the film. However, overall the film does remain trueto the moreconservative ideals of Bollywood. For example, there is no kiss at the end ofthe film, or any105kisses at all, for that matter, as this is something that is considered taboo in Bollywoodcinema. As recently as 2006, a kiss between Aishwarya Ray (who plays Lalita in thisfilmand who was crowned Miss World in 1994) and Hritchik Roshan in the movie Dhoom 2(Sanjay Gadhvi 2006) caused such a stir that it was brought to court for obscenity. The on-screen kiss was considered to be derogatory towards women. Instead, the various Bollywooddance numbers become a substitute for displays of desire, in the same way that Darcy’sdip inthe pond (in the 1995 series) evoked his need to cool his passions, without this everhaving tobe explicitly referenced. Because of the nature of the novel, even theraciest adaptationsultimately remain quite decorous.As a result, a story like Pride and Prejudice, that does not overtly stress a sexualrelationship between any of the characters, becomes a perfect choice for a Bollywoodadaptation. Because the novel is more dated, the more conservative ideals thatit presents arelargely in keeping with those of Bollywood. Bollywood films stress that anyconflict andtension be resolved in a moral manner before the film ends. According to SheilaJ. Nayar,“release and catharsis must be carefully contained, so that the collective experiencecan bepleasurable and — even as violence splatters or lasciviousness thrusts its way acrossthescreen — moral at its core” (84). Certainly this is the case in Pride and Prejudice,where evenLydia’s indiscretions, which are arguably the most scandalousaspect of the novel, areresolved morally through her marriage.20In general, anything thatmight cause a strongreaction on the part of the viewer is eliminated. Religion, politics, sexuality,2’and class, areall removed from these films (Nayar 76). This would explainwhy the class differences thatcause tension between Darcy and Elizabeth in the novel arereplaced by cultural ones inChadha’ s adaptation. However, the end result remains the same.In Pride and Prejudice, as inall Bollywood, says Nayar, “love, the end product, thesought-after relationship in a film, is106pennissible only insofar as it leads to marriage” (85). It does, of course, do just that, and thefinal joint wedding between Lalita and Darcy and Jaya and Balraj Bingley is evocative of asimilar scene that closed the 1995 version, without the kiss, of course. The importance ofmarriage and family in Austen’s time translates perfectly and plays out on the Bollywoodstage, ending with, in the words of Nayar, “the successful eradication of all tension betweenoneself and one’s immediate family, and between one’s family and one’s future spouse” (86).In this, as in all adaptations, the Bennet family’s (specifically Mrs. Bennet’ s) disdain forDarcy evaporates into thin air once the two are engaged. However, in order to retain theperfect ending, the film is decidedly open ended. Darcy and Lalita appear to have movedbeyond cultural prejudices, but there is no indication of what will happen after the wedding.Where they will live is a question that remains unanswered, as we cannot imagine eitherDarcy or Lalita completely giving up their way of life. Nonetheless, in keepingwith theimpossibly perfect endings of Bollywood films, Bride and Prejudice is able to leave us onlywith the image of Lalita and Darcy riding off into the sunset atop elephants.The perfect conclusion of the novel, and the demure society of19thcentury England,fits perfectly with Bollywood cinema’s strict sexual censorship and the relianceupon, usuallyimpossibly perfect, happy endings. It seems likely that, if the novel is to be modernized,itmust be done so within a more conservative or traditional framework, as the19thcenturycourtship practices that plague Elizabeth and Darcy, and the importance ofmarriage that iscontinually stressed throughout the text, would simply not resonate in amainstream modemsetting. In this respect, we can connect the film to Pride andPrejudice: A Latter DayComedy, as, in both cases, the filmmakers were able to set the action incontemporary timesand, because of religious and cultural restrictions, not appear datedin their depiction of theevolution of a modem relationship.107The updated Mormon version attempts to find a contemporary resonance for an age-old story. 