Mar 22, 2010

Who's Your Favourite Mr Darcy?

What I'm reading: Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
Listening to:
'Allo 'Allo
Making me smile: The dogs being dogs

Recently I read
The Making of Pride and Prejudice (about the BBC adaptation) which made me desperately want to watch the series again. It also made me think about Mr Darcy. When I first saw Pride And Prejudice in 1995, I absolutely loved the series -- but Colin Firth just didn't work for me as Mr Darcy. I wonder what I'll think when I see the series again? I have a feeling he'll have grown on me!

There were a lot of things I liked about the 2005 movie version of Pride and Prejudice, but again, Matthew MacFadyen as Mr Darcy just didn't work for me. Like Colin Firth, he's not at all how I imagine Darcy.

I'd like to see the original movie with Laurence Olivier as Darcy ... perhaps Laurence Olivier will nail it for me as Mr Darcy!

And I'm looking forward to watching Lost in Austen, which sounds irreverent, but fun. I have no idea who plays Darcy in it -- something to look forward to! Perhaps he'll walk on screen and I'll think Yes, that's Darcy!

And then, of course, there's Bride & Prejudice, which looks like fabulous fun, although (before seeing it) Martin Henderson is not Darcy for me. I'm staying with a friend at the moment and she has a copy ... perhaps that's what I'll watch tonight!

So, do you have an opinion on the various screen versions of Mr Darcy? Who works for you, and who doesn't?
And a final picture, for those of you who love Colin Firth as Mr Darcy. Darcy in his wet shirt...


  1. Can one really watch 'Allo 'Allo and contemplate Mr. Darcy at the same time, Emily? :)

    I actually liked Colin Firth, he does nervous stuffiness very well and I thought Elizabeth in the BBC was excellent. I particularly loved Lydia in the BBC production.

    The movie version, though beautiful to look at, had to skimp too much to fit the time parameters for actors to really stretch into the roles, I think.

    As for Darcy himself, I always wish he'd just lighten up a little.... Sacrilege, I know, I know. Thank heavens Elizabeth could rescue him!

  2. Hi Emily --
    What a great post! I LOVED Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. He completely worked for me.

    At first I wasn't happy with Matthew MacFadyen in the remake...but I fell in love with that whole movie and with his Mr. Darcy. I've watched it so many times my husband jokes that it's my emotional crutch when I'm feeling down (-:

    I saw a little bit of Lost in Austen and Elliot Cowan plays Darcy - not my fav. I haven't see the orginal with Olivier but since I love all things P and P, I might have to check it out.

    Okay, off to fish out the 2005 movie and watch it again (-:

  3. Ah, Mr Darcy... this discussion just proves that beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder!

    I loved Colin Firth in the role - until he smiled at the end and then it somehow ruined him for me! LOL!

    I thought Elliot Cowan worked well as the Lost in Austen's Mr D! It was a very clever premise and I enjoyed the way they worked it.

    Matthew MacFadyen (and Keira) in P&P just didn't work for me at all though they did have their moments and his face was very expressive at times which was a treat to watch.

    And THANK YOU for that final wet shirt pic, Emily - you can never have too many of those in a blog!

  4. I know what you mean, Emily! I loved Colin Firth as Darcy in the BBC mini-series, but no one really comes close to how I pictured Darcy when I read the book as a teenager.

    Laurence Olivier was the first live Darcy I saw, and so he has a special place in my heart (despite the stage / over acting style of the time).

    Martin Henderson in Bride and Prejudice was cute and fun. He was nothing like Austen's Darcy, but that was okay since the whole movie was only a loose adaptation. Heaps of fun!

    The Lost In Austen version of Darcy didn't grow on me during my first sitting of the mini-series, but did a little in the second viewing. Still not completely convinced.

    And Mathew MacFadyen was fabulous in the movie and brought a lovely emotion to their relationship, but I had to let my ideas of Darcy go to accept him. Again, nothing like I'd pictured Darcy when I read the book.

    So overall, I'm wondering if anyone will live up to my expectations of Darcy...? Colin Firth has definitely come closest.

  5. Okay - Mr Darcy. The ultimate brooding hero.

    First - I adored Colin Firth as Mr Darcy. I loved his stuffiness and for me he is Mr Darcy.

    I LOATHED the 2005 version of P&P, the biggest tragedy was Keira as Elisabeth. I could not even get past her to even notice Matthew MacFadyen.

    Loved Lost in Austin. Elliot Cowan did a pretty decent job.

    If I had to have my pick of who I think the perfect Mr Darcy could be - I'd have to say Richard Armitage.

    and for another wet shirt pic - Elliot Cowan

  6. Zana, to answer your question, it is impossible to watch 'Allo 'Allo and contemplate Mr Darcy at the same time. They inhabit completely different universes!

    I think that when I see the BBC version again, I'll like Colin Firth a whole lot better. Elizabeth, of course, was brilliant in that! Like you say, thank heaven she could rescue him!

  7. Anna, there were some things I really liked about the 2005 film. I should probably watch it again and I'll find more! For me, I most liked the physical earthiness of the Bennett house, the chickens running around etc. It really reinforced the difference between them and Darcy/Bingley. I also liked the fact that there was fondness between Mr Bennett and his wife -- call me a big softie, but I don't like an unhappy marriage!

  8. Sharon, LOL that his smile ruined it for you!

    I have no idea who Elliot Cowan is, but I'm really looking forward to Lost in Austen.

    You're welcome for the wet shirt pic ;)

  9. Rachel, yes, like you I have to come to terms with the fact that no screen Darcy is ever going to match the Mr Darcy I see in my head when I read P&P!

    Must watch the Olivier version. And Bride and Prejudice. And Lost in Austen. Lucky me -- hours of happy P&P viewing ahead!

  10. Tracie, yes the stuffiness was one of the things that got me about Colin Firth's version of Darcy!

    I agree about the movie, Keira didn't work for me either. For me, Elizabeth Bennett is Jennifer Ehle in the 1995 series!

    Hmm, a wet shirt pic of Elliot Cowan. Must check it out. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Renee as Mr Darcy? Oops sorry getting my universes colliding.

    Hmmm....I saw the 2005 movie first before seeing the BBC series. So for me Matthew is my first Darcy and he played the character well. Colin Firth was fab but I actually find he looks better as he is getting older (perhaps because I am too).

    I saw Lost in Austen and loved the 'pond' scene. It was so funny.

    No sorry can't make a decision. Because each treatment is different, every Darcy is different. But have to agree with Tracie that Richard Armitage would make the perfect Darcy. Look at his work in North & South.

  12. Renee as Mr Darcy? Uh ... NO!

    A funny pond scene? Eleni, now you've really made me want to see Lost in Austen!

  13. Definitely Colin Firth. I didn't much care for Matthew MaFadyen in the movie - Darcy just seemed incredibly dull the way he played him, very flat. Maybe I need to see it again. Donald Sutherland as the father was just terrific in that film though.

  14. I agree, Jo. Donald Sutherland was one of the things I liked about that movie!

    I'm halfway through the Olivier film and I have to say, he's more Darcy than any of the others (for me, at least).