"When this popped up in my Netflix queue, I was excited because I'm quite an Austen fanatic, and have most of the DVDs of the various adaptations. I had never watched this particular BBC adaptation, and so was eager to watch it before purchasing it. I found this to be a tepid adaptation of Austen's classic and the worst of all the adaptations. My ranking of the various adaptations of Sense and Sensibility as as follows: The movie version starring Emma Thompson (1995) - there's nothing I dislike about this adaptation:) Sense and Sensibility (BBC, 2008 - haunting score, beautiful cinematography, faithful in most respects, and excellent casting, especially the role of Elinor, which was played by Hattie Morahan) Sense and Sensibility (BBC, 1981 - very faithful to the novel, but the actors are not very appealing)
This 1971 BBC adaptation is truly pathetic - the acting by some of the characters seem over the top, and the portrayal of Sir John was truly annoying. The actor playing Willoughby was the least attractive of all the Willoughby's in the various adaptations and I felt he was horribly miscast. The actors playing the sisters, Elinor and Marianne were well-cast, especially the character of Elinor, portrayed by Joanna David, who coincidentally went on to play Elizabeth Bennet's (Jennifer Ehle) aunt in the iconic 1996 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Joanna David's Elinor is sweet and sensible, and shines in her role. The other notable actor was Patricia Routledge as Mrs Jennings. Routledge went on to attain fame in her role as the pompous Mrs Bucket in "Keeping Up Appearances".
The feature itself runs about 3 hours, and there are some changes in the dialogue compared to Austen's novel. The props and setting give this production the appearance of being a theater production, and some of the actors appear stilted and awkward in their roles. I think I will still purchase this, if only because I wish to have a collection of all the various adaptations of Austen's works, but I have to say that this is the worst adaptation of Sense and Sensibility compared to the others I have viewed."
Very good adaptation
L. B. Bridges | Fayetteville, PA USA | 10/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We have all the existing Jane Austin DVDs. Had to get this one too. I liked it very much. Always like to see how different actors/directors handle Miss Jane. Joanna David is great as Elinor. Robin Ellis is as colorless and shy as I think Miss Austin wanted him to be. No wonder Marianne was underimpressed. The filming is very old style Masterpiece Theatre similar to The First Churchills. It's a bit stagy, but a very good, satisfying version."
Michael Eldicott | Cyprus,ex. UK | 10/21/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This 1971 production is the first of the BBC's 3 adaptations of Sense & Sensibilty and as far as I am aware is presented here on DVD for the first time. It's a passable effort, the casting could be better and it has a somewhat stagey feel, but overall is alright but not outstanding. It runs for about 3 hours, the video and sound quality are excellent and it has subtitles. It's presentation on DVD is marred by advertising and the failure to edit out the inter-episode credits. Probably only for Jane Austen die-hards. Now, what about the 1967 version of Pride & Prejudice (with Celia Bannerman and Lewis Fiander)?"
A classic, not well done
D. N. Stewart | Hot-lanta, Georgia | 02/07/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The problem with dong well-known classics is that there is a level of expectation based on other productions; although this is a BBC production, it does not rise to the level of other films. The acting is hesitant, the lines delivered teleprompter fashion. There seems to be little interaction between the characters who are in the scene together, but could well be on their cell phones the way the lines are delivered. Sorry to pan any Austen story, but there it is."
Sense and Sensibility Review
M. Butler | Denver, CO | 01/19/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm collecting as many video dramatizations of Jane Austen's novels as I can lay my hands on. I particularly prefer the "older" BBC versions to some of the newer because of the longer run times ... meaning there is more of the book on the screen. And the British are renown for being "faithful" to their dramatization of classic literature. Although the actors are certainly older than the characters they are portraying, I still liked this version being familiar with so many of those actors from other Masterpiece Theatre and/or BBC productions I've viewed on PBS over the years.
This nearly three-hour version features "salad days" performances by Joanna David, Patricia Routledge, Robin Ellis and Clive Frances (adversaries in the POLDARK mini-series) and when you factor in that this 1971 mini-series had never aired in this country made it a "must" purchase. I was not disappointed, and would recommend it to other Austen addicts like myself."