Media

Compared to the numerous of adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, there are not many of Mansfield Park. There are only three—made in 1983, 1999, and 2007. Of those three, only one is really faithful to the book—the later two substantially change the character of the heroine, among other things. There is a “free adaption” that many have compared to Mansfield Park—the film ‘Metropolitan’. Of these four films, I have only seen two (the 1983 and 2007 versions), however, I have collected here information on all of these films—length, cast, reviews, &c. The adaptions of Mansfield Park are in order by year, oldest to newest, with ‘Metropolitan’ following.

Mansfield Park 1983

Not Rated, 312 minutes, BBC, mini-series.

True Virtue triumphs over superficiality in this distinguished, remastered BBC production of Jane Austen’s celebrated novel Mansfield Park.

Set in 18th century England, Jane Austen’s tale of virtue and vice, tells of young and impoverished Fanny Price who arrives at the elegant country estate of her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram. Snubbed by everyone except her cousin Edmund, Fanny begins her long struggle for acceptance by her shallow relatives who believe wealth automatically means quality. When Fanny finally wins the respect of her snobbish relatives, she incurs the displeasure of her uncle by rejecting the handsome philanderer Henry Crawford because she has fallen in love with Edmund. (Description from DVD cover.)

Production Credits:

Directed by: David Giles

Writing credits: Jane Austen & Ken Taylor

Produced by: Betty Willingale

Original Music by: Derek Bourgeois

Costume Design by: Ian Adley

Cast:

Robert Burbage … Henry Crawford

Susan Edmonstone…Mrs. Grant

Nicholas Farrell…Edmund Bertram

Gorden Kaye…Dr. Grant

Sylvestra Le Touzel…Fanny Price

Anna Massey…Aunt Norris

Neville Phillips…Baddely

Angela Pleasence…Lady Bertram

Jackie Smith-Wood…Mary Crawford

Snuff…Pug

Samantha Bond…Maria Bertram

Liz Crowther…Julia Bertram

Bernard Hepton…Sir Thomas Bertram

Jonathan Stephens…Mr. Rushworth

Christopher Villiers…Tom Bertram

Gillian Martell…Mrs. Rushworth

David Buck…Mr. Price

James Campbell…Tom Price

Alison Fiske…Mrs. Price

Allan Hendrick…William Price

Robin Langford…Mr. Yates

Norman Mann…Jenkins

Eryl Maynard…Susan Price

Jonny Lee Miller…Charles Price

Vivienne Moore…Rebecca

Claire Simmons…Betsey Price

Links:

ImdbAmazonAmazon UK, WikipediaScreen Online.

Reviews:

Austenprose

Some earlier thoughts on this version on Austenprose

The Powell Blog

Lights, Camera, History

Trivia:

Johnny Lee Miller played one of Fanny Price’s young brothers, Charles Price, in the 1983 version of ‘Mansfield Park’ and then went on to play the hero, Edmund Bertram, in the 1999 version. He also plays the hero, George Knightley, of the 2009 version of ‘Emma’.

Bernard Hepton plays Sir Thomas Bertram in the 1983 version of ‘Mansfield Park’ and then Mr. Woodhouse in the 1996 version of ‘Emma’. (I think that Donald Eccles, who plays Mr. Woodhouse in the 1972 version of ‘Emma’, is better than any of the others who play that part. However, Bernard Hepton is much better in the role than Michael Gambon (‘Emma’ 2009) or Denys Hawthorne (‘Emma’ 1996). The role of Mr. Woodhouse is very different than that of Sir Thomas—an example of Bernard Hepton’s versatility as an actor.)

Samantha Bond, who plays Maria Bertram in the 1983 version of ‘Mansfield Park’, plays in another Jane Austen movie—’Emma’ (1996) as Miss Taylor/Mrs. Weston.

Nicholas Farrell plays Edmund Bertram in the 1983 version of ‘Mansfield Park’. He also plays Mr. Musgrove in a version of ‘Persuasion’ (2007).

Sylvestra Le Touzel plays Fanny Price in the 1983 version of ‘Mansfield Park’. She plays another Jane Austen character, Mrs. Allen, in ‘Northanger Abbey’ (2007).

Sylvestra Le Touzel (Fanny Price) and Nicholas Farrell (Edmund Bertram) play a married couple, Henry and Marianne Thornton, in the movie ‘Amazing Grace’ (2006).

Mansfield Park 1999

PG-13: For Brief Violent Images, Sexual Content and Drug Use, 112 minutes, Miramax.

This fun and sexy comedy tells a timelessly entertaining story where wealth, secret passions and mischievous women put love to the test…with delightfully surprising results! When a spirited young, Fanny Price, is sent away to live on the great country estate of her rich cousins, she’s meant to learn the ways of proper society. But while Fanny learns “their” ways, she also enlightens them with a wit and sparkle all her own! Featuring an exciting ensemble cast of young stars—you’ll join critics everywhere in their overwhelming praise of this smart, playful and funny hit! (Description from DVD cover.)

