I like titles that start with "In Which." It's probably from my love of Winnie-the-Pooh. I have a treasury of those books, and I'm still highly amused by them. But anyway...
My declaration that will go against general opinion:
I like Sense and Sensibility from 1971 better than Pride and Prejudice AND Emma.
Most people I know would be shocked and amazed.
Now here are the reasons, and I hope they are adequate. They are as follows:
First, that it's the very first Jane Austen adaptation I ever watched. There is a story behind this. One day (such a boring beginning, but whatever) I was bored and asked my mom if there were any good books I could read. She suggested (and I am forever indebted to her for doing so) that I read Jane Austen- Emma in particular, because it was the shortest one she had. This is why Emma is my favorite Austen novel. More on that in a later post. Anyway, I fell in love with Austen, read the rest of the novels, and began looking for movie adaptations. S&S1971 was the only S&S version the library had. I'm not sure why I looked up S&S first, but I did, and requested the '71 version. I watched it and found it great, and this is what originally tipped the balance in its favor.
Second, that Joanna David as Elinor was very good.
Third, oh, I can hardly stop from quoting Mr. Collins here. Who else wants to laugh at the proposal scene?? :D
ANYWAY, third: Ciaran Madden. I know that some people thought she was way over-the-top and unstable. I must disagree. She acts like Marianne does in the book. I actually thought she toned it down a little. Marianne is supposed to be very emotional- and she tries to be, as much as possible! I know that if I was that emotional already and I WANTED to be even more dramatic, I could end up looking like a crazy person. Ciaran Madden acted like that, but toned it down slightly to make herself seem like less of a crazy person.
Fourth: the dresses were actually mostly modest! (For a period drama.) There are several scenes in which they have very low dresses, but mostly the necklines are high. Excluding Mrs. Jennings' dresses, which are rather immodest. However, I think that's in her character and I just try to ignore it the best I can.
Now, I'm going to be fair and acknowledge that perhaps it isn't as good as other versions. I will state the arguments against it, without attempting to weaken them.
First, and this is a huge argument against my argument, I haven't seen any other S&S versions. I don't think I need to say any more on that subject.
Second, Edward Ferrars was clumsy rather than awkward- although the slight pauses in his speech were great! Sorry, I said I wasn't going to do that. Whatever. Sorry.
Third, Colonel Brandon was a bit too much in the background. He came out near the end, but I think it was a bit too sudden. Also, neither he nor Edward Ferrars were very handsome. That isn't a requirement, but still.
Fourth...I can't think of any more. Willoughby was played in all the scoundrelly (is that a word?), weaselly perfection that is possible.
So, those are my thoughts. Please comment and tell me what you think!