Pride and Prejudice (1980) Trivia Challenge

Pride and Prejudice (1980) Trivia Challenge

Many Austen Authors’ readers declared this adaptation their favorite four weeks ago. Starring Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul in the lead roles, it was a product of a former era, filmed on videotape with the interior shots primarily done in studio sets. The dearth of interviews and articles online about this production is lamentable, so I included a few points of interest about the careers of the two lead actors to bring the list up to ten.

Quiz:

  1. What did screenwriter Fay Weldon say she hoped would be the outcome for viewers of the 1980 production of Pride and Prejudice?
  2. Which county in England stood in for the outdoor Hertfordshire locations?
  3. What attribute did Fay Weldon, the screenwriter wish to highlight in Elizabeth Bennet to attract Mr. Darcy?
  4. Which prior Austen adaptation was the greatest source of re-used costumes in the 1980 Pride and Prejudice?
  5. What artistic medium features in the illustrations shown at the beginning of each episode?
  6. How was Elizabeth Garvie recruited to audition for the role of Elizabeth Bennet?
  7. How did Elizabeth Garvie perceive Elizabeth Bennet in comparison to herself?
  8. There was only one scene in this adaptation that wasn’t directly from the novel. Which one was it?
  9. Elizabeth Garvie was cast as a well-known personality in the 1993 biographical production, “Diana: Her True Story.” Who did she portray?
  10. David Rintoul was cast in the 2011 season of the HBO series “Game of Thrones.” Who did he portray?

Let’s see how you did!

10.) Arts and allurements to draw us in – In an interview with screenwriter Fay Weldon, she shared her hopes for the series in terms of the target audience.

“I hope it makes Pride and Prejudice accessible to those who might never have read the book and pleasurable for those who know it well.”

9.) The opposite of type casting –  Elizabeth Garvie played one of the most beloved characters in classic literature as Elizabeth Bennet. She was ironically cast some thirteen years later in the role of a real-life character who was, at the time, not viewed with much sympathy. As Camilla Parker-Bowles in the 1993 biographical production of “Diana: Her True Story,” she acted the part of the third-party that is often blamed for the breakdown of the marriage between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.

8.) First Impressions – At the beginning of each episode, during the opening credits, the background contains delightful watercolor cartoon depictions of scenes in the upcoming episode. These tableaus are in the style of Thomas Rowlandson, who was a contemporary of Jane Austen. These not only depict scenes from the episode but reveal something of the characters they portray and are worthy of attention in their own right.

A portion of the tableau for Episode 1.

7.) Do you know where you are? All three of the outdoor scenes representing Hertfordshire locations were filmed further north, in Lincolnshire county. West Vale Hall was used for Netherfield Park, Thorpe Tilney Hall was the site for Longbourn, and the vast gardens supposedly behind the modest Lucas Lodge, where Collins proposes to Charlotte, are on the grounds of Doddington Hall. Renishaw Hall, which served as Pemberley, is in Derbyshire.

Thorpe Tilney Hall as Longbourn.
West Vale Hall (on a rainy day) as Netherfield Park.
The gardens of Doddington Hall made the grounds of Lucas Lodge appear as a grand and romantic spot for a hasty marriage proposal.
Renishaw Hall as Pemberley.

6.) Elizabeth on Elizabeth – Elizabeth Garvie identified with Elizabeth Bennet, saying in an interview:

“I think we’re very alike. Elizabeth Bennet is such a determined person. She’s absolutely honest, says exactly what she thinks. I can’t cover up if something isn’t the truth or isn’t honest, either. She’s Jane Austen’s liberated woman. She knew what she wanted, but she lived in a time when you couldn’t be so radical and outspoken as you are today.”

In a different interview, however, when asked if there are similarities of personality between herself and Elizabeth Bennet, she modestly answered,

“Oh, I don’t think I would presume that! I hope I have a sense of humour. She certainly has one, although it fails her sometimes.”

Elizabeth Garvie as Elizabeth Bennet.

5.) The Regency closet – Numerous costumes used in Pride and Prejudice (1980) were first seen in the 1972 production of Emma, starring Doran Godwin in the title role. I selected just a few of the matches to share. I’ll let you decide who wore it better.

Emma vs Jane Bennet in a brown pelisse and bonnet.
Jane Fairfax vs Elizabeth Bennet in a blue military-style pelisse.
Mrs. Hurst vs Emma in a blue gown with a floral embroidered bodice and sleeves.