Production Credits:

Directed by: Patricia Rozema

Writing credits: Jane Austen (novel “Mansfield Park, letters, juvenilia”), Patricia Rozema (written by)

Produced by: Sarah Curtis

Original Music by: Lesley Barber

Costume Design by: Andrea Galer

Cast:

Hannah Taylor-Gordon…Young Fanny (as Hannah Taylor Gordon)

Talya Gordon…Young Susan

Lindsay Duncan…Mrs. Price / Lady Bertram

Bruce Byron…Carriage Driver

James Purefoy…Tom Bertram

Sheila Gish…Mrs. Norris

Harold Pinter…Sir Thomas Bertram

Elizabeth Eaton…Young Maria

Elizabeth Earl…Young Julia

Philip Sarson…Young Edmond

Amelia Warner…Teenage Fanny

Frances O’Connor…Fanny Price

Jonny Lee Miller…Edmund Bertram

Victoria Hamilton…Maria Bertram

Hugh Bonneville…Mr. Rushworth

Justine Waddell…Julia Bertram

Embeth Davidtz…Mary Crawford

Alessandro Nivola…Henry Crawford

Charles Edwards…Yates

Sophia Myles…Susan Price

Hilton McRae…Mr. Price

Anna Popplewell…Betsey

Danny Worters…Boy with Bird Cart

Gordon Reid…Dr. Winthrop

Jack Murphy…Ballroom Dancer

Peter Curtis…Ballroom Dancer

Emma Flett…Ballroom Dancer

Wendy Woodbridge…Ballroom Dancer

Eliza Darby…Young Betsy (uncredited)

Richard Oliff…Footman (uncredited)

Links:

ImdbAmazonAmazon UK, Wikipedia.

Reviews:

Austenprose

Charity’s Place

Ashton Dennis’s review

Trivia:

The 1999 version of ‘Mansfield Park’ incorporates some of the events of Jane Austen’s own life and some of her juvenilia, as well as the novel Mansfield Park. The various stories the character Fanny Price in the movie writes as a teenager are actually from Jane Austen’s own Juvenilia. Jane Austen received a proposal from Harris Bigg-Wither which she accepted and then changed her mind about the next morning. Mirroring this, Fanny Price at first accepts and then changes her mind about Henry Crawford’s proposal in this version of ‘Mansfield Park’.

Johnny Lee Miller played one of Fanny Price’s young brothers, Charles Price, in the 1983 version of ‘Mansfield Park’ and then went on to play the hero, Edmund Bertram, in the 1999 version. He also plays the hero, George Knightley, of the 2009 version of ‘Emma’.

Victoria Hamilton plays Maria Bertram/Rushworth in the 1999 version of ‘Mansfield Park’. She plays Mrs. Forster in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (1995) and Henrietta Musgrove in ‘Persuasion’ (1995).

Lindsay Duncan plays Lady Bertram and Mrs. Price in the 1999 version of ‘Mansfield Park’. She plays Lady Catherine de Bourgh in ‘Lost in Austen’ (2008).

Hugh Bonneville plays Mr. Rushworth in the 1999 version of ‘Mansfield Park’. He plays Rev. Brook Bridges in ‘Miss Austen Regrets’ (2008) and Mr. Bennet in ‘Lost in Austen’ (2008).

Mansfield Park 2007

Not Rated, 86 minutes (edited version), ITV.

In one of Austen’s most complex plots, Billie Piper (Doctor Who, Ruby in the Smoke) stars as Fanny Price, who goes to live with prosperous relatives at Mansfield Park. Fanny navigates a labyrinth of intrigues and affairs among the occupants of the house, while her cousin Edmund Bertram (Blake Ritson, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries) remains her stalwart confidant. Also starring Jemma Redgrave (Bramwell) as Fanny’s observant aunt. (Description from DVD cover.)

Production Credits:

Directed by: Iain B. MacDonald

Writing credits: Maggie Wadey (written by) and Jane Austen (novel, uncredited)

Produced by: Suzan Harrison

Original Music by: John E. Keane

Costume Design by: Mike O’Neill

Cast:

Billie Piper…Fanny Price

Jemma Redgrave…Lady Bertram

Maggie O’Neill…Mrs. Norris

Blake Ritson…Edmund Bertram

Hayley Atwell…Mary Crawford

Joseph Beattie…Henry Crawford

James D’Arcy…Tom Bertram

Michelle Ryan…Maria Bertram

Rory Kinnear…Rushworth

Catherine Steadman…Julia Bertram

Douglas Hodge…Sir Thomas Bertram

Julia Joyce…Young Fanny

Tara Berwin…Young Maria

Lucy Hurst…Young Julia

Zachary Elliott-Hatton…Young Tom

Greg Sheffield…Young Edmund

Joseph Morgan…William Price

Stephen Tomlin…Baddeley

Holly…Pug

Dexter Fletcher…Doctor (uncredited)

Links:

ImdbAmazonAmazon UK, WikipediaPBS.

