Jane: Elizabeth, did you think he was pale? I did.Now does this exchange not change Jane Bennet's character in some fundamental way? Instead of just being overly kind and unwilling to see the faults in others, she suddenly becomes far more perceptive than her usually quick younger sister. I like this interpretation of her character.
Elizabeth: Mr. Bingley? No, but did you no think what happened was extraordinary?
Jane: What? Mr. Wickham being so very rude to Mr. Darcy? Yes, I suppose it was.
Elizabeth: No, no! It was Mr. Darcy being proud and ill-mannered to poor Mr. Wickham.
Jane: Oh! Was it?
I also love the scene in which Elizabeth takes her leave of Rosings. Things are preceding much as they do in the novel: Lady Catherine has just declaring, "You must change horses at Bromley. If you mention my name at the bell you will be well-attended to," and Elizabeth makes a persevering bow in response. But as she turns to leave the room, Anne de Bourgh (Moir Leslie), who has not a line in the film (just like the book), puts an arm out to stop her retreat, taking both of Elizabeth's hands in hers and smiling. It's an odd moment, endowing Anne with a sweetness of character Austen never indicates, but again I enjoy the liberty taken. It certainly does Anne no harm to distinguish herself from her mother.
Probably my only real complaint about this version regards David Rintoul as Darcy. He looks exactly as he should, just how I imagined him long before I had any notion who Colin Firth was, but his portrayal is too stiff. We never see the slightest crack in his public armor, his proud veneer, until the very end, when he betrays an adorable smile. It's very hard to imagine this man struggling with anything, let alone love's torments. Elizabet Garvie is an admirable Lizzy, but the chemistry between their characters is lacking.
There is something comforting and charming about this adaptation. It reminds me of my very warn copy of the novel that I bought at a used book sale for 30 cents, while the '95 version is my Norton Critical Edition. Both have their unique merits and offer distinct, rather incomparable, experiences.