Monday, May 2, 2011

Mansfield Park (1983 TV Mini-Series)


Having now seen so many other BBC adaptations of Jane Austen novels made into TV mini-series, I've become rather used to the play-like production quality.

The casting - which I now consider perhaps the most important part of a screen adaptation of a book - was a mixed bag. I thought Fanny was very well portrayed, but I never did get used to swarthy Edmund. Henry Crawford was too stiff and had too much of an air of arrogance; he was not at all as easy going as I expected. A fine job was done with Aunt Norris and poor Mr. Rushworth, but Mr. Yates bordered on ridiculous, and Lady Bertram was downright so.

The first episode of the mini-series depicted the childhood years well, and I liked the way the series used Fanny's letters to William to move the story along.

After doing such a great job with the rest of the book in the first five episodes, the sixth and final episode was a little disappointing. The conclusion seemed to come about suddenly and without much basis, and we didn't see Sir Thomas's reflections on parenting, nor his ultimate satisfaction in Fanny in light of his disappointments elsewhere.

1 comment:

  1. I'm watching this now, and it's not drawing me in....I was hoping some other adaptation would be better but now that I'm seeing your star ratings, I guess I shouldn't get my hopes up, if this was the best one. I don't like how Mary Crawford was cast....she just doesn't look right. I thought she was supposed to be pretty, she's not pretty at all! And Henry Crawford has ridiculous hair, and Lady Bertram is completely ridiculous and unrealistic. aunt Norris, and mr. Rushworth are pretty good. The Bertram ladies....very non-descript. Edward is pretty well doneI guess I'll see if I can finish watching. 6 episodes is pretty long, and for some reason, I'm finding the dialogue kinda slow. Reading it, I liked it, but watching it just seems kinda dragging, even though it seems like a lot of it follows the book exactly.