Reviews:

Austenprose

Another review on Austenprose

Charity’s Place

AustenBlog – Facts About Fanny Price

Jane Austen’s World

Ellen Moody

Trivia:

Maggie Wadey, who is responsible for the screenplay of the 2007 version of ‘Mansfield Park’, is also responsible for the screenplay of the 1987 version of ‘Northanger Abbey’.

Blake Ritson plays Edmund Bertram in the 2007 version of ‘Mansfield Park’ and Mr. Elton in a version of ‘Emma’ (2009).

Metropolitan 1990

PG-13: For Mature Thematic Material Involving Sexuality and Drug Use, 98 minutes, Westerly.

Shot on location in Manhattan and Long Island, the movie depicts the lives of young, upper-class New Yorkers (or as one character attempts to rebrand them, the “urban haute bourgeoisie”) during debutante ball season while home for winter break in their first year of college. Middle-class Princeton student Tom Townsend, an admirer of Fourier’s socialism, observes this comedy of manners with an outsider’s distance but eventually becomes deeply attached to the characters he meets. (Description from Wikipedia.)

Production Credits:

Directed by: Whit Stillman

Writing credits: Whit Stillman

Produced by: Whit Stillman

Original Music by: Tom Judson, Mark Suozzo

Costume Design by: Mary Jane Fort

Cast:

Carolyn Farina…Audrey Rouget

Edward Clements…Tom Townsend

Chris Eigeman…Nick Smith (as Christopher Eigeman)

Taylor Nichols…Charlie Black

Allison Parisi…Jane Clark

Dylan Hundley…Sally Fowler

Isabel Gillies…Cynthia McLean

Bryan Leder…Fred Neff

Will Kempe…Rick Von Sloneker

Ellia Thompson…Serena Slocum (as Elizabeth Thompson)

Stephen Uys…Victor Lemley

Roger W. Kirby…Man at Bar (Dick Edwards)

Alice Connorton…Mrs. Townsend

Linda Gillies…Mrs. Rouget

John Lynch…Allen Green (as John Lynch)

Donal Lardner Ward…North Greenwich Yuppie (Sam Elliott)

Thomas R. Voth…Cab Driver (as Tom Voth)

Caroline Bennett…Sabina Johnson (Texas Deb)

Francis Creighton…Cadet George Frawley

Joel S. Schreiber…A.T. Harris Salesman

Catherine Atsen…Catherine Atsen Clinician

J. Harden Rose…TV Voice of Debutante Ball (voice)

Victoria Chickering…SFRP Friend (Early-nighter)

Blayne Perry…SFRP Friend (Early-nighter)

Kevin Schack…SFRP Friend (Early-nighter)

Tina Thornton…SFRP Friend (Early-nighter)

Hank Poley…SFRP Friend (Early-nighter)

Andrew Lyle…SFRP Friend (Early-nighter)

Links:

ImdbAmazonAmazon UK, Wikipedia.

Reviews:

Austenprose

An essay by R. V. Young discussing ‘Metropolitan’ and comparing it to Mansfield Park.

Some short comments on this movie are on JASNA and again by Ashton Dennis.

Trivia:

Whit Stillman turned down an offer to direct a film version of  Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’—Ang Lee ended up directing it. In an interview with indieWIRE, Whit Stillman said:

Yeah, I’d really like to [direct something that I haven’t written]. I read tons of scripts. But there’s a difference between a conscience wanting and the actual reality of what you get offered. There was one thing that was kind of a big issue for me when it came up, and it was “Sense and Sensibility.” I was offered that. I was in the midst of finishing “Barcelona” and I just kind of couldn’t think about anything. There was something unemotional about that draft of the script. I love Jane Austen and the woman who produced it said the comments I made, they were able to incorporate into the script. So that made me feel better. I really loved the final movie they did. I was also thinking, at that point, it’s wonderful material, and there are a number of directors who could do a wonderful job with that, and Ang Lee did an especially wonderful job with it, but that I should try and focus on new stories that I could come up with that would be really different from other people’s stories. (indieWIRE; June 1, 1998)

3 comments on “Media

  1. drush76 says:

    All three versions are flawed to me. My main problem with all three adaptations is that I find the “triumph” of Fanny over Mary Crawford a joke. Mary is far from perfect, but she’s not a monster. I can say the same about Fanny. But none of the adaptations were willing to reveal Fanny’s flaws.

  2. noirfifre says:

    “Maggie Wadey, who is responsible for the screenplay of the 2007 version of ‘Mansfield Park’, is also responsible for the screenplay of the 1987 version of ‘Northanger Abbey’.”

    Go figure!

  3. your blog is lovely! Thanks for such a interesting information!

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