2003’s Pride and Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy (Andrew Black) is directlyconnected to, and financed by, the Mormon Church. As a result, it is more connected toindependent feature production than to Hollywood. Andrew Black’s Pride and Prejudice isdistributed by Excel Entertainment Group, which is a media conglomerate known for being adistributor of Latter Day Saints films, and the film is clearly an example of the phenomenonof LDS flimmaking. This is a surprisingly strong film industry, one which has producedmany films that emphasize the core values of the Mormon faith, and provides an alternativeto the mainstream Hollywood films that their religious practices would deeminappropriate.22The LDS film industry began in the late 90s with the commercial distribution of RichardDutcher’s God’s Army (1999), which is usually credited as the first ‘official’ LDS film. Nineyears later, the industry is increasingly strong. In fact, this year marked the annualLDSfilm festival, running from January16thto19thin Orem, Utah, which had an attendance ofover6500.23In terms of media, the Mormon Church is quite regulatory.Former Churchpresident Ezra Taft Benson is quoted as saying, “don’t see R-rated movies or vulgar videosor participate in any entertainment that is immoral, suggestive or pornographic” ( Stout56). According to Daniel A. Stout, “movies, television, and the internet, forexample, areoften seen as threats to religious identity when they present alternative ways ofexpressingfaith” (50).By creating an insular film industry, the MormonChurch can produce films thatreinforce the values of the faith. The idea of heritage andthe past is something that plays astrong role in the Church of Latter Day Saints, and its importancemakes a novel like Prideand Prejudice, which has so often been used as a meansof producing heritage cinema, avalid choice. The more traditional aspects of Austen’s fiction can also bemaintained in a108modern Mormon adaptation in a way that would be impossible in a more mainstreamcontemporary adaptation. The traditional elements of the story combined with the fact thatthis is a novel that has widespread appeal likely influenced the choice to adapt it. As well,using it may have been motivated by an attempt to produce a Mormon movie that had thepotential to engage a large cross section of the population that included Mormons and non-Mormons alike.Using Austen in a religious context is not limited to the Mormon adaptation. In fact,there are a growing number of Christian Romance novels in the US that reshapeAusten fortheir own purposes and that, in the words of Juliette Wells, “rely on the perceiveduniversality of Austen’ s primary concerns” (1). Debra White Smith, for example,rewritesAusten novels as present day Christian romances, marketed for teens and publishedby theChristian press, Harvest House. Penned by Smith, novels like Austen’s NorthangerAbbeybecome the modern Christian teen romance, Northpointe Chalet. What thesenovels do, saysWells, is use the fact that Austen’ s stories remain compelling, even whenremoved from theiroriginal context and placed in a Christian one, “appealing to anaudience whose reading isguided by faith rather than by an academic understanding of literature”(1). I would arguethat this statement applies equally to Pride and Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy,a filmwhich is clear in its application of Austen, choosing her story because it is so malleableandcan so easily be re-shaped to reflect contemporary Mormon valuesand concerns.The film had a limited theatrical run, earning $377, 000 gross and appearingmostly intheatres in Utah. Its widest release was only 20 theatres, but itremained on those screens for31 weeks.24 Originally titled Pride and Prejudice: A Latter DayComedy, the film droppedthe latter half of the title when it was released on DVD,in an attempt to appeal to a moremainstream audience. On a similar note, the DVD version of thefilm was heavily edited, so109as to remove the more overtly Mormon elements of the film, such has having Collins refer toElizabeth as Sister Bennet, among other things.25 The theatrical version can be accessed onthe DVD, but it isn’t made obvious and viewers have to know that it’s there in order to beable to find it. It becomes something of an Easter egg for the persistent viewer.Despite its ties to the Mormon Church, the film is not without economic motivations(as the attempt to mainstream it for the DVD release would indicate) as the producers hopedthat this would be a Mormon film that would reach a mainstream audience. As a result, theyattempted to capitalize both on the popularity of Austen and her best loved novel (and theheritage genre by association), and the contemporary trend of chick-lit. This is not Austen’ sfirst chick-lit rewrite. In fact, Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones Diary is often credited withlaunching the genre and there is definitely the sense that this film is emulating the referentialquality that one finds in that text. As a result, sly references to Austen run rampant. Lydia hasa pug named Austen, Elizabeth is studying Jane Austen in class, Darcy and Elizabeth dine at‘Rosings’ restaurant, the girls live on Longbourn Street and Lydia and Jack Wickham go to aVegas wedding chapel with a Scottish theme, which recalls the Bennets’ fears that Lydia andWickham have