4.) The other King David – Actor David Rintoul, who portrayed Mr. Darcy, has a long and distinguished acting career that spans the genres of stage, television, film, radio, voice-overs, and audiobook narration. There isn’t room in this post to do justice to the breadth of his work, so I selected two that illustrate his range. On the lighter side, he is the voice of Granddad Dog, Dr. Brown Bear, Mr. Bull, and Monsieur Donkey in the beloved children’s animation “Peppa Pig.” On the darker side, he played “The Mad King” Aerys Targaryen in the HBO series Game of Thrones.

David Rintoul in Peppa Pig. Photo Credit: IMDB.com
David Rintoul in Game of Thrones. Photo Credit: IMDB.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.) Elizabeth Bennet’s edge – Fay Weldon, in describing the trait held by Elizabeth that caught Mr. Darcy’s attention, said that it was,

“Audacity rather than compliance.”

Elizabeth’s monologue after she has accepted Darcy’s second proposal emphasizes this.

“My beauty you had earlier withstood. As for my manners, did you admire my impertinence? You were sick of civility, I daresay. Of deference, of officious attention. I aroused and interested you because I was so unlike the rest. I did not want your approbation. There. I have saved you the trouble of accounting for it, and all things considered, I begin to think it perfectly reasonable. To be sure, you know no actual good of me. But nobody thinks of that when they fall in love.”

Elizabeth explains to Darcy why he fell in love with her.

2.) Lady most fowl – Screenwriter Fay Weldon shared that the only part of the screenplay that wasn’t straight out of the novel was Lady Catherine explaining to Charlotte Collins how to get hens to lay eggs in the winter.

Lady Catherine – chicken expert.

1.) The right face at the right time on the right wall – Elizabeth Garvie was a virtual unknown when she was cast to play Elizabeth Bennet, with no prior film or television credits. She had an agent, however, and the series producer, Jonathan Powell spotted her photo on the wall and requested that she read for the part. Garvie auditioned the next day and got the part.

Quiz answers: 1.) To bring Pride and Prejudice to people who weren’t familiar with it. 2.) Lincolnshire. 3.) Audacity. 4.) Emma (1972) 5.) Watercolor. 6.) The producer saw her photo. 7.) They are similar in terms of honesty and openness. 8.) Lady Catherine talking about chickens. 9.) Camilla Parker-Bowles. 10.) Aerys Targaryen, “The Mad King.”

Well, that’s it for today. If you have the inside scoop on this production please feel free to share your knowledge. I’d love to hear your votes on “Who wore it best?” and I would appreciate opinions on one more topic. I find myself at the proverbial fork in the road. There are a few more adaptations of Pride and Prejudice I could include in this series, but there are many other Austen film and television series to explore. I would love to hear your thoughts on whether I should cover such works as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Bridget Jones’ Diary, and Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-day Comedy or move on to adaptations of other Austen novels.

 

 

 

15 Responses to Pride and Prejudice (1980) Trivia Challenge

  1. Wow, I would love to see a “who wore it better” posting if you can find more re-used costumes!

    Elizabeth Garvie has been my favourite Elizabeth — “sparkling” really does describe her — through all the dramatisations I’ve watched (altho’ Gemma Arterton is a close second). I used to think of David Rintoul’s portrayal of Darcy as “Frankenstein’s monster” until I re-read P&P and realized he had the right of it. Colin and Matt were great fun, but not as much as JA drew the characters (altho’ Elliot Cowan remains my favourite Darcy portrayal).

    Earlier this year I saw Rintoul in an episode of Poirot, and wow! A few years older and without Darcy’s fright wig he is very good-looking. While I enjoy watching several versions of P&P, the 1980 really is closest to the original book (okay, except for the run to Pemberley; every dramatisation I’ve seen has at least one invented scene — if not, how would we know what Colin/Darcy looked like in a wet shirt? 🙂 The music and art at the beginning of each episode were wonderful — as I’m currently reading a book with numerous Rowlandson illustrations, I agree that it is the same clever style.

    A most enjoyable post, Diana!

  2. I’m sure there were other scenes not in the novel. Elizabeth running to Pemberley to find her uncle (who was fishing) when she receives the letter about Lydia is definitely not in the text plus I’m sure there was a silly scene with Mr Collins and an inflatable hat that would stop him drowning if he fell in a pond!

    • I think you are right! I was led astray by an interview I found with the screenwriter, and she is the one who said that is the only scene that wasn’t in the book. Great catch!

