Wait for Extra Special Edition
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This BBC/A&E production is one of the most well made films my wife and I have ever seen - superb acting, costumes, sets and location, music, directing, editing!! Like others here, we have watched the A&E VHS edition over and over. (It is a 'chick flick', but I enjoy romantic movies, too.)Our excitement over getting the DVD faded upon loading both the VHS tape and DVD and comparing the images and sound. The widescreen image on the DVD is definitely more clear on our 50" high res screen, and it is a pleasure to see the full images framed as the Director intended.HOWEVER, the colors are not just washed out. The digital remastering has changed the color tone of the film as if someone used a Photoshop/Premier digital filter without knowing what they were doing. The VHS and original not only had rich color saturation, but also had a warm tone that felt 'right' with the period film. The DVD is not only washed out, but has a strong blue-white tone to it that gives a cold modern feel to the scenes.To get the image to look close to decent on our TV, I had to turn the color saturation up as far as it would go, bring the contrast down and the brightness up. It then almost matched the VHS images except for the blue-ish rather than warm overall cast.The sound is tinny, much of the lower frequencies that are on the VHS sound track being chopped off.There are no subtitles at all (we frequently turn them on for other DVDs when we cannot quite make out the dialog) - much less alternative language tracks.So, why is this edition 'Special'? The only additions, other than the abysmal digital remastering (digital destruction) are:
(1) an 8-page booklet (that mentions only 3 of the actors)
(2) some text-only biography screens, that mention only 2 of the actors
(3) a 20-some minute 'making of' feature that gives the producer most of the credit (and she did of course put the team together, but the director/editor/actors/choreographer/costumers/etc produced the art) - and which still only visits with 4 of the actors - out of this tremendously talented cast.What was supposed to be a 'special' Christmas gift, ended up being a tremendous disappointment. We can only hope that A&E and BBC will produce an 'Extra Special' edition that gets the color and sound back to the director's intention (did he even get to review this DVD?). That, and a rebate for all of us who bought this defective edition, would make us happy enough. Adding subtitles, profiles of everyone else involved in the production, and stills of the various homes, heritage buildings and towns used would be (delicious, but optional) gravy."
A marvelous adaptation of one of the great novels.
Leonard L. Wilson | Springfield, OH USA | 10/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This A&E/BBC miniseries is a true masterpiece, bringing Jane Austen's most popular novel to life in a near perfect production. It has everything: authentic Regency Period atmosphere, costumes, settings, a beautiful musical score, excellent performances by a well-chosen cast. Andrew Davis's script does full justice to Austen's original. Colin Firth is excellent as Mr. Darcy, but Jennifer Ehle just takes my breath away with her magnificent performance, which catches every nuance of Elizabeth Bennet's character exactly right in every scene. It is a pleasure to watch all 4 1/2 hours straight through again and again. As a longtime devoted admirer of Jane Austen's works, I am very critical of any movies based upon her novels, but this has to be one of the very best adaptations of any major literary work."
Convenience outweighs loss in color
L. Mesinger | New York, NY | 10/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a huge lover of Pride and Prejudice. I lost track of how many times I've seen the VHS version (I taped it off of A&E and then bought the tape set). It is a superb production; the acting, production, screen play and scenery are fantastic.The problem with the VHS versions is that the one taped from A&E has a lot of the scenes cut out, and the box set keeps you switching tapes and fastforwarding through the commercials every 50 minutes. The DVD is much more convenient and even includes extra scenes (more like extra lines to a few scenes, something only a huge fan would notice).It is true that the DVD contains no subtitles, which is a big disappointment, because there is a line or two where I never could figure out what is being said. I didn't notice the sound difficulties pointed out in other reviews, but the color is washed out. I had to adjust the "picture mode" on my television and it's still faded somehow. The DVD extras are nothing special, and I was disappointed not to find any interviews with the main characters (I wanted to see how they look "normally.") In spite of these small problems with the DVD, I highly recommend it for all P&P lovers. The convenience of only having to get up once (and you probably don't watch the whole thing in one sitting anyway) plus the 5 minutes or so of extra footage make this DVD a must. Factor in that it is actually cheaper than the VHS set, and there's no question. Simply adjust the settings on your television before watching, and settle in to 2 hours and fifty minutes of continuous Jane Austen."
Not a high quality DVD...
Dianne Foster | USA | 06/12/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Pride and Prejudice" is one of the top 10 novels ever written. The BBC miniseries with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle is the finest adaptation to date. The actors are superb. The screen play is accurate, comprehensive, parsimonious, and entertaining. The dialogue is beautiful and preserves much of Jane Austin's witty and wry commentary. The cinematography is superb. The film was shot in authentic locations all over Britain.I thought the film adaptation by the BBC and A&E was so fine, I bought the VCR tapes when they were released, then I bought the lazer disk version, and then I bought the DVD version. The DVD version is a big fat disappointment. The quality of the DVD transfer is NOT good. First, the colors appear faded and with the Regency English palette of beige-greens, browns, ambers, and taupes, this is a serious defect. It makes the clothing look worn, the grass and trees look sunburned, and some places, the complexions look downright washed out. The film appears to have been shot in Arizona at high noon instead of England. Second, for some bizarre reason, the DVD processors nipped and tucked some of the original material. The clipped portions might not bother one who has never seen the original--but I noticed. There was no need to edit this film. Four of the 50-minute sections are crammed on disk 1 (where the editing takes place) and the other two were recorded on disk 2. I guess it would have made too much sense to record three episodes on each disk? Seems like poor planning to me.For the price of this 2-disk DVD package, more care should have been taken with the transfer process. My lazer disk version cost less, holds more, and has beautiful resolution."