gone to Scotland to marry. The film even makes use of inter-titles withquotations from the novel that pop up occasionally, written on vibrant pastel backgroundswhich further emphasize the fact that this is a chick-lit version of a classic tale. Forexample,we read that “Lydia and Kitty were idle, silly and vain,” before we see themprimping in thebathroom mirror. Later, we read, “how ashamed I should be of not beingmarried before threeand twenty,” a line which speaks to the overall theme of the film. The film alsoquotes otherfilm adaptations and at one moment a character says“men, run for your lives, menstruatingmonsters approaching,” perhaps a twist on the 1940 adaptation’s tagline:“bachelors beware!Five gorgeous beauties are on a madcap manhunt!”110This adaptation is structured in an attempt to capitalize on films like Clueless (AmyHeckerling 1995), but instead of high school, the film is set at Brigham Young University, apredominantly Mormon university in Utah. In fact, the casting call for the film asked for an“Alicia Silverstone-type” to play Lydia and a “Renee Zellweger-type” to play Elizabeth(Woolston 3), connecting the film to both Clueless and Bridget Jones ‘s Diary. Moving awayfrom the more religious overtones, the film becomes representative of chick-lit, makingreference to other films of this genre through casting, and even having the charactersobsessed with the ‘Pink Bible,’ a guide to securing a husband. Elizabeth, then, stands incontrast to the boy obsessed Kitty and Lydia (and even Jane, to a certain extent), who thinkof nothing but marriage. Elizabeth obviously still believes in marriage, but a desire toestablish a career sets her apart from the other characters, in the same way that reading setsAusten’s Elizabeth apart from the other women in her world. When Wickham says, “if yousink the eight ball, I’ll marry you” (while they play pool at a party that combines theNetherfield ball and the Assembly Ball), Elizabeth misses on purpose, emphasizing herdisinterest in the prospect of marriage. Though, in the end, Elizabeth comes to see theimportance and value of marriage.In terms of chick-lit, the DVD producers are explicit, even releasing the DVDin abright pink clamshell with the title written in cursive strokes, both traits that are associatedwith the covers of these novels (Woolstoon 1). In the same way that black covers signifieddetective fiction in France and yellow colors signified murder mysteries in Italy, so,too, havepink or pastel colors come to signify chick-lit in the US. Within the film, themise-en-scene,as well as the plot continues to draw parallels with this genre. Bright colors(predominantlypinks) cover the girls’ house where they bide their time while they try tobalance careeraspirations, school and romantic prospects, all of which, according to JenniferMary111Woolston, are grounded in “the quintessential chick-lit framework” (2). Pride and Prejudicebecomes a useful text because it is all about the socio-economic pressures faced by its femalecharacters, while simultaneously stressing their desires and needs, all of which are also traitsof modern chick-lit. In this respect, the novel is easy to adapt within the chick-lit framework,while still producing a film that fits in with more conservative Mormon values. In the novel,while Elizabeth is liberal and does push boundaries, she ultimately does not stray too farfrom traditional values. This Elizabeth is no exception. She initially rejects the thought ofmarriage and chooses her career. However, at the end of the film Elizabeth marries Darcy,just as she does in Austen’ s story.These are young women, but their Mormon values allow the more dated elements ofAusten’ s story to translate with little difficulty. For example, ancestors and heritage have anessential place in the Mormon faith, as they do in Austen’s novel. Admittedly, in Austen’snovel, ancestral ties are used to determine social positioning in a way that they are not in theMormon Church. Regardless, when Elizabeth mentions that her ancestors are from England,it is both a reference to Austen and her text, and to Mormon culture as a whole. While thefilm does not try to be overt in its Mormonism, it is certainly evident. Even littlethings, likeBingley knowing the origin of Jane’s name points to the culture out of which thisadaptationemerges. The girls are occasionally pictured driving to Church, and Collinstalks extensivelyabout his missionary work, as well as discussing the practice of giving testimony, whichhelater does. Overall though, these are younger, and more liberal, modernMormons. Thesecharacters all continue to live the principle, but Collins and Mary are rendered ridiculousforall viewers, regardless of their religious affiliations, because of theirold-fashioned values.Collins even utters statements like “we’ve been commanded tomultiply and replenish the112earth,” which is set up as a