  3. Haven’t watched my copy of this version yet but look forward to it. As to the Emma vs P&P look of the costumes, I have to say Emma particular the pelisse. The color nor the fit went with Garvie’s looks. Would loved to have seen the 1967 version, but since the BBC cannabalized the videotape, there are only two or three scenes left and found on YouTube.

    • It really is a tragedy that the 1967 version is lost to us. I’ve watched the scenes on YouTube, and the quality is so poor in parts that it can be hard to watch. Thanks for commenting, Gianna. I always appreciate what you have to say.

  4. I loved Elizabeth Garvie in the part though the BBC cut out too many scenes. David Rintoul was wooden, but Elizabeth was expressive, plus she sang. I really love all of the adaptations and find something new in every one to like..

    • Elizabeth Garvie really does sparkle as Elizabeth Bennet, doesn’t she? We agree on the points granted to an actress who sings (and dances!) She is a triple threat.

      I have contemplated the way Darcy was portrayed by David Rintoul a great deal these past few months, and wonder if it might not be more true to how Austen wrote him. One of the remarkable aspects of Colin Firth’s portrayal in the 1995 adaptation was that he is the master of micro-expressions. A twinge of his cheek or microscopic movement of his brow gave away thought and emotion – often in opposition to word and deed. It hinted at the fires raging in his soul – which Charlotte noticed but Elizabeth denied.

      Rintoul on the other hand, masked his character’s feelings behind an inscrutable poker face and rigid posture, so cold and aloof that we can easily see how Elizabeth Bennet would dismiss him as selfish and disdainful of the feelings of others. Rintoul’s Darcy alienated the audience as much as he had alienated Elizabeth, and we felt her scorn as much as she did. I think he faced a monumental arc to win both Elizabeth and the audience while staying the same man, in essentials.

    • I used to treat those tableau cartoons almost like a commercial break, until I actually started looking at them. Now I sometimes pause the DVD to look at them closer.

    • The costume déjà vu was really interesting to explore. In the scene where Mrs. Hurst is playing the piano, they barely showed the dress – the image shown is about as good a look at it as you get, since her playing is nearly entirely in the background but Emma’s scene in the same dress is extended. And the blue military-style pelisse scene with Jane Fairfax is abbreviated, but Elizabeth Bennet wears the pelisse both in Kent when she visits Charlotte and in the scene where she is touring Pemberley with her aunt and uncle. After I took the screen capture of Jane Fairfax, I got a little bit obsessed with the feathers in her hat. They seem a bit shabby to me. I also found the bonnets worn with the brown pelisse curious. It appears to be the same bonnet, re-trimmed for Pride and Prejudice. Weirdly, I think that the collar when Emma is wearing it would be a better match to the trim used for Jane Bennet’s. The trim on the bonnet in the Emma photo would similarly suit Jane Bennet better.

  5. Wow, there’s many facts I didn’t know. I especially didn’t realize that Mr. Darcy was also the mad king, Aerys Targaryan II. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched this adaptation so I think it’s time for a re-watch.

  6. Well I failed miserably with this. However I have only watched this version once so I do have an excuse. I watch the 1995 & 2005 versions many many many times (and even more many 🙂 ) However as I have said before I really really don’t like this portrayal of Darcy so I will definitely not be watching this again.
    As for the repeat costumes you pictured I will vote for P&P over Emma.
    I have watched the zombies version once and Bridget Jones a few times but I haven’t seen the other version you mention. I’ve also seen a couple of versions of Persuasion and Sense & Sensibility and 3 versions of Emma but 1 each of Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park (which are my least favourite of Jane’s books)
    I quite enjoy Lost in Austen as well but I still think they will have a hard job trying to beat the casting of Colin and Matthew.

    • Thank’s for the feedback, Glynis. The “Latter-day Comedy” version is, a modern, rather low-budget version that is pretty quirky, and stylized but the DVD was given to me as a gift so I watched it with the person who gave it to me. The first time I saw it, my attitude was a solid “meh.” I’ve viewed it several times now, as inevitably when I mention it to people in conversation, they want to come over for a movie night. When I watched it the second time, I picked up on things I had missed at first and even more on the third, etc. Then I watched the bonus material, which connected some of the more obscure dots. It kind of grew on me and although I can’t claim to love it, I do like it well enough and appreciate some of the more clever aspects of it.

      Finding the images for the re-used costumes from the two adaptations stirred an interesting response in me. I’ll hold my thoughts on it for now as I’m really interested in hearing what everyone else thinks. Your opinion is duly noted. It might be fun to do a whole post of “Who wore it better” photos at some point.

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