Pride & Prejudice Blasphemous Ending Ruined the Movie for Jane Austen Fans

Pride & Prejudice Blasphemous Ending Ruined the Movie for Jane Austen Fans
Image credit: Focus Features

The British and the Americans tend to disagree on what is considered to be the perfect finale.


  • • The American and British theatrical versions of 2005's Pride and Prejudice have different endings.
  • • The American version includes an additional scene in which Elizabeth and Darcy declare their love for each other and Darcy kisses his new wife for the first time.
  • • In test screenings, audiences felt that the kissing scene violated the principles of Jane Austen's prose – in the original novel, Elizabeth and Darcy never kiss.

Perhaps the most famous of Jane Austen's six novels, Pride and Prejudice, is released at least once every decade. And Joe Wright's version remains the most striking depiction of the relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

The role of Lizzy was played by Keira Knightley, and her Mr. Darcy was Matthew Macfadyen, who had made his debut seven years earlier in Wuthering Heights, based on the novel by Emily Brontë.

Joe Wright's Movie Respects the Original Novel

The audience's love is easy to explain, understand and share: the director has brilliantly told a love story that has not faded in two centuries.

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The 2005 film is full of iconic moments that would later become the subject of numerous fan videos. The most obvious scenes that immediately come to mind are the declaration of love in the pouring rain and the reunion in the rays of the dawn sun.

Austen's writing is all about hints, signs, and the smallest details; her Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth never even kiss in the entire novel. Wright understands this well, and makes a movie out of tiny fragments.

It is impossible to forget how Darcy bends his palm after Elizabeth's touch, it is difficult not to notice how Bingley lightly touches the fabric of Jane's dress with his fingers. If this is not the height of adaptation of Austen's prose, what is?

American and British Versions Have Different Endings

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However, the ending of the film has divided fans.

If you have seen the American release version of Pride and Prejudice, you will remember the final scene where Darcy and Elizabeth discuss what Darcy should call his new wife, and then kiss for the first time in the film – this scene is touching and tender, there is not a hint of vulgarity in it.

At the same time, after test screenings, it was decided to remove this episode from the British version due to negative reaction. Some thought the scene was vulgar, some thought it was too sugary sweet, and some thought it violated the principles of the original novel.

It's no surprise that many British viewers were furious to learn that the epic love story would end not with the lovers reunited, but with Elizabeth talking to her father.

It's hard to argue that this ending was also touching in some ways, but many were puzzled by the fact that the movie ended with a shot focused on a minor character's reaction, rather than the final declaration of love by the main characters.

Be that as it may, we live in the wonderful age of the Internet, where you can watch the version of the movie you like best – the American version for those who are not against physical interaction in the adaptation of Jane Austen's work, and the British version for those who do not need additional proof of Darcy and Elizabeth's love.

Which version do you prefer?