comedic moment in the film, giving Elizabeth and the other girlsan opportunity to laugh at his outdated principles.In Black’s version, the Bennet sisters become roommates and Mr. And Mrs. Bennetare eliminated all together (as are the Gardiners and Lady Catherine). Privileging youngercharacters is a trait of the chick-lit genre, which often “focuses on young, single,professionals (Woolston 2), and it is also evocative of the producer’s attempts to appeal to ayounger audience, in the same way that Clueless did. In addition, the emphasis on marriagein Mormon culture eliminates the need for a Mrs. Bennet on multiple levels. Firstly, becausemarriage is so significant, there does not need to be a character to stress its importance. Forexample, despite the fact that all the characters are supposedly in college together, onlyElizabeth demonstrates any sort of career aspirations. The other four girls are all looking forhusbands above all else. Secondly, the film shies away from showing bad marriages,believing that marriage should not occur at all if it is not, according to the Mormon Church, a‘celestial union.’ In Austen’s text, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet do not a have a particularly goodmarriage, having married hastily in their youth. It is suggested that, according to KathleenAnderson, “his choice of lust over esteem reflects his moral weakness” (1). This is not thetype of marriage that the Mormon Church would want to showcase, as it would undercut thevalues that are at the core of the religion. As a result, their bickering presence is eliminatedall together.In terms of characters, those that are included are presented in a way that is inkeepingwith Mormon values. We certainly do not have the eroticization of Darcyand Elizabeth’srelationship that one encounters in the 1995 (or even the 2005) version andneither the men,nor the women, are presented as sexual beings, which is obviously reflectiveof the moreconservative ideals out of which the film emerged. The fact that these two modern versions113can exist and both remain recognizably Pride and Prejudice is demonstrative of the multiplelevels of interpretation that exist in the novel. Here, in Black’s film, marriage is forcompanionship and family. There is no sense of sexual tension between Darcy andElizabeth,or between Bingley and Jane. There is affection and respect, to be sure, but little more.Bingley is also somewhat of a departure, though his ‘new money’ is emphasized in thisversion, as it is in Austen’s novel. While good natured, this Bingley is portrayed assomething of a buffoon, who made his money by marketing a seriesof musical tapes fordogs, a choice that I cannot even begin to explain. Darcyremains British, so the Englishconnection is maintained, and Pemberley becomes a cottage in the woods that Elizabethhappens upon while trying to escape a storm. It is the simplepleasures of this Pemberley thatentice her, not the grand house and extensive gardens of the heritage adaptations.Like the1995 and 2005 versions, the film retains the emphasis on landscape, but it is not usedwithheritage connotations. The landscape becomes an American one, andthe stress is on thebeauty of nature as an example of God’s creation, using multiple shots of woods,mountainsand desert landscapes to evoke this.The film does deviate from the novel more than any other adaptation, which onecould attribute to it being set in contemporary times (although Bride and Prejudiceis alsocontemporary), but, more than likely, it has to do with the fact that the film isgrounded in thechick-lit genre. In Black’s film, as in Chadha’s, Lydia does not marryWickham. Instead, sheremains single and becomes an author of self-help books.Mary and Collins fall in love andmarry and, while Charlotte Lucas does appear briefly, there isno indication that there is anysort of relationship between her and Collins.In the novel, Charlotte does not marry Collinsfor love; it is not fate, it is a business transaction.However, marriage without love, respectand God’s command, is something that stands in opposition tothe values of Mormon faith,114and the change reflects that. Also, it is likely for this reason that Lydia is rescued frommarrying Wickham. Lydia’s indiscretions with Wickham are played down significantly, andthere is no indication that they’ve slept together. In fact, Darcy’s issue with Wickham doesnot stem from his seduction of Georgiana (who is called Anna in this film). Instead,Wickham is revealed to have a gambling problem and he marries wealthy women in anattempt to support his habit. This re-write is in keeping with the de-sexualisation of thecharacters. In this version, Elizabeth and Darcy are able to save Lydia from a marriage to aman who does not truly love her, once again emphasizing the importance of marriage as aprivileged institution, and not something that can occur if it is not built on strong values.The Mormon faith is a family centered religion, in which marriage is consideredto bea celestial union, and where husband and wife are sealed together through God. InBlack’sfilm, characters like Lydia and Kitty are made foolish because they do not seethe truemeaning of marriage. Wickham, too, becomes a cad, not because he seduces young girls withno plan of marrying them, but because he marries for money and without God. On a similarnote, Jane and Bingley are not broken up by Darcy. Again, because marriage is supposed tobe a celestial union between man and woman, written in the stars by God, breaking up amarriage to be would vilify Darcy. Instead, Bingley breaks it off because hemisinterprets anexchange between Jane and Collins, and thinks that they have become engaged. Alterationslike these may appear small, and, in general, the film is not overt in its Mormonism.However, if one examines the changes made, they tend to center around the issue ofmarriage, stressing its importance and making sure that it is represented in a positive light,and as a holy union. In the final moments of the film, we watch Elizabeth and Darcy’sengagement and the word “amen” is quietly uttered as the credits begin to role.115NotesJane Austen ‘s Pride and Prejudice (Cyril Coke 1980), Pride and Prejudice (Simon Langton 1995), Pride andPrejudice (Robert Z. Leonard 1940), Pride & Prejudice (Joe Wright 2005), Bride and Prejudice (GurinderChadha 2004) and Pride and Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy (Andrew Black 2003).2Reagan and Thatcher actually shared quite a lot, including their modest upbringing in small towns as well assimilar ideals with regards to economic, domestic and foreign policies (Friedman xiii).Austen, while not exactly a Victorian author, did write during a transitional phase and her work represents theshift in literature that occurred between the early 1 800s and the late 1 830s (when Victoria came to the throne).In this respect, I think we can label her work proto-Victorian.Such as Brad Pitt in Thelma andLouise (Ridley Scott 1991).More than likely this technique is due to the fact that the 1940 film is a studio production and exterior shots ofthe open countryside would not have been possible.6They are often shot apart from the rest of the family.Interestingly enough, the emphasis on Darcy’s money is significantly played down in this version, the focusbeing, in the words of Lisa Hopkins, not “on what he has, only on what he is” (117).8This is partially due to British quota regulations, which required that a certain percentage of films exhibited inBritain be made on British soil (Glancy 67).This line is also used to open every other adaptation (with the exception of Joe Wright’s). In all other versions,Elizabeth is given the task of sarcastically uttering some modified form of it.10They are known for producing mainstream films that are highly successful in the United States. FourWeddings and a Funeral (Mike Newell 1994), Bridget Jones’s Diary (Sharon Maguire 2001) and Love Actually(Richard Curtis 2003) are all examples of their work.According to, the film earned over $121 million gross during its theatrical run, which iscertainly respectable for a period piece. It also opened as the number one movie in Britain, earning $4.5 millionthat week, and remained at number one for two additional weeks.12In the same scene, we see Lydia and Kitty drunk, reflective of the 1940 adaptation.13Bollywood/J-Iollywood (Deepa Mehta 2002), The Guru (Daisy von Scherler Mayer 2002), Mystic Masseur(Ismail Merchant 2001), Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair 2002), Bend it like Beckham (Gurinder Chada 2002) andMoulin Rouge (Baz Lurhmann 2001) are just a few of the films that evoke elements of Indian, specificallyBollywood, culture. 2002 also marks the first year that a Bollywood film (Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas) wasselected at Cannes (Athique 310), indicating the genre’s rise in artistic credibility, or at least its morewidespread appeal.14In India the film was released under the title Balle Balle: Amritsar to L.A, eliminating the Pride and Prejudicereference. This version is also 11 minutes longer than the English version. Unfortunately, I have not been ableto locate a copy.15Kitty is notably absent, cut from the film entirely.16Merchant-Ivory is a production company started by an Indian producer, Ismail Merchant, and anAmericandirector, James Ivory. They began producing James Ivory-directed films in the early 1960s. These films oftenfocused on foreigners in India (be they English, or American) and were usually aimed at an internationalmarket.The Householder (James Ivory 1963) and Shakespeare- Wallah (James Ivory 1965) are two early examples.Merchant-Ivory also acted as the US distributor for the, highly regarded, Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray1955),as well as many of Ray’s subsequent works, in an attempt to bring an Indian film great to awider audience.While their greatest successes can be attributed to adaptations of British novels (specifically those of E.M.Forster), like Howards End (James Ivory 1992), their early films forged the way for future, heritage themed,productions, involving India, America and Britain.17Found here: http://www.visitbritain.caJthings-to-see-and-do!interests/films/bollywood-britainlindex.aspx18This is meant to represent both Pemberley and Rosings, since, in this version, LadyCatherine has becomeDarcy’s mother, and not his aunt.19Source: boxofficemojo.com20Both Bride and Prejudice and A Latter Day Comedy choose to have characters intervene,preventingWickham from taking advantage of Lydia (or Lucky) in any way, thus eliminating thesense of scandalaltogether.21The violent reaction to a film like Deepa Mehta’s Fire (1996) is indicative of the fact that themajority ofIndian audiences are not comfortable with seeing these kinds of themes representedon screen.11622For example, the members of the Mormon Church are cautioned against viewing R and PG-I 3 rated films(Stout 55).23 o.com25For my purposes, I will be referring to the theatrical version, as I consider this to be the original. However,the differences between the two are generally quite minimal.117Chapter Five: Conclusion“We must cut our coat, according to our cloth, and adapt ourselves to changing circumstances.”- William Ralph Inge -“Finally, in conclusion, let me say just this.”- Peter SellersAdaptation is a process that has occurred since the first organisms. Things are,andwere, always shifting and changing, forced to modify themselvesin order to keep up withchanging situations. One might argue that I have not been speaking aboutscientificadaptation, about an organism growing and evolving to suit changing surroundings.However, to a certain extent, that is exactly what I have been doing. Adaptation,in all itsforms, is done to suit the needs of an environment, whether it be biological in nature,orotherwise. Adaptations of stories have been told since language was first used. Ashumanbeings, we long to re-tell and re-create stories that we have enjoyed. Because of this,storiesare passed down from generation to generation, never remaining exactly the same,changingever so slightly, at the discretion of the storyteller. You wouldbe hard pressed to fmdsomeone who was critical of this oral tradition, or about the adaptation of these storiesintoplays or novels. Why, then, does the adaptation of literature to film yield results thatare sooften hostile?We do not judge organisms for adapting to suit their environment,so why should wecriticize stories for doing the same thing? Admittedly, I am being somewhatfacetious here,but it is only to illustrate my point. The trend of fidelity criticism that has plaguedadaptationstudies is one that has little to offer. Questioning the validity of adaptation,or asking whetherit is a process that can ever be done ‘properly,’ are simply not questions thatcan be answereddefmitively. They are subjective. What one person considersa perfect and faithful adaptation,another might find to be completely inadequate. Judging the filmby its closeness to the text118is, ultimately, ineffectual, as two such different mediums cannot possibly be used to createperfect reflections of one another. The film is different from the novel; there is no gettingaround this. However, if we choose to see adaptation in a more scientific sense, and looktowards its literal meaning, there is much more to be discovered therein. Adaptation, bydefinition, involves change, so we must expect this when watching a film that attempts totake a written medium and turn it into a visual one. It is also a process that occurs when anorganism needs to change in order to meet the needs of a new environment. To a certainextent, film, as a medium, is this new environment. However, it is also made up of thehistorical, political, regional, economical and cultural trends of a particular time period.Therefore, each adaptation is different, partially because they are adapting themselves to theirown new environments, while still remaining recognizable, and reflective of their source.Initially, the choice to tell and re-tell stories was motivated by the desire to entertainand amuse others and to keep history and customs alive; it was a social activity. However,since the advent of commerce, entertainment became a marketable commodity. Since then,providing entertainment has become a legitimate career for many people in many differentcapacities. Storytellers, like Shakespeare for example, made their livelihood by providingdiversions for the masses to consume. These were not necessarily stories that people wereunfamiliar with, but they were, nevertheless, presented in a new form. All stories are, to acertain extent, adaptations of others, changed slightly to accommodate new needs. Austenherself told stories of classic love and romance; she was not creating revolutionary content byany means and she, too, as an unmarried woman, was well aware of the economic nature ofthe written word.The commodification of the story has done nothing but increase over time,indicatingthat the choice to adapt is first and foremost economic. Obviously it is popularstories that are119selected because they are economically viable; the two go hand in hand. Arguably, in mostcountries, film now dominates mass entertainment, and has done for a long time. In this era,it is no longer one writer who seeks to capitalize on re-inventing a popular tale. Producers,actors, agents, publicists, screenwriters, directors, studio executives, and a whole host ofothers, rely on the popularity of films to make their living. Adaptations have proved to besuccessful (though not without criticism, to be sure), drawing audiences who are interested inboth the original tale, and its re-invention. When adapting novels in an industry where somuch money is on the line, the selection process is of the utmost importance. Best sellers,popular authors, and classic novels that have been consistently well regarded, makeintelligent choices economically because they have proved to be viable commodities in othermediums. Finding texts that satisfy all three of those stipulations is rare, and those that do areadapted time and again because they have proven that they can consistently fill seats fromdecade to decade. It is clear that Jane Austen produces such texts.Jane Austen, while popular in her own time, has become a veritable celebrity in ourown, gracing magazine covers and inspiring films based on what is known of her life. In thenearly two hundred years since her death, Austen has managed to acquire cult status. She isalso the subject of countless academic texts, dating from the 1 900s to the present, not tomention the fact that JASNA (The Jane Austen Society of North America) has members fromall over the world, and is responsible for producing Persuasions, an annual journaldedicatedexclusively to a study of Austen and her work. As a result, Austen occupies a uniqueposition, finding a place in both the scholarly world, and the world of popularculture. Herability to appeal to a wide cross section of the population means that adaptations of herworksare liable to be financially lucrative, a fact the producers are likely well aware of.Austen’s120work also produces so-called ‘cinema of quality,’ appealing to studiosand networks (like theBBC, for example) that are typically associated with this kind of fare.In addition to her cult status, Austen’s works lend themselves tomultiple adaptationsbecause of their easily relatable themes and the sense of escape that theyprovide, which onlyincreases her value in the eyes of producers. Pride and Prejudiceis Austen’s most popularnovel, and it is a perfect example of the ‘happily-ever-after’ worldthat she provides for herreaders. This novel is not an epic work. Despite the fact that Austenwas likely writing andrevising during the Napoleonic Wars, she avoids the topic of war almostaltogether. Instead,she provides a safe haven in a world where the story is about theordinary, every-day lives ofher characters. For contemporary audiences, this seeminglysimpler past provides a nostalgicescape from our own uncertain times. So, economically, adapting thisnovel (and all of herother novels) remains a relatively safe choice, a wayof enticing people to see the film, bothbecause of the popularity of the novel, and of previousadaptations. However, whileeconomics is a large motivator in the decision to adapt, it is not theonly factor. Beyondeconomics, filmmakers will look for texts that supporttheir own individual vision. Austen’sPride and Prejudice is known for being an interpretive text, supportingmultiple readings. Itis, at once, a classic love story, a proto-feminist text,a novel about class, wealth, economics,marriage (and the politics associated with it), and anumber of other things. Individualreadings can privilege different elements, but still berepresentative of the novel as a whole.This is a story that is easily molded to reflect theindividual wants and wishes of itsreader,making it a perfect text for adaptation. Ultimately, thenovel’s proven popularity (andAusten’ s, by association) is used as a means of attractingaudiences, and its interpretivenature allows filmmakers a great degree of creative freedom toreflect the particular needsand desires of their own time.121The source text is clearly important, and there is no doubt that a Jane Austen noveland a Ernest Hemingway novel will create altogether different films. However, theadaptations themselves, ultimately say more about the cultural and political moment and thepreferences of a particular audience, than they do about the source material. This is not to saythat any text can replace Pride and Prejudice in the hearts and minds of its readers, andviewers. Undoubtedly, it is Austen’s cultural capital and her overwhelming popularity thatmotivate the decision to adapt in the first place. Adaptations of Austen have proved, quiteconsistently, to be both critically and economically successful, a veritable match-made-in-heaven for producers. However, once this text is in the hands of the filmmaker, it yields tohis or her will, retaining Austen’s basic framework, but becoming more about the desires andneeds of its particular era and/or culture, and leaving behind those of regencyEngland.Certainly, many of these desires remain the same, as another reason why Austenremainspopular is because the themes she deals with are so eternal. However, theoverall picture ofthe films, and the elements of Austen’ s text that are privileged, or left out,ultimately tells usabout the historical, political, economic and cultural concerns that wereimportant when thefilmmaker was creating his or her version of Pride and Prejudice.When I use filmmakerhere, I am being somewhat purposefully evasive, because I think that,in terms of filmmakingin general, both the director and the screenwriterhave a fair amount of creative power whenit comes to what we ultimately see on the screen.Obviously, editors, actors,cinematographers, etc. all play a role as well, and it is probably best tosee films ascollaborative entities, making them even more a product ofthe society in which they werecreated.Certainly, the six adaptations that I have examined can all beplaced, quite firmly, inthe cultural tradition or historical moments out of whichthey emerged. Whether they reflect122desired wartime alliances with Britain, conservative heritage values, individualism and redefined gender roles, family unity in a time of war, the culture clash between east andwest,or the traditional values associated with Mormonism, these films all use Austen’s text in verydifferent ways. However, despite the fact that the films themselves are so different, it wouldbe impossible for anyone who had read Pride and Prejudice to watch these films andremainunaware of the source material. In the end, each film has a different goal, but Austen’stext isso malleable and enduring that it can adapt to all of these goals, whilestill proving to beentertaining, economically viable and recognizably Austen.123FilmographyBecoming Jane. Dir. Julian Jerrold. With Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy. 2 Entertain,2007.Bride and Prejudice. Dir. Gurinder Chadha. With Aishwarya Rai and Martin Henderson.Pathe Pictures International, 2004.Bridget Jones’s Diary. Dir. Sharon Maguire. With Renee Zeliweger and Cohn Fifth. StudioCanal, 2001.Emma. Dir. Douglas McGrath. With Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam. Miramax Films,1996.The Jane Austen Bookclub. Dir. Robin Swicord. With Kathy Baker, Hugh Dancy and MariaBello. Mockingbird Pictures, 2007.Jane Austen’s Emma. Dir. Diarmuid Lawrence. With Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong.Meridian Broadcasting, 1996.Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Roger Michell. With Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. BBC, 1995.Mansfield Park. Dir. Patricia Rozema. With Frances O’Conner and Jonny Lee Miller.Miramax Films, 1999.Miss Austen Regrets. Dir. Jeremy Lovering. With Olivia Williams and Greta Scacchi. BBCFilms, 2008.Pride and Prejudice. Dir. Robert Z. Leonard. With Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier.MGM, 1940.Pride and Prejudice. Dir. Cyril Coke. With Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul. BBC,1980.Pride and Prejudice. Dir. Simon Langton. With Jennifer Ehle and Cohn Fifth. BBC, 1995.Pride and Prejudice. Dir. Andrew Black. With Kam Heskin and Orlando Seale.BestboyPictures, 2003.Pride and Prejudice. Dir. Joe Wright. With Keira Knightly, Matthew MacFadyenandRosamund Pike. Focus Features, 2005.The Real Jane Austen. Dir. Nicky Pattison. With Anna Chancellor andGilhian Kearney.BBC, 2002.Sense and Sensibility. Dir. Ang Lee. With Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. ColumbiaPictures, 1996.124BibliographyAilwood, Sarah. “What are men to rocks and mountains? Romanticism in Joe Wright’s Pride& Prejudice.” Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal On-Line 27.2 (2007): 1-3.Anderson, Kathleen. “The Offending Pig: Determinism in the Focus Features Pride &Prejudice.” Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal On-Line 27.2 (2007): 1-3.Andrew, Dudley. “Well Worn Muse: Adaptation in Film History and Theory.” NarrativeStrategies: Original Essays in Film and Prose Fiction. Eds. Sydney M. Conger andJanice R. Welsch. Macomb: Western Illinois University Press, 1980. 9-19.Ashby, Justine and Andrew Higson eds. British Cinema, Past